Kelly Savino on sun 27 mar 11
--- firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> I haven't heard from Rust Belt artist entrepreneur Kelly Savino in
> awhile but last I heard she was keeping the bacon on the table doing guil=
> classes, private lessons and a bit of college teaching and selling some
Art education is in trouble here, too. When Jeff's job disappeared in '08, =
he took his severance period tuition waiver and went back to school to get =
certified to teach junior high science. The day we celebrated his final exa=
ms, they laid off 300 Toledo Public Schools teachers.
Now we're getting hit again. The paper reports:
"Few disagree that specialized arts instruction in elementary school is goo=
d for the young students.
But TPS says it can't afford the $7 million in salary and benefits for the =
district's 132 elementary art, music, and physical education specialists, a=
ccording to TPS leaders. In the budget proposal, the specialists are slated=
to be cut, along with about 200 other employees.
TPS officials resist the idea that they're eliminating arts, music, and phy=
sical education in elementary schools -- pointing out that the regular K-8 =
classroom instructors are trained to teach those disciplines and will make =
time in their regular schedules to do it."
The outlook is bleak for this generation of kids. The libraries in schools =
are disappearing and the local libraries are closed most of the time and lo=
sing funding fast. Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind" argues that creative th=
inking is the one American trait that can't be outsourced and done more che=
aply elsewhere; it's what made us the inventors and innovators years ago. W=
here will those creative thinkers come from now?
But people are people and as Tony says, we still want to put our hands to s=
ome use that requires skill and dexterity. Tens of thousands of years of ma=
king our own houses, clothes, food, tools and furniture have left a spot in=
our brains that is not easily satisfied by pushing buttons and tapping key=
The reality of no full time work, no health coverage, and three teenaged ki=
ds has certainly been daunting, but we're doing OK by using that artistic a=
bility to imagine a door, built it and then knock on it.
Jeff teaches two classes in earth science at a local storefront business co=
llege, plus two in oceanography on line for a university elsewhere in Ohio.=
I teach three clay/art classes at the community college, a writing class f=
or inner city parents of the city's lowest performing elementary school, on=
e to two classses at the potter's guild, and private throwing lessons on th=
It's no way to live. It's feast or famine, and my college doesn't offer stu=
dio classes in summer. As adjuncts we're paid peanuts, have no benefits, an=
d can get a phone call at any time saying "sorry, classes didnt fill this s=
ession and we gave yours to a full timer". Fortunately, people like clay, n=
ot everyone can teach it, and my college is 87% part time faculty.
I don't want to scoop my own Clay Times column, but I have also taken advan=
tage of the fact that buildings stand empty in my town. I'm transforming a =
space to teach community art/craft/hands on skill classes. So there will be=
summer work as long as there are red hat societies who want to make clay o=
carinas, or locals who want to try papermaking, felting, batik and pottery.=
Teenaged girls whose parents can afford me line up to throw after school.
None of this can help the kids in our schools who will have no access to ar=
t, music, libraries or gym classes. I feel like I need to do something. So =
far my best idea has been to reach out to boy scout and girl scout troops a=
nd offer affordable merit badge projects in pottery, basic carpentry, texti=
les, metalwork, and whatever I can provide the time, space and tools to do.
I spent my very last dime on flight and hotel for NCECA, and I'm hoping to =
make it pay off in some tangible way... hopefully clayarters in a similar b=
oat can gather in the clayart room and we can do some brainstorming about t=
he practical, hands-on application of sharing what we know how to do.
Kelly in Ohio
planting baby leeks in a cold frame today
tony clennell on sun 27 mar 11
John: Your post is damn depressing. Not only in Michigan is art education
on the ropes.The drama you outlined in Michigan is happening everywhere
except perhaps more subtly. We are hanging on to the crafts and design
program at the college levels too. The art schools are being run on the
business model where my Associate Dean is now called my supervisor and the
Dean is a manager. We have 6 students graduating from Ceramics this year an=
there have been 4 Adjuncts, a full time technician and a Acting Dept Head i=
the dept. Do the math! In the space taken by the Ceramics Dept there could
be hundreds of desks and laptops.
A 6 to 1 pupil teacher ratio is unheard of. In a strange kind of way with
the college art department moving away from applied learning it has been
good for a guy like me. Art schools now have what they call a Fine Arts
degree in Studio. Which really means you get handed a ball of string, some
dog poop, cement, wood, maybe clay and you think outside the box. You don't
know what is inside the box so you think outside it.
So with this Art Dept's are shrinking and guilds are swelling. I have gotte=
lots of work doing workshops at guilds. They are full to the rafters with
people that want to make stuff with their hands. Perhaps my friend there is
a place for your art skills as a self employed art teacher. Think about it!
The administrators will frig the art schools up trying to run them on the
business model and artist entrepreneurs will run them the way they should b=
run. I haven't heard from Rust Belt artist entrepreneur Kelly Savino in
awhile but last I heard she was keeping the bacon on the table doing guild
classes, private lessons and a bit of college teaching and selling some
pots. Hey, it's what I've been doing since the mountains were still cooling=
No pension, no retirement but a life in the arts. Can't think of what else
I'd do or rather do.
Sometimes John it is not what you are handed but how you handle what you've
On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 5:48 PM, John Post wrote=
> I try to stay away from discussing politics on this list but
> unfortunately in this case politics is having a direct impact on
> whether or not kids in Michigan will get arts education next year.
> Governor Snyder has proposed a budget that cuts school aid by $300
> dollars per pupil for the 2011-2012 school year. Federal stimulus
> money has run out so that amounts to another $170 per pupil cut. The
> governor is also shifting some retirement expenses from the State of
> Michigan down to local school districts.
> Average calculations across the state estimate each school district
> will lose $715 per student.
> In the Utica Community Schools district that I work in, this works out
> to a total loss of over 22 million dollars. What's worse is that this
> comes on the heels of 67 million dollars of cuts from the State of
> Michigan over the last 5 years.
> Governor Snyder claims that he wants public employees to pay for 20%
> of the cost of their healthcare. In my school district this could
> reduce expenses by 5 million dollars. Where will the other 17 million
> dollars in cuts come from? If programs like art, music, gym and
> library were cut, this still wouldn't add up to the 17 million dollars
> in cuts my school district will have to make.
> So Governor Snyder has a plan. If a school district is insolvent, an
> emergency financial manager will be appointed who can void union
> contracts, replace superintendents and elected school boards and make
> unilateral decisions about how a school district runs. Governor
> Snyder has already signed this Emergency Financial Manager legislation
> into law, and it applies to municipalities too. If the city you live
> in can't pay its bills, the governor can appoint an emergency
> financial manager who can remove your elected city officials.
> The Detroit Free Press has reported that with all of the cuts to
> education proposed in next year's budget, that 150 districts across
> the state will run out of money and thus qualify to have an emergency
> financial manager step in to manage them.
> This will not be good for programs like the arts. The only reason
> that the arts have survived this long in Michigan is that parents are
> entitled to the school of their choice in the county in which they
> reside. No school district wants to be without the arts because they
> fear their students will leave and go to another school district thus
> taking their education dollars with them. Competition has temporarily
> kept arts programs alive.
> Even though it is illegal for teachers to go on strike in Michigan, I
> believe that this will indeed happen before this school year closes.
> Teachers are that frustrated and afraid of how devastating next year's
> cuts will be.
> If anyone knows of two art K-12 education positions opening up for
> next year in a state with a warm sunny climate, let me know. My wife
> and I may have to leave Michigan when the lights in our art rooms are
> turned off for good.
> John Post
> Sterling Heights, Michigan
> Follow me on Twitter
Snail Scott on mon 28 mar 11
On Mar 28, 2011, at 3:47 PM, Eric Hansen wrote:
> My son who is completing his BFA...is looking...for [MFA] public =3D
schools in the New South
> who still have foundry...
When inquiring...specify iron or bronze. This can=3D20
be a very regional 'thang', and the equipment is=3D20
quite different, so many schools have one or the=3D20
other, though some have both. Some have the=3D20
equipment but offer the use of it seldom, or have=3D20
no faculty who are skilled in that area. (Sculpture=3D20
is a technically diverse field, and no one can be a=3D20
specialist in everything.) Not too familiar with the=3D20
South, personally, but I will think further.
gary navarre on mon 28 mar 11
I stopped into Kalamazoo Valley C.C. on my last trip down below and Fransi=
s Grozato told me they cut out his advanced ceramics classes so about all y=
ou are allowed is two semesters. The quality of student shows will suffer a=
nd not help produce income for the studio or people who can't have a home s=
tudio. This after "management" built a new Technical Arts building and incl=
uded a clay studio. I guess you can't learn anything technologically import=
ant from playing artist with clay. What we need is more jobs high paying an=
d less play time.
Norway, Michigan, USA
--- On Mon, 3/28/11, Eric Hansen wrote:
> From: Eric Hansen
> Subject: Re: [Clayart] art education is on the ropes
> To: Clayart@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
> Date: Monday, March 28, 2011, 3:47 PM
> My son who is completing his BFA went
> out to the NW and to the Bay
> Area to look at schools for his MFA program. All the
> schools he looked
> at have closed their foundries - he is looking to change to
> if moving to that area, or to look for public schools in
> the New South
> who still have foundry. I suppose cutting ceramics, along
> with blown
> glass IS next - you have the gas bill PLUS the management
> of emissions
> - h a n s e n -
John Rodgers on tue 29 mar 11
This philosophy of cutting taxes and declaring an emergency requiring
Draconian cuts in virtually everything - including non-budget related
issues - is a straw scarecrow. Granted, there may be need to adjust
budgets, there always is. But to do it this way it to precipitate a
bald-faced lie on the public. What is happening in the schools is only
the tip of the iceberg, and it is part and parcel of the building of an
Oligarchy State in America. Middle America is under attack. There is a
rising tide of resentment against this philosophy of tearing down
everything that has been built since Roosevelt. There is a major case of
"buyers remorse" over election of officials who embrace this "cut
taxes/declare a deficit emergency/cut spending" (code for cut services
to the citizenry) This buyers remorse first showed itself in Wisconsin,
and is spreading widely. It may take a bit of time to catch up - but
it's coming. It's entirely possible that those that want this gutting
of Middle America may get what they want - but may find that in fact
they have been sitting on the wrong side of the sawcut on the limb they
were sawing off the tree.
Clayartist and Moldmaker
88'GL VW Bus Driver
On 3/28/2011 5:04 AM, John Post wrote:
> Never mind the fact that the only way the governor is paying for his
> 1.8 billion dollar tax break for businesses is by bankrupting schools
> and municipalities.
> These are the darkest days I have seen for arts education in my career.
Jane Aebersold on tue 29 mar 11
Check Tulane University for MFA in sculpture
Jane in Norman, OK
On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 10:26 PM, Snail Scott wr=
> On Mar 28, 2011, at 3:47 PM, Eric Hansen wrote:
> > My son who is completing his BFA...is looking...for [MFA] public school=
> in the New South
> > who still have foundry...
> When inquiring...specify iron or bronze. This can
> be a very regional 'thang', and the equipment is
> quite different, so many schools have one or the
> other, though some have both. Some have the
> equipment but offer the use of it seldom, or have
> no faculty who are skilled in that area. (Sculpture
> is a technically diverse field, and no one can be a
> specialist in everything.) Not too familiar with the
> South, personally, but I will think further.
KATHI LESUEUR on wed 30 mar 11
On Mar 29, 2011, at 5:46 PM, John Rodgers wrote:
> This philosophy of cutting taxes and declaring an emergency requiring
> Draconian cuts in virtually everything - including non-budget related
> issues - is a straw scarecrow. Granted, there may be need to adjust
> budgets, there always is. But to do it this way it to precipitate a
> bald-faced lie on the public. What is happening in the schools is only
> the tip of the iceberg, and it is part and parcel of the building of =3D
> Oligarchy State in America. Middle America is under attack. There is =3D
> rising tide of resentment against this philosophy of tearing down
> everything that has been built since Roosevelt. There is a major case =3D
> "buyers remorse" over election of officials who embrace this "cut
> taxes/declare a deficit emergency/cut spending" (code for cut services
> to the citizenry).....=3D20
Since 1980 Americans have been told, and bought the argument, that we =3D
can have a government without paying for it. Taxes on the wealthiest =3D
have gone down dramatically over the past thirty years while taxes on =3D
the lower and middle classes have actually gone up. At the same time the =
wealth has shifted so that a majority of the wealth in this country is =3D
now held by about 400 people. This is a dramatic shift of wealth from =3D
lower and middle class to the wealthy. Talk about income redistribution! =
At the same time the average middle-class American pays about 30% of his =
income in taxes of some form. Those making over one million pay on =3D
average 9% of their income. It doesn't take a genius to understand why =3D
we are running large deficits. As the income of the average American =3D
goes down they pay less and less in taxes. And, as that money is shifted =
into the hands of the upper income tax revenues decline as they pay less =
tax on their income.
As for the "high" corporate taxes in this country, it doesn't matter how =
high or low corporate taxes are if they don't pay any tax. The tax code =3D
had been revised over and over to benefit corporate America to the point =
that most large corporations pay no taxes and, in fact, get money back =3D
from the government. When people in the lower classes get money in tax =3D
credits even though they've paid no income tax it's called "welfare". =3D
When huge corporations get money in tax credits back its called I don't =3D
know what. Greed? Corporations are now "people" but they don't pay like =3D
the rest of the people. People yelling the loudest about the "greedy" =3D
teachers, police, and firefighters spend more on their vacations than =3D
those people make in a year.=3D20
We are in this mess because we believed the message even when we knew it =
was a lie. As long as it did't affect any of us personally, just the =3D
other guy, we didn't care. Now it's affecting us. Is there time to =3D
change it? I don't know. But until we demand that the wealthiest in =3D
this country pay the same percentage of income as the middle class it =3D
won't get better. As long as we allow the tax code to be written so that =
many of them pay no tax it won't get better. As long as we continue to =3D
reward business decisions that hurt all of us in the long run it won't =3D
get better. It won't help to just "throw the bums out". Too often they =3D
are just replaced with similar bums. The real "people" of America will =3D
have to spend some of what little money they have to counter the =3D
corporate money and elect people who will act in our best interests.