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ArtsEdNet (appeal for Judy)

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From: Christa Wise (cwise_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu May 22 2003 - 11:40:18 PDT


Dear Mr. Brod,

I cannot imagine how I would get along without the ArtsEdNet.

It would be very lonely.

As the only art teacher at a rural middle/high school, I have no colleagues
to ask for advice, no colleagues to inspire me. When I have question about
process, pedagogy, or theory, I look to this list for help.

While some of the teachers at my school question why I would want the
barrage of mail that comes with being on this list, I am thrilled to have
the opportunity to interact with my peers. Even though I have taught for
over 20 years, I learn something new every week on this list. To me that is
huge! Teaching art can be a thankless job, but we support and appreciate
one another. We applaud accomplishments, share good ideas, send instant
help, and have the kind of dialogue that helps us all to grow professionally.

Without the ArtsEdNet I would not have been part of the Fulbright Memorial
Fund program to visit Japan and share its culture and art with my students.
I might never have considered National Board Certification. The support of
my cyber colleagues has enabled me to teach junior high effectively when I
never had before. The interaction of list members has inspired me to write
a grant for an artist-in-residence to help construct a student designed and
made sculpture for permanent display ay our school. Inspired by the
websites of my ArtsEdNet friends, I attended a Technology coference in Long
Beach that included a trip to the Getty to make a virtual field trip
presentation and workshops to teach me how to construct my own website.
When I needed advocacy help, this group provided it. I even learned about
Sargent gold tempera paint, metallic pencils, how to repair greenware -
small items to those not in the trenches but very big when it comes to
enabling my program. Whom will I go to if you stop your support?

The ArtsEdNet has fulfilled its promise as a forum by helping teachers to
teach better. In your own words:
                     "We encourage you to join artsednet Talk, an online community of
                   teachers and learners. You'll be able to take part in a
variety of
                   conversations about art education with colleagues from
across the
                   United States or even around the world through e-mail.

                   In addition to conversations on topics of your choice,
artsednet
                   Talk features programs consisting of Web exhibitions on
specific
                   topics and special guests leading discussions of the
issues raised in
                   the Web exhibitions. We invite you to join ..."

Now that you have created this "online community" it is utterly
unbelieveable that you might consider terminating it. An institution that
dedicated itself to transforming the way art was taught and valued in the
nation's schools cannot just pull the plug.

The ArtsEdNet was one of the great successes of the Getty center. Please do
not reverse this. The isolation would be quite unbearable.

Christa Wise
Art Teacher
Saugatuck High School
Saugatuck, MI 49453

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