Arts & Culture can be an effective educational strategy for engaging American students, teachers, and entire school communities with Israel. The BASIS Arts & Culture Specialist supports schools that choose to adopt this strategy.
The role of Arts & Culture specialist goes beyond that of programmer. A portion of this consultant’s work does involve keeping schools updated on available Israeli cultural opportunities (films, exhibitions, performances, artist visits and workshops) and helping the schools arrange to bring their students to them, or conversely the cultural opportunities to the schools. However, the more significant piece of the Arts & Culture specialist’s work involves guiding schools in the development of in-school curricular units that relate to and employ Israeli artistic output, or units that explore Israel through the use of art education methodologies—or a combination of both.
The Arts & Culture specialist works with a school to plan family or community Israel Education programs employing art. She is a key resource to schools that want to focus on “portraiture,” or making Israel visible in the school’s physical space.
To leverage resources and opportunities, the Arts & Culture specialist can work with several schools together as a group—both in terms of professional development with teachers, and arts programming for students. The Arts & Culture specialist also creates a network of art teachers from the BASIS schools for the purpose of sharing resources and best practices.
The professional requirements for the Arts & Culture specialist are many. They must be an experienced educator, knowledgeable about curriculum development and professional development for teachers—specifically within the Israel Education context. They must be experienced in arts programming and well connected to, and current on, the arts scene in Israel.