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Dancing into the Arts

Have you ever seen a kosher ham? We’ll, I’m it. Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Bob Gralnick and I am the Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at Progressive Arts Alliance, and if given the opportunity to make a proverbial fool out of myself I am going to do so in the best possible way. Participating in dance class with young students in an effort to glean information to ramp up rigor and practices is one of those ways.

As the Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, it is my job to oversee and help build and refine the curriculum development expertise and instructional practices of PAA’s artist-educators. It is my goal, and the goal of PAA, to create rigorous learning opportunities that employ best practices in teaching that utilize an arts integration approach, and there is no better way to become acquainted with our unique program than to participate in it.

During my initial tenure, I have danced with first graders as caterpillars to demonstrate the life cycle of the butterfly. I have performed with the kindergarten pretending to be various shapes to help solidify conceptual knowledge of early geometry. I have participated during printmaking lessons focusing on diversity, biome projects utilizing Scratch coding, stop motion animation projects illustrating cell structure, and the list goes on. Whether it be integration though performing or visual arts, the experiences have provided tremendous amounts of information regarding the amazing things that the PAA brings to students of all ages, as well as providing an avenue to begin to help our artist-educators incorporate practices that will strengthen an already incredible program. Did I mention I had a whole lot of fun, too?

After our last session at a partner school, a first grader, Vicki, said to me, “I’ll miss you.” Filled with the pride and joy educators know from having such positive experiences with children, I said, “When we see caterpillars and butterflies we can think of dancing.” She smiled broadly, and I did, too.

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Latest News from PAA


PAA supports STEM learning in Cleveland  

During the 2013-14 school year, PAA invigorated STEM learning in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Prek-8 STEM Network through classroom residencies led by our Artist-Educators. PAA’s work provided a wide range of art forms to supplement students’ learning, including media arts production, sculpture, dance, ceramics, and more. Click here to learn more about our STEM programming.

Join PAA in our community this June-August

We’re pleased to bring our programming to a number of locations throughout the Northeast Ohio region this summer. Our programs will take place in a libraries, community centers, and neighborhood parks. Programs range from one-time workshops to week-long camps.
Click here for a list of dates and programs taking place this summer.

Support student scholarships on Indiegogo

We’re looking forward to launching the 13th annual installment of our RHAPSODY Hip-Hop Summer Arts Camp, as featured in the
World Almanac for Kids. Please consider a donation of any size to help fund scholarships to our camp for students in need.
Click here to show your support for PAA’s students on Indiegogo.

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PAA’s Project 5 Documentary at Cleveland International Film Festival

We’re excited to announce the acceptance of Progressive Arts Alliance’s short
film Project 5: When I Hear Music into this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival. Project 5 is the story of Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone’s 1980s
break dancing group.

Visit for more information.

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PAA All-Stars Featured on Channel 3 News

To learn more about the PAA All-Stars’ trip to Harvard University and their benefit concert on October 16, click here.

Click here to see the recent announcement in the Plain Dealer about the concert on October 16.

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Open DJ Lab for Teens at Playhouse Square

Progressive Arts Alliance is proud to partner with the Arts Education Department at Playhouse Square to host Open DJ Labs for teens after-school on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays:

THIS WEEK!! Tuesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 6 – 4-6 pm
Tuesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 6 – 4-6 pm
Tuesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 13 – 4-6 pm
Tuesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 20 – 4-6 pm
Tuesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 27 – 4-6 pm

Admission is FREE!
All students are welcome to join DJ Doc to learn more about DJing, scratching, and the art of turntablism in general. Even if you’ve never tried DJing, the program is open to you! If you already have DJ skills and need a free place with equipment to practice on, the program is also open to you!

The Open DJ Lab will take place at the Idea Center at Playhouse Square.
The Idea Center is located at 1375 Euclid Avenue, at the intersection of East 14th Street and Euclid in the heart of Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland.

DJ Doc

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We needed a digital make over, and we got one!

Welcome to our new and greatly improved site. We’ve decided to start a Progressive Arts Alliance blog to keep everyone up-to-date on PAA’s most current events. Come by often and see what we have new going on.

Right now, PAA’s latest addition is Laura Einsel our summer intern from Oberlin College. She was gracious enough to pose with a welcome sign to greet all of our web visitors.

Seriously, stop by tomorrow for a more interesting entry.

-Ron Sims II
Program Manager

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