Welcome to the St. Mary Cultural Arts Program!
We are delighted that you are interested in the St. Mary Cultural Arts program. This program incorporates the Illinois Elementary School Standards and has been developed as a cross curricular presentation of art works and field trips to expose our students to famous artists in all mediums, to architecture and museums in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
Cultural Arts is an easy and great way to be involved in the classroom. Each grade has a different schedule of monthly art presentations, which generally take place in October and November and January through April (these are listed under “Curriculum”). Class field trips take place in May. Each class has a volunteer coordinator that will help find a date and time that works for you and the teachers. Coordinators can also help you locate the resources you need.
What do you do as a volunteer? First, you find a partner who can work with you. Generally, this is another parent but you can also invite your spouse, a grandparent, etc. to help you. You and your partner present the “picture of the month” to the class. The research is done for you on the artist and the artwork and all the information is available on the website under “Curriculum”. Second, you lead the students in each classroom in an art related activity as a follow-up to the artist and artwork that was studied that day (this is why it’s a good idea to have a partner – one helps one classroom; the other works with the second classroom). Ideas and suggestions for activities are also provided on the web pages for a specific artist under “Class Projects,” by clicking Curriculum, scrolling to the grade, clicking on the artist, and scrolling down beneath the artwork section to “Class Projects”. The whole presentation and activity takes about 40 – 45 minutes (10 – 15 minutes presentation and 20 – 30 minutes activity).
A location directory listing the location of all St. Mary’s beautiful art collection can be accessed on the website by clicking “Art Location.”
You can prepare and pass out to students an “Ask Me” memo, encouraging the parents to engage their students about the Cultural Arts presentation. A template can be downloaded in Word format by clicking “Ask Me Form”.
HOW DO I VOLUNTEER?
Please email the committee member (contact info below) for the grade you're interested in working with.