This month we’re sharing a series of beautiful stories about ACG community and education projects that happened in the spring! If you’re curious to see more of our past projects please check out our ACG Productions page and our previous Blogs!

This past year was interesting in education-land, with students learning mostly from home. We were amazed by the ingenuity and resilience showed by so many students and teachers throughout the year. One of our partner programs, that continually exceeds expectations, is Texas nonprofit charter school KIPP. Our partner teacher there, Brian Klenzendorf, leads a vibrant guitar program, and collaborated with others to create one of our favorite projects this year for KIPP’s spring Fine Arts showcase. 

We spoke with Brian about the project:

“I wanted to collaborate with other Fine Art teachers at the school to bring us together for the event!  Our fabulous dance teacher, Jamie Vallejo, teaches an African dance unit in the Spring so we decided to do Izika Zumba!”

How exciting! Brian created a path for his students to connect with their classmates in other performing art programs during a time in which connecting felt a little bit harder. Izika Zumba, by the way, is one of our popular teaching pieces from our ACG curriculum, arranged by our staff composer Chris Lee. Brain shared a little bit of the process behind this collaboration,  

“We learned and recorded our parts early to send a recording to the KIPP Dance teacher, so she could help choreograph the routine for her Dance 1 students. We wanted to come together as a Fine Art department for the Spring Showcase. The students were more engaged and motivated knowing that they were doing a collaborative project! 

The Fine Art Showcase was such a success that the other fine art teachers at KIPP want to make it an annual tradition.  During the Showcase, we also featured recordings from our band, steel drum, guitar, and music production classes during the Visual Art exhibit.  Doing a unified Fine Art Showcase also brought our entire school community together to celebrate the arts and we also later found out that it was a fantastic recruiting tool for our Middle Schools.  Students in 8th grade were able to see the full scope of our fine art offerings and make informed decisions about which fine art program they want to be a part of!”

 We were so delighted to watch this incredible student performance and hope it puts just as big of a smile on your face as it did on ours!

“I’m so proud of our students for their perseverance and grit from this past year!  I really enjoy seeing them play guitar or dance in their homes or outside!  They made it happen whenever and wherever they were!” -Brian Klenzendorf