Impact of Fairfield Dance, Visual Arts Residencies Clear In and Out of the Classroom

By Anna Joranger

On Thursday, May 31, Fairfield Academy students traveled to the River North offices of law firm Jenner & Block, corporate sponsor of the school’s Urban Gateways arts programs, to show off their work during teaching artist residencies this school year. Their impressive African dance performance (bolstered by the presence of their UG teaching artist, Amaniyea Payne) was coupled with a history presentation about the Old West; Amaniyea worked with classroom teachers to tie her dance classes to the social studies curriculum. Jenner & Block employees, UG staff members, and Fairfield guests all agreed that the performance was a delight. Jenner & Block Chairman Tony Valukas addressed the audience at the end of the show, asserting his happiness with the partnership between Fairfield and Jenner & Block and his determination to keep that partnership going strong. We’ve got videos of Fairfield’s Jenner & Block performance here!

Also present at Jenner & Block was UG teaching artist James Jankowiak (Casper), whose visual arts residency at Fairfield this year focused on the topic of subversive advertising. Casper spoke briefly about his residency, explaining that he asked Fairfield students to consider advertising and corporate logos and ask themselves how these logos and ads affect them. Students drew logos from memory to create Andy Warhol-inspired pieces, reflecting on advertising culture as they honed their visual arts skills. See photos from this incredible visual arts residency here! BELOW, check out video interviews with Casper and Ms. Alps, a Fairfield teacher whose class participated in Casper’s residency. Thanks to photo/video volunteer Ray Manrique for this wonderful documentation!

Congrats to all Fairfield students on a job well done!