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Arts in Education Winter 23-24

The BAAC continues our mission to bring talented artists, authors, dancers, musicians, chefs, speakers, and more to the 2600+ students in the Batesville Community School Corporation, St. Louis School, and Oldenburg Academy. Below are the stories of each of the 20+ artists who visited a local school since November and how teachers integrate these performances and presentations into the classroom to enhance the core curriculum. Our students' exposure to arts educational experiences has remarkable impacts on their academic, social, and emotional outcomes.1


Batesville High School, November 2023

Culinary Arts

Artist: Chef Devin Murchin, owner of Big Four Cafe

Devin Murchin, a 1997 graduate of Batesville High School, received his Associates Degree from Johnson and Wales University, in North Carolina. He was a master chef at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, and other famous restaurants for 16 years. Devin purchased Big Four Cafe in 2018. He and his wife, Phoenix, are the owners.

Devin discussed his education and work experiences. He shared real stories of experiences that have happened in his kitchens. He reviewed knife safety and demonstrated how to make strawberry roses, radish flowers, and radish mushrooms. Devin made baskets and swans using cantaloupes. Devin gave one-on-one instruction to students as they practiced their newly learned skills and provided valuable critique for each work of art.


Batesville Primary School, November/December 2023


Artist: Playhouse in the Park

For this event, one teaching artist came into each kindergarten classroom at BPS for 45 minutes every day for a week. During this time, they explored “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss and broke the story down into different scenes. Students also learned common drama exercises and vocal preparation techniques. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to get out of their seats, move around, and make some noise while reenacting a well-loved book.


St. Louis School, December 2023

Creative Writing/Songwriting

Artist: Liam Hall Songwriting (SkoolAid)

Liam Hall is an English teacher at NKU as well as a songwriter and recording artist. He works with Skool Aid in Cincinnati to bring songwriting workshops into area schools. Liam spoke to the kids about his passion for music and how he writes songs with a variety of musicians. The students were introduced to instruments used and then chose one of Liam’s songwriting strategies and brainstormed ideas for lyrics and music style with him. The students worked collaboratively with each other and Liam, and by the end of each class, the class had written its own song.


Batesville Primary School, December 2023

Visual Arts

Kindergarten students at BPS discovered the process of monoprinting. This exciting art form allows students to first paint their concept on the gelli plates and then make a print onto another paper. Monoprinting is an important printmaking process where only one unique print can be made a design unlike other printmaking processes. Monoprinting is a great beginner printing process for kindergarten students, but can be carried through to more advanced stages. The students'  joy and awe when peeling back their print exemplifies how exciting this art form can be!  


Batesville Primary School, January 2024


Artist: Laura Ault

Mrs. Ault joined the first graders at BPS to teach Zumba kids by playing songs from across the world and teaching the students dances and exercises to each song. She would tell the students where the songs came from (various countries or cultures) and a little about them. Laura also did some interactive dances and games where students could be creative and do their own moves. Students got great exercise while learning something new. Participation was excellent and students were able to ask questions to learn more about Zumba.


Batesville High School, January 2024


Artist: Ron Nicholson presented “Shakespeare Mysteries”

Ron Nicholson, Professor Emeritus of English at Ivy Tech Community College, visited BHS Honors English 10 classes to help them explore the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare. Who was he? How many plays did he really write? Did he actually write his plays? These questions and more led to a lively discussion surrounding the Bard, his works, and his legacy. Beyond simply reading a play in class, this program allowed students to engage with the content on a deeper level with the help of our visiting speaker. His expertise and depth of knowledge on Shakespeare gave each class a finer appreciation for the art of playwriting and the mysteries that surround the world’s most famous playwright.


Batesville Primary School, February 2024

Visual Arts

Artist: Kids Discovery Factory Art Focused Mobile Factory Experience

The Kids Discovery Factory created a mobile museum experience for BPS that focused on art. Some of the exhibits had students use pattern blocks to make designs for a giant kaleidoscope, examine the art of Eric Carle down to the pixel using a microscope, and construct their own tessellation art. The BPS gym was taken over for this art-focused mobile factory experience. Students were able to play and create art using toys and tools that expanded their imaginations. The exhibits integrated art flawlessly into the STEM resources provided by KDF, and students had so much fun learning and playing together. Groups of up to 100 students explored the museum during 45-minute sessions over the course of the two-day experience.


Batesville Intermediate School, February 2024


Author: Shannon Anderson

Award-winning children's book author Shannon ANderson visited BIS on Monday, February 5 and Tuesday, February 6, 2024. Shannon's published books focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and having a growth mindset. Her book I Love Strawberries was named the tap rated 2022 picture book by Good Housekeeping Magazine, and also the National Book of the Year by the Farm Bureau Foundation.

Throughout her tow days at BIS in both large groups presentations as well as smaller writing workshops, Shannon shares with both students and staff how her personal experience as well as passion for writing became the inspiration for her books as a published author. These experiences included having her first book rejected fifteen times before it was accepted for publication and the experience of watching her own daughter teased and bullied while wearing an an eye patch when she was little that became the inspiration of her book I'm Not a Pirate. Her message to students was that everyone has a story to tell, and their story is worth being heard in their own personal writing.

In addition to the large group presentations, students in grades three and four also participated in 30 minute poetry writing workshops. Each student in grades 3-4 wrote their own poems. Shannon gave students the “recipe” for this type of poem, shared numerous examples, and then worked with students to write a model poem together.  Next, she took them through the brainstorming and writing process so they could draft their own cinquain.  Mrs. Hazelwood expressed that even struggling writers were excited to write. She made them believe they were authors, no matter their ability.  Mrs. Hazelwood stated, “Everyone left the room inspired to write!”


Batesville High School, February 2024

Graphic Design

Artist: Jimmy Rowland of Rowland Graphics

Batesville High School design students received a boost this week with a visit from local graphic designer Jimmy Rowland. From February 5th to 9th, Mr. Rowland shared his professional insights and led a hands-on Adobe Illustrator workshop.Students mastered the Shape Builder tool through logo design exercises, explored advanced techniques, and unleashed their creativity by transforming hand-drawn names into digitalized works of art.Equipped with new skills and appreciation for Mr. Rowland's expertise, these designers are ready to tackle future projects.


Batesville High School, February 2024


Artist: John Wenning

Mr Wenning is a member of Indiana Music Educators Association and American Choral Directors Association as well as a choral arranger, clinician and adjudicator for many schools, festivals and competitions across Indiana. He visited BHS to work with the 47 advanced choir students on vocal techniques to improve their performance at upcoming show choir competitions.


Batesville Middle School, February 2024


Artist: Epiphany Dance

Epiphany African Dance Collective is a dance company that entertains, educates, and preserves African traditions through quality artistic performances. They performed songs, entertained with a storyteller, taught phrases, dances, and drummed interactively, allowing all students to became part of the show. Epiphany African Dance Collective took us on a journey through West Africa that put movement in our body and joy in our heart. They were extremely entertaining and educational!


Batesville High School, February 2024

Music, Choreography

Artists: Wilson Smith and Chris Rasor

The vocal and dance duo of Smith and Rasor visited BHS on separate occasions to work the BHS advanced choir on elements of their competition set. Wilson is the arranger for most of the BHS Singers' competition show music, and was a member of a national champion a cappella choir. He had several insights to share with the students to improve their vocal performance. Mr. Rasor met with the students on 5 different occasions to put together the choreography that is being implemented during the 2024 show choir season.


Batesville Intermediate School, February 2024

Dog Sled Racer

Artist: Karen Land

Karen Land’s visit leads our third grader’s right into the world-famous Iditarod race, which begins the first Saturday in March. In preparation of the show, students read the book Balto in their homeroom classes. Through readings and discussions, students learned the history and importance of The Great Race. Before the Iditarod begins, students read biographies on each musher, then select one musher to ‘follow’ throughout the race. The students spend time writing a biography about their musher to share with their classmates, and conduct check-ins throughout the race to see the progress of their musher,

Ms. Land brought all her race gear and helped a few students dress up like they were in the Iditarod.

Karen’s visit always excites our students and staff, and is a highly effective springboard into our Iditarod unit. Her visit provides an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to hear firsthand experiences of a musher, and see and touch her sled.  Karen relates so well to our third graders and always brings exciting stories and vast knowledge to share! 


Oldenburg Academy, February 2024


Artist: Debi Black

Artist Debi Black came to Oldenburg Academy’s senior religion classes for a two-day workshop on painting.  Students worked with Debi on ideas and techniques, and then each student made their own canvas with an inspirational scripture quote.  Quotes and designs were chosen by the students individually, and Debi worked with them on perfecting their designs and helping them come to life. Many students shares that they look forward to hanging these up in their college dorm rooms. Several students realized that they had some artistic talent.


Batesville Intermediate School, February 2024

Performing Arts

Artist: Kevin Stonerock

Storyteller and performer, Kevin Stonerock, performed the "Fur Trader"  for all fourth and fifth grade students. Students learned about Jacob McLinden, a true-to-life character, compiled from a variety of fur trade sources. The trader Jacob McLinden, a Scotsman, takes the audience on a journey from Montreal to the Indian Country and through a year in the fur trade in the mid 1700's. He familiarizes students with many trade goods, fur bearing animals, voyageur life, fur trade vocabulary, music and the ways of Indians and traders. Through storytelling and performing, Stonerock brings the fur trade to life, from his outfit to his descriptions, and makes connections to the American Revolution unit students had recently read about and referencing the Indiana tribes that were covered in the Social Studies curriculum.


Batesville Intermediate School, February 2024

Performing Arts

Artist: Playhouse in the Park

Two performing artists from Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park joined each class in person for 50 minute workshops during the week.  Students in fifth grade centered their workshops on the poetry works of Shel Silverstein.  The performing artist worked with students to make Silverstein’s poetry “come alive” as well as practice public speaking.  At the end of the week, students presented their poetry to their classmates.


Batesville High School and Batesville Intermediate School, March 2024


Artist: Mark Littman

Mark Littman, retired professor from the University of Tennessee, spoke to BHS Mythology classes about the Mythological significance of the starts and lunar eclipses.  Dr. Littman shared many fascinating Mythological and personal stories! This event brought new context to students who will be able to view the total eclipse on April 8th. In addition, Dr. Littmann visited younger students at BIS where he also shared numerous stories and pictures with students. He shared what to expect immediately prior, during, and after totality including observing what the sky and surroundings look like as well as how animals behave.  It is possible frogs will croak, bats will come out, and cows will moo in confusion!  He also discussed ancient myths from China and  India regarding why people believed eclipses occurred, and numerous pictures of what you can expect to see during the event. 


Batesville High School, March 2024


Artist: Playhouse in the Park

Ariana Moses from Playhouse in the Park introduced students to five strategies for effective public speaking. Using theater warm up and performance practices, students learned how to better command a room during a speech or presentation (and had fun along the way!). This program effectively integrates theater into the classroom as a tool for improving public speaking skills. The art of movement, vocal projection, gestures,  and facial expressions that one might see in a production on stage are used to teach students how to give a speech or presentation.


Batesville Primary School, March 2024


Artist: Laura Numeroff

Laura Numeroff is a well-known children's book author, who she shared her love of reading and writing with students at BPS. Laura read aloud two of her books, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, which is her most well-known book, and Raising a Hero, which is her favorite book that she's written. She spoke about rejection and how If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was rejected nine times by publishers before one finally accepted it. It went on to become a classic. She ended each presentation with a question and answer session in which the students had the opportunity to ask her anything!


Batesville High School, March 2024


Artist: Ron Nicholson, Professor Emeritus of English

Professor Nicholson immersed ENG 206 students in a thorough discussion and lesson regarding William Shakespeare, the late 1500’s and early 1600’s, and Hamlet. Mr. Nicholson discussed with students how and why Hamlet is still very much relevant. Mr. Nicholson walked students through the historical period and context, including Shakespeare’s own biographical information, and spoke about the many variations of the play and actors since its inception. Professor Nicholson’s presentation, entitled “How to Hamlet,” did more than cover vital information for student comprehension; more importantly, this 90-minute lesson encouraged students to get excited about unpacking another Shakespearean classic. He also showcased some items from his extensive Shakespeare-themed collection.


Oldenburg Academy, March 2024


Artist: Playhouse in the Park

Playhouse in the Park presented a monologue workshop to Oldenburg Academy sophomores during the week of March 4 in English class.  The workshop introduced students to Holocaust survivors who later settled in Cincinnati and shared their stories with the Holocaust and Humanity Center there.  Students warmed up each morning with tactile and kinesthetic movements and then played a game called “You? Yes,” which eventually talked about decision making and power.  Students ended the week by completing a monologue based on their character, which sometimes also involved some historical research.  A few students then opted to read their monologues for the class.  All of the stories shared were unique, and the instructor from Playhouse in the Park was impressed with all students’ work.    


Batesville Intermediate School, March 2024


Artist: Playhouse in the Park

Through a fun-filled, immersive five-day workshop, students were engaged in the power of collaborative and visual storytelling.  Students worked with the text of Wonder to create staged pictures, monologues, or speeches presented by a single character to express the character’s thoughts aloud, prologues, and epilogues or conclusions that depict their interpretation of the story. During the event, students created dialogue, analyzed dramatic moments to create a mood, pretended to be characters talking to others, and used their bodies to show a character’s emotion.  Students worked in small groups to perform several Tableaux for a specific scene from Wonder (see pictures below of students acting what it looks like when they hear a secret). Students were expressive with their bodies and facial expressions as they froze in a pose for the tableau. They were not allowed to speak or move during their poses. Other groups had to simply interpret what was happening in the scene by observing the tableau.  Each student also drew pictures to illustrate the prologue and epilogue of the story. 

Some of the comments students made throughout the week included:

  • “It’s fun! I love the acting part.

  • I like choosing a character and you get to be that character.

  • It’s cool to do it together and Miss Ariana doesn’t tell us exactly what to do. We get to decide.

  • The warm-ups help you get your voice and body ready, and it’s fun!


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