The Perry County Council of the Arts is one of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ 13 regional Partners, charged with the responsibility of implementing quality Arts-In-Education programs in 7 counties – Perry, Juniata, Mifflin, Huntingdon, Snyder, Union and Northumberland – and 19 school districts.

Perry County Council of the Arts (PCCA) works in partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) to place professional artists in classrooms for residencies of 10 to 20 days.

RESIDENCY DETAILS

Become a Teaching Artist

PCCA invites professionally active artists of any discipline to apply for inclusion in a directory of rostered artists who are eligible to provide residencies in school settings. We can help you to:

  • Learn more about the Arts-in-Education Program
  • Understand the criteria the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has established for this state funded initiative
  • Obtain guidance in the application process
  • Acquire improved techniques in marketing your artistic excellence
  • Become a directory artist and earn income by providing a 10-30 day arts residency in an educational setting

SELECTION CRITERIA: Artists will be selected on the basis of artistic excellence, evidence of ability to interact with students, ability to implement a residency plan and availability to conduct residencies.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Artists may obtain an application by contacting Arts-in-Education Coordinator Mycenea Worley at aie@perrycountyarts.org or 717-567-7023.

Host a Residency

Schools, community organizations, libraries and other public and private organizations are welcome to become a residency host site. PCCA serves as the liaison between the host and artist to ensure a successful and rewarding program. PCCA staff assists with contracts, handles housing and travel arrangements, and collects and disperses all fees.

Residencies range from 10-20 days and are jointly funded by PCCA and the hosting education system. Business, community and government leaders are encouraged to provide valuable monetary support to help make this cost-effective, quality education available.

Artists are carefully screened, qualified and guided to work cooperatively with teachers. Their programs typically include engaging, memorable hands-on activities including dance, literature, drama, visual arts, music and theater.Become a Residency Host

How Can My School Obtain a Residency Program?

1.  Choose a discipline that is of interest to you and your students. Dance, drama, visual Arts, music and theatre can be incorporated into any curriculum. Muralist working with history students to create a graphic local history?  Jazz musician teaching improvisation to the band? Fabric artist working with ag students?  Dancer in a gym class? Poet in a math class? Mobile for a big open space? Residencies such as these and scores of others have taken place under PCCA auspices in recent years.

Some Questions to Consider:
  • Are there specific interests that you and your students have?
  • Is there a culture that you and your students would like to explore in a new way?
  • Is there a possibility that an artist in residency program could evolve into a community project?
  • Which curriculum areas would you want to include in the artist-in-residency experience?
  • Are there resources in the community to help with funding and/or materials?

2.  Contact the Arts-in-Eductaion Coordinator at PCCA by calling 717-567-7023. PCCA will be responsible for contacting the artist, scheduling, negotiating, creating agreement contracts, and making payments. We make travel arrangements and publicize your project. Our program coordinator is available to work with you throughout the residency to ensure a most successful experience for all.

3.  Determine your source for funding the required match.  Typical sources include your school’s PTO/PTA/PTG, a district budget line item, student or teacher activity funds, donations from local organizations (Lion’s Club, Moose, Civic Clubs) and fundraisers (Band boosters, sub sales, car washes, etc.)

View our Artist Roster

Gamut Theater Group
Art discipline and subdiscipline: theater, acting
Rostered since: 2010
Website: gamuttheatre.org/
Ages served: Elementary-adult

Denise Hoke
Art discipline and subdiscipline: folk Arts, fiber arts
Rostered since: 2009
Website: perrycountyarts.org/community-events/public-art/
Ages served: Elementary-senior

Jonathan Laidacker
Art discipline and subdiscipline: visual arts, mural painting
Rostered since: 2013
Website: muralarts.org/artist/jonathan-laidacker/
Ages served: Middle and secondary school students

Linda Billet
Art discipline and subdiscipline: visual arts, #glassmagician
Rostered since: 2011
Website: lindabillet.com
Ages served: Middle and secondary students, adults and seniors

Kuen Kuen Liu Spichiger
Art discipline and subdiscipline: visual arts, mural painting
Rostered since: 2018
Website: facebook.com/kuenart
Ages served: All age levels

More artists coming soon!

Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is a state agency charged with the development and promotion of the arts in the Commonwealth. To accomplish its mission, the PCA encourages educational excellence through participation in the creative process in schools and educational settings. Study of the arts provides Pennsylvania’s youth with positive models for teamwork, project management and goal setting, along with opportunities for academic achievement and intellectual and emotional discovery.

For more info: http://www.arts.pa.gov

CONTACT

To receive an informational brochure or to apply as an artist, host site or funding agency, please contact Arts-in-Education Coordinator Mycenea Worley at 717-567-7023 or aie@perrycountyarts.org.

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Denise Hoke

Denise Hoke began quilting in 1979 after a Mennonite friend gave her a needle and thread and showed her the art of hand quilting. Hoke taught herself how to piece together a quilt and spent the next few decades building a clientele of customers and participating in juried art shows including The Little Buffalo Festival. In 1997, one of her large wall hangings was accepted and displayed at the National Quilt Show in Lancaster. As her love for the art continued to grow, so did her involvement in the community. Hoke has been a PCCA Roster Artist since 2009, she is a member of Perry Piecemakers and the Ickesburg Quilters, and she has hosted well-attended quilting retreats.

In her art residencies, she begins by talking about quilts and their history. Her lessons are interdisciplinary, focusing on local history and the importance of mathematics and geometry in design. Students use all of these elements to create a piece with shape and color and to tell a story using symbolism. Teamwork and communication are crucial to the success of each mural as the students must work closely to design and complete each work of art.

This year, Hoke shared her passion for mural painting with students at East Juniata High School and Mifflin County High School expanding PCCA’s Quilt Mural Trail to a grand total of 30 public murals! Each school also designed pieces to beautify their own space.

East Juniata High School welcomed Denise in its first solo 10-day residency. Art teacher Tina Kerstetter and her students worked with historian Seth Moseby, choosing to highlight the interaction between Native Americans and settlers, the area’s beautiful natural resources, the logging industry, and the county’s oldest church. They gifted these beautiful creations to four local families who will proudly display them on their barns. The Mifflin County High School art department welcomed historian Bill Peightel. Art teachers Aimee Hubley and Jennifer Hartzler had a very focused mission. They wanted to honor the past and focus on future revitalization. As a result, they worked with Hoke and their students to create abstract modern quilt designs which highlighted the Underground Railroad, the four generals who came from Mifflin County, the 1972 flood, the meaning of Kishacoquillis (the snakes are already in their den) and the annual celebration of Goose Day, to name a few. They gifted their quilts to a group of forward-thinking, community-minded businesses and organizations.

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Linda Billet

Linda Billet is a glass magician! She joined our team of Roster Artists in 2011 and brought her enthusiastic approach to teaching students to create glass mosaics, and a life, they will love. Billet pursued her dream of becoming a full-time glass mosaic artist when her passion for creating overshadowed the stability of her job with the U.S. Postal Service. Now, she encourages people of all ages to pursue their passion. She has even written a book, “My Meteoric Rise (To Here): The Path of One Glass Artisan,” to share her story and her philosophy. Billet’s commissioned pieces grace private residences as well as public spaces like the Yuko Nii Foundation in Brooklyn, the Hershey Medical Center, and Harrisburg International Airport.

When working with students, Billet shares her appreciation of texture, dimension, and the repetition of patterns to create pieces with depth. The more challenging the concept, the greater the reward! Students learn to design, cut and adhere glass, and grout the pieces. Some projects allow participants to create individual fused glass tiles that serve as foundational pieces for the mosaic. This year, Billet led two projects through PCCA.

Midd-West School District welcomed Billet for the fifth year! This year she worked with high school students in grades 9-12 and art teacher Tracey Mitchell, who described the full-spectrum project as “mind-blowing.” These pieces are a source of pride for the students and have become part of Midd-West’s identity.

Juniata High School welcomed Billet for the school’s longest residency in their nine-year history of working with PCCA. The dynamic team of Billet and art teacher Sara Sutton rallied the support of community members and area businesses and agencies to create remarkable momentum for this project. Students worked diligently to complete the body of work and invited community members to place pieces on the border of the mosaic. The completed mosaic hangs on the Juniata County Library in Mifflintown where residents can enjoy it for decades to come.

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Jon Laidacker

Jon Laidacker is a muralist who joined PCCA’s family of teaching artists in 2013. Laidacker works with the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and holds an MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He has worked with projects of all sizes in vastly different neighborhoods and these experiences have influenced his work in the studio. Jon was the lead muralist on the 85,000-square-foot “How Philly Moves” installation, which spans a half mile of the Philadelphia International Airport. You can read more about Jon’s journey to becoming a professional artist in his article in our Summer Arts Magazine.

This year, Jon led mural projects at three schools in our service area including Greenwood High School, West Perry Middle School, and Shikellamy High School. As Perry County celebrates its Bicentennial, the focus for Greenwood High School students and art teacher, Jill Deimler, was clear! Historian and former Greenwood Elementary School teacher David Patton provided an enthusiastic account of Millerstown yesteryear, the town that was a transportation hub of the county. It was a place where toll bridges were washed away by a flood of pumpkins, Jesse James slept in the Hotel on the square, and Governor James Adam Beaver was born. During Youth Art Day more than 100 community members picked up a paintbrush to contribute to this design which will hang on an exterior wall of the Millerstown Fire Department.

New Bloomfield is celebrating a central piece of history as well. West Perry Middle School students and art teacher Molly Knisely invited historian Glenn Holliman to share stories of Western Perry County. Laidacker worked closely with Mayor Arlis Krammes to ensure that the final design paid tribute to the dedication ceremony of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument which stands in the center of town. This piece is expected to be displayed publicly in New Bloomfield, the county seat.

Laidacker returned to his stomping grounds earlier this year to work with Shikellamy High School students to pay homage to Sunbury’s history. Historian Mike Rouse provided an intriguing account of the area and art teacher Ingrid Howard and her students worked with Laidacker during his Teaching Artist Certificate Program through the University of the Arts and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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Kuen Kuen Liu Spichiger

Kuen Kuen Liu Spichiger became a PCCA rostered artist this past spring. Spichiger is a nature-inspired artist, children’s picture book illustrator and author, and art teacher. She grew up in Hong Kong, studied graphic design, and worked as an art teacher and graphic designer before moving to the U.S. to pursue both a master’s and a doctoral degree in art education.

She has taught summer art camps and has been on the education committee at Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art since 2012. She also offers art classes for all ages at The Gallery on the Square in Millersburg. Kuen has also illustrated children’s books, including “Bee Umbrella Sky: The Miao Legend of Batik in Guizhou, China” and “Art is a Friend for Life,” which are available for purchase at PCCA Gallery, along with her nature-inspired watercolor paintings, greeting cards, art prints and educational creations.

During her residency at Susquenita, Spichiger worked in both the elementary and middle school art and S.T.E.M. classrooms, with educational support from the Lower Susquehanna River Keepers Association. The collaboration created a S.T.E.A.M.-based project, which not only highlights the beauty of the Susquehanna River and its inhabitants, but it also taught students about our impact on the ecosystem and how we can be good stewards of this beautiful resource. More than 900 students participated in the creation of this mural which now graces the wall of the Marysville Borough Pool building.

Heiter Center Kline
Urie Kline

Urie Kline is our newest teaching artist, just starting his residency at the Donald Heiter Community Center in Lewistown, but he’s no stranger to teaching! A taiko drummer, Kline is the founder of Lyco Taiko, and serves as a drumming instructor in world drumming at Lycoming College and a percussion instructor at Jersey Shore High School. He completed an apprenticeship at the Taiko Center of the Pacific in Hawaii.

Kline’s holistic teaching style encompasses not only rhythms, but also history, cultural contexts and the aesthetics of taiko performance. Students will learn body awareness, how to play in time and subdivide the beat. They will even learn to make their own drums using salvaged tires and shipping tape! The project started with a public performance at River Woods Senior Living Community to introduce the art form to potential participants. It will conclude with a public performance.

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Popcorn Hat Players

Popcorn Hat Players (PHP) Children’s Theatre has been entertaining children and their families since 1993, bringing fairy tales, folk tales and fables to new audiences every year. Using creative comedy and improvisation, the Players write original adaptations and breathe new life into unforgettable stories.
This rostered artist group has worked with elementary school age children to create a production that focuses on folk tales from other countries for the whole school to enjoy.

Early in June, we dedicated our latest Arts in Education mural during a community celebration at the Marysville Borough Pool on Saturday, June 9. Following a brief ceremony, the Marysville Borough Pool offered two free hours of swimming to students who attended the unveiling. Created through PCCA’s Arts in Education program, a partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, this mural is the first of its kind for PCCA. With this project, the Arts in Education program has begun what it intends to be an ongoing focus on the ecological attributes that make up Perry County’s beautiful, rural landscape. With an eye toward conservation and education, PCCA hopes to use the arts as a way to inform young people of the importance of preserving our natural resources.

“Our newest mural of the Perry County Historical Mural Trail brings a new twist to the Trail and added environmental education to our local schools,” says PCCA Executive Director Erika Juran. “This residency project honors the richness and depth of both our natural resources and our local history, two assets of Perry County. Our organization already focuses on using recycled materials in its programming for Drop-In Art and other residencies.” Titled “Susquenita Supports the Susquehanna,” this mural is a co-creation between Susquenita Elementary School, Susquenita Middle School, and artist in residence Kuen Kuen Liu Spichiger of Halifax. Additionally, the Lower Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association educated students from both schools about the history, health, and environmental importance of the Susquehanna River. This project engaged almost 900 students between the two schools, and was supported by elementary art teacher Alison Binger-Seidle, elementary STEM teacher Sarah Baer, and middle school art teacher Abby Fisher, as well as support from school staff and administration.

The mural depicts six different fishes that are native to the Susquehanna River: brook trout, tiger muskellunge, walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and American eel. The fish were designed and painted by the elementary school students. Additionally, the border of the mural was designed by the middle school and includes themes of environmental conservation. The mural is permanently displayed at the Marysville Borough Pool. PCCA thanks the generous financial supporters of this mural project—Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Project SHARE, Susquenita PTO, Sheetz, Blick Art Supplies, Mutzabaugh’s Market, Hometown Mortgage Resources, Nancy’s Soft Pretzels, and the Marysville Sportsmen’s Association.

Each residency is unique and responds to the needs of the students and opportunities presented by the learning environment. A residency can be designed to meet the needs of YOUR SCHOOL! Host schools and artists work collaboratively to develop and implement an artist residency tailored to each school’s specific needs.

Imagine a professional muralist working to make the Civil War more vivid to a high school history class, a storyteller mentoring third graders who are learning Aesop’s Fables, a modern dance instructor broadening horizons in a physical education class, a poet teaching English students to find greater meaning in their everyday lives, or a visual artist bringing a whole new skill and passion to an art class.