Community Art and Creative Fridays

Hello from BART!

BART’s 8th graders are feeling very excited because we just received a second round of letters from our French pen pals in Strasbourg!

We are also excited to start Creative Fridays! Creative Fridays will allow us to work on long-term art projects inspired by the novels we have recently completed. The purpose of this creative project is to show what we have learned about culture or history from reading a historical fiction novel or memoir. We also want to use public art as a way to build community and compassion in the BART community. 

Hanna Leatherman, from The Clark Museum, helped us kick off Creative Fridays by introducing the concept of community art. We talked about purpose and audience of community art.

We also looked at and discussed example of effective and not-so-effective community art. Hanna organized these examples into CHEERS and JEERS! Here are some highlights from the CHEERS category in Hanna’s presentation:




CETA (Community Engagements through the Arts)
Transylvania University, Lexington, KY


Utility Paintboxes
Pittsfield, MA


“Plan to Change the World” Mural
Mt. Greylock Middle School

Finally, here is a link to Ms. Marr’s Creative Project Assignment and Rubric. This whole unit is brand new–feedback, suggestions, or ideas are welcome 🙂

We will keep you updated on our progress!



Choice and Control


8th grade students at BART Charter School are currently studying stories about immigration, choice, and control. These topics connect with the concepts we discussed at The Clark Art Museum, as part of the Curating a Culture of Respect project. Our big question: 

What can we learn about unfamiliar cultures and history through story?


Every student has chosen to read one of the following novels:

  • Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez
  • Shooting Kabul by NH Senzai
  • Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata

After completing the book, each student will design and develop a creative project that shows what they have learned about culture or history from reading a historical fiction novel or memoir. They will also describe the purpose of their creation in an artist statement. 

We will update with pictures of the projects in the next few weeks!


Mt. Greylock's 7th Grade English Class Connects with Curating a Culture of Respect Project

Dear All,

Here is the literature that we’re reading that connects to the concepts in the Curating a Culture of Respect project:

Bystander, by James Preller
The Thing about Jellyfish, by Ali Benjamin
Wonder, by RJ Palacio
The Big Wave, by Pearl S Buck
The Miracle Worker (story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan), play by William Gibson
Every student reads a book about the Holocaust (fiction or non fiction)

Each of these stories has the theme of overcoming challenges/hardships. The theme of the first half of the year is: “Who am I? Who/what has helped me become the person I am today?” We then ask kids to define (and try to become) the best version of themselves. Later in the year we discuss how challenges and hardship define us and makes us stronger—helping us become the best version of ourselves.

We would love to hear about other books or recommendations around how helping, supporting and respecting others can bring out the best in all of us.