Five-Tier Educational Support Program
The Five-Tier Educational Support Program provides sustainable and life-long educational opportunities, in which participants learn fundamental skills in technology through creating digital art and animation. The FTESP supports an individual starting at a young age by offering free animation classes, then learning digital art in the school classroom from a curriculum we helped develop with their teachers, subsequently receiving hands-on experience through NGAS internships in teaching and administration at the college level, and finally having the opportunity to be employed as a contracted teaching artist with NGAS upon graduation—teaching the next generation of that may be taking a free animation class for the first time.
TIER 1: Youth and teen classes:
The first-tier of our educational support program focuses on exposing students to digital equipment, software, and technology at a young age. We currently offer free classes—available through the Rockford Public Library—that may be the first opportunity for young participants from local communities to have direct access to hardware or software, which curbs traditional fears and anxieties surrounding technology. We believe that animation, video, and digital art can easily translate their value to therapeutic, educational, and community settings. Learning to utilize technology through creating art not only gives young participants agency and confidence, but it also creates a tangible skill-set which increases general academic performance and subsequently, hireability.
TIER 2: After School Program, Summer Camp, and in-depth classes
The second-tier expands upon the introductory free classes of the first-tier by providing more in-depth and hands-on experience with art and technology in a Digital Summer Camp and an After-School Program.
Both programs submerge students in the world of digital media, video, and animation. While learning practical skills, like designing with Adobe Photoshop, video editing with Premiere, creating motion graphics with After Effects, along with other animation software, students will develop creative problem solving and storytelling skills, whilst acquiring technical experience. Furthermore, the After-School Program particularly focuses on digital education in tandem with traditional homework help and school support.
TIER 3: Professional development for teachers
The Third-tier of our educational support program focuses on supporting and assisting district teachers in developing and delivering technology based art curriculums in their classroom.
“This class was inspiring and brought back the love of learning for myself again. I have lost that piece a bit because I have let the little burdens of the teacher life slowly bring me down. Thank you for renewing that energy that I needed!” — Rockford Public School teacher
“This workshop is what all of the fine arts workshops and get togethers should be like!” — Rockford Public School teacher
We implement our Third-tier by offering immersive professional development opportunities for K–12 educators. We currently offer inventive and inspiring professional development classes, workshops, and camps that focus on digital arts and animation. We see our forward-thinking, interdisciplinary approach to programming and classes as an opportunity to assist teachers in quickly expanding their resources by serving as an interactive, hands-on resource for learning, thinking, and creating, whilst acquiring important technological skills through producing digital and time-based artworks.
TIER 4: Internships for current college students
The fourth-tier offers multidisciplinary internships that are tailored to student’s specific interest: teaching, art administration, design, curating, and outreach. Through these internships, we provide college and pre-college level students with an introduction to disciplines that are not offered in any of Rockford’s higher education curricula. These disciplines may include animation, video art, sound art, coding as art, virtual reality as art, performance art, or socially engaged art to name a few.
Because of our established relationships with digital art programs in major universities throughout Illinois we not only prepare our students for specific curricula, but consider it a recruitment opportunity for both the intern and University. Our specific relationship to Illinois State University’s Arts Technology program and Northern Illinois University’s Time Arts program keeps us current on state wide digital art curricula, offerings, and opportunities.
TIER 5: Paid teaching opportunities
Our fifth-tier prioritizes hiring our alumnus as contracted teachers. With the skills and experience already obtained from New Genres Art Space and with the familiarity of our mission, our teachers not only guide a new generation of animators, digital artists, and teachers but act as mentors to students who are in the same position as they were a few years prior.