Urban Arts Academy - Tamar Ghidalia - 5hrs

I had my first day at Urban Arts Academy this Monday, I arrived a little before one and had a difficult time finding their office, but I did! I filled out some paperwork and met with Tamar, the director, and we discussed what I would be doing during my time there, as well as the differences between a community based arts after school program in relation to one run for-profit. As somebody who worked at an arts based summer camp for six years, I saw many similarities, the types of people who worked there, the students excitement, the programming was even similar—the arts camp I worked at had a drummer who taught the children music and Urban Arts Academy had a visiting drummer in to teach African Drumming. Obviously, however, there are key separations, Urban Arts Academy is a program that is accessible to far more students than the summer camp I worked for, Urban Arts Academy also serves their community specifically.

I worked with a younger age group, and the teacher I will usually work with was sick, so I was working with a woman named Lydia. The students were fun, energetic, and willful—their days are very scheduled. They have a very regimented and nutrition checked snack (which I found super fascinating and important, they had a nutrition intern who planned the snack foods for the students). Throughout the day, they had a few options of activities based on an “artist of the month”—they could watch a movie, color, or create something dimensional. If the student wanted to do something different from one of these things, they could as well, as long as they asked first.

Witnessing the ways the instructors responded to the students was also informative to how I felt I should in this specific space—they dealt with students arguing fairly quickly and with some careful attention.