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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Steve Jobs Knew About Arts in Education

From a great Huffington Post article by Inderpal Grewal entitled "A Lesson From Steve Jobs: Arts and Technology Education Are Related" about Steve Jobs and how his expertise in calligraphy taught him about innovation and the benefits of arts in education:
Calligraphy is both aesthetic and technical and these two facets cannot be separated. It is also a lesson in history, where Chinese scrolls, Islamic arts and the Illuminated manuscripts of the European Middle Ages can all be examined together. It provides a history of power of religion, monarchies and of communication and technologies at different periods of time. It also suggests that laborious and meticulous writing has its pleasures and can also be used as innovation. For Jobs, it was in his recollection of the Calligraphy course in his commencement address that made the difference that marked the Mac from other computers, and this difference was what millions of people and consumers‹appreciated. . . .
Humanities and arts cannot be pigeonholed as unnecessary or extra, as luxuries that we cannot afford now, as simply being about pleasure rather than about productivity. They are central to innovation, and to separate these is to the detriment of all of us.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

School Leaders Share Findings From Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Grants

Two high-need school districts in Jersey City, NJ and Long Beach, CA shared their findings regarding integrating the arts into the core curriculum at an April 6th Education Policy Briefing at the U.S. Department of Education. Read their stories and successes here:


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

U.S. Department of Education Article on Arts Integration

The USDOE Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) released a feature online article this month entitled "‘It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again’ for Arts Integration.”

The article is a brief look at the research, resources, programs and initiatives in arts integration that have evolved in the 34 years since a national panel convened by David Rockefeller Jr. issued its 1977 report Coming to Our Senses: The Significance of the Arts for American Education.

The article compares and contrasts the findings from the 1977 report with those presented in the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities’ 2011 report Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Launch of Our 2012 Art Contest!

One lucky Louisiana high school junior or senior will get to work with George Rodrigue to design Louisiana's Official Bicentennial Poster! Plus, 15 winners will share in over $45,000 in scholarships and awards. For more information visit www.rodriguefoundation.org/artcontest

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amazing Federal Report on Arts Education

If you have any interest in arts education then you must read this extensive report from the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities that outlines everything you could want to know.

The report does a great job of presenting the current state of the arts in schools and then looks at specific examples of school systems that have improved when they made the arts a priority.

Please read it and share what you learn!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

About George Rodrigue Foundation

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

LSU MOA Exhibit - Educator Preview

Attention Teachers!

Be the first to see Blue Dogs and Cajuns on the River opening at the LSU Museum of Art at the Shaw Center in Baton Rouge!

All area educators are invited to attend a FREE workshop and exhibition preview presented by George and Wendy Rodrigue on Thursday, July 21, 2011 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. The workshop will include a lecture, walk-through and presentation of education resources for the k-12 classroom.

This event is free, but pre-registration is required.

Email marney@georgerodriguefoundation.org to register today!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Announcing Arts4Education.org

A George Rodrigue Art Campaign

To commemorate the exhibition "Blue Dogs and Cajuns on the River: George Rodrigue from the New Orleans Museum of Art and other collections" from July 23 to September 18, at the LSU Museum of Art in the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA, artist George Rodrigue now starts a campaign to benefit arts and education in Louisiana.


A Number One Tiger Fan
A signed silkscreen print by George Rodrigue
Open Edition
$500 + Tax and Shipping

Order online at www.arts4education.org

About Us

"Arts 4 Education" is a new art campaign created by Louisiana's Artist Laureate and creator of the Blue Dog series, George Rodrigue, in order to help art and education in Louisiana. After learning of his exhibit at the LSU Museum of Art, Rodrigue decided that he wanted to create a special silkscreen print in order to raise funds to help his home state.

Since 2001, Rodrigue has embarked on similar campaigns to help after the attacks of September 11 and after Hurricane Katrina. Through these efforts, Rodrigue raised millions of dollars for charity through his "Blue Dog Relief" print sales campaign.

Additionally, in 2003, together with the Tiger Athletic Foundation, Rodrigue raised more than $1 million to help build LSU mascot Mike the Tiger a new habitat. Following that success, Rodrigue and his foundation, the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA), and TAF now join efforts with the LSU Museum of Art to promote and assist arts and education in Louisiana.

In 2009, Rodrigue founded the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts in order to bring attention to an issue important to him. Through GRFA, Rodrigue advocates the importance of the visual arts in the development of our youth. Programs include an annual arts scholarship contest, art supplies for Louisiana schools through “George’s Art Closet,” free access to nationally accredited lesson plans, school visits and art therapy and more.

"Blue Dogs and Cajuns on the River: George Rodrigue from the New Orleans Museum of Art and Other Collections," is an exhibition highlighting the progression of George Rodrigue's forty-year career. The exhibition features Rodrigue's Blue Dog paintings from a state-wide traveling exhibition organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art, as well as additional works from the artist's personal archives and local private collections.

The Tiger Athletic Program (TAF) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting LSU and its Athletic Program. Proceeds from this campaign will help to improve educational programs for student athletes on LSU's campus. The LSU Museum of Art collects, conserves, exhibits, and interprets the fine and decorative arts entrusted to its care and stewardship, providing opportunities for research, education, and enjoyment to students, scholars, and visitors. For more information about the museum and the "Cajuns and Blue Dogs on the River" exhibit visit, www.lsumoa.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Open House/Preview for Saturday's Art Walk

We will be be having an Open House/Preview opening for this Saturday's Art Walk on Julia St. by the New Oleans Arts District.

Our official Grand Opening is not until August, but, we want you to come by and see our space and learn more about what we do!

When: Saturday, June 4, 2011, 6:00-9:00 PM

Where: 747 Magazine St. New Orleans

Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Foundation Offices!

Announcing the opening of our NEW Foundation Offices in New Orleans, LA at 747 Magazine Street! We are officially in our new space and operating from our new location in the heart of the New Orleans Arts Districts (NOAD).

With over 3,000 sq. ft. we will be able to host student field trips, summer camps, teacher workforce development workshops, fundraisers, and many other events! Our space features some of George Rodrigue's most famous original paintings and we will have a Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening Ceremony in July.

Until then, please enjoy some preview photos of our space.

Eagle Scout Print Benefits Boy Scouts and GRFA

In honor of George Rodrigue receiving the "Distinguished Eagle Scout" award from the Boy Scouts of America, he created this limited edition silkscreen print called "Eagle Scout"

You can buy your print for $500 from the Sotheast Louisiana Council of the Boy Scouts by clicking here . Proceeds benefit the Boy Scouts and George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.

On May 12, 2011, George received his award at a special dinner. Pictured are Honorary Chairman of the event Billy Nungesseer with Wendy Rodrigue and George's original Scout Master, Donald LaBauve, with his son and fellow scout, Ronald.

For more information about George as an Eagle Scout and the award read Wendy's blog entry from"Musing's of an Artist's Wife" by clicking here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Monroe (that’s MUN-roe), Louisiana

Entry taken in its entirety from Wendy Rodrigue's "Musing's of an Artist's Wife" original blog post. Learn all about our GRFA museum event, sidewalk chalk event, and George's Art Closet high school visit.

For a complete photo album of our Monroe trip visit here.

Until recently I thought I understood Louisiana, its ins and outs, its people, its terrain, and its history.

Yet we spent much of this past week in northeast Louisiana, and I found town after town unfamiliar, including our destination, Monroe, a city of cypress groves, 60,000 people, and tremendous state pride, located 270 miles north of New Orleans.

Monroe’s claim to fame is the birth of Delta Airlines, a small company started in 1924. They delivered mail to the rural South and, beginning in 1929, carried passengers, continuing until 1941 when Delta moved to Atlanta.

The locals place the accent on ‘Mun’ rather than ‘roe,’ a distinction I should have adopted easily, since I had a great uncle named with the same inflection. Yet I messed it up time and again, briefly reprieved when my stepson Jacques Rodrigue innocently flubbed the name Rayville when he introduced our 2011 scholarship winner who lives in the nearby town.

“It’s pronounced ‘Rayvul,’" chuckled the woman behind me.

(pictured above, George Rodrigue with GRFA 2011 First Place scholarship winner, Savannah Bridges, this week at the Masur Museum, Monroe)

We visited this part of the state for a tour organized by John Bullard, Director Emeritus of the New Orleans Museum of Art, in celebration of the museum’s centennial. Exhibition highlights include Blue Dog and Hurricane paintings from NOMA’s permanent collection, as well as Oak Tree and Cajun paintings from George’s private collection, and best of all (certainly for me), rarely-seen original paintings from local collectors.

The show, titled “Blue Dogs and Cajuns," also includes thewinning artwork by GRFA's sixteen scholarship winners. The exhibition premiered in January at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum in Lake Charles, Louisiana and travels in various forms during the rest of this year to Alexandria, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport. (schedule posted here)

“I’m very thankful to John Bullard and the New Orleans Museum of Art for scheduling this statewide tour and arranging my visit once again to the Masur Museum. Although my Cajun paintings appeared as well, this time the Blue Dog was the hit of the show.” – G.R.

(pictured above, George Rodrigue with members of the Advisory Council from the New Orleans Museum of Art, representing the museum during the Monroe events)

George Rodrigue visited Monroe often over the years. In fact, some thirty years ago the Masur Museum hosted an exhibition of his Cajun paintings.
“At the show I met Dr. Armstrong and his wife Gabriella, a purebred Italian, born in Italy. They liked my work and immediately bought a painting. We’ve been friends ever since.” – G.R.

“At some point they commissioned me to paint their family portrait. Yet each time I drove to Monroe to photograph the group, Gabriella was pregnant again. It took twelve years for them to settle down, and so I finally painted the family.” – GR

And indeed, that friendship remains stronger than ever. Ralph recently nominated George for the Distinguished Eagle Award, making him one of only six recipients to be honored in this way in the history of Louisiana Scouting (related post here). In addition, it was Ralph and Gabriella that sponsored this year’s Monroe exhibition and hosted the patron party in their home.

(pictured below, George and Wendy Rodrigue with members of the staff and museum board of the Masur Museum, including Ralph and Gabriella Armstrong, far right)

While in Monroe we also hosted “Sidewalk Chalk with George” at the Emily P. Robinson Community Center. In this case, the pictures say it all…

Generous with their attention, print space, and airtime, the press also flooded George on this visit. We are especially grateful to the News-Star daily paper, KNOE-TV, servicing Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and KEDM Public Radio, a personal favorite since George recently agreed to support public radio with a month’s design for the 2012 NPR calendar.

(pictured below, George Rodrigue with Hope Young, Features Editor for the Monroe News-Star. Read Hope's story here)

One evening we enjoyed an excellent dinner at Sage with Chef Cory Barr, a John Besh protégé. Chef Barr makes Chef Besh, the still-young New Orleans ‘Restaurant August’ legend, proud with his complementary yet unique culinary arts in the northern part of the state.

Finally, we visited Ouachita High School in West Monroe and launched the high school portion of “George’s Art Closet,” a program organized by the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. Along with the students, George unpacked art supplies for Ms. Jones’s talented class, a gift possible through recent and generous donations to GRFA.

Afterwards we joined the students in the school’s auditorium, where they studied art with a special guest lecturer.

Leaving Monroe, George and I detoured, spending several hours at Poverty Point, a recently discovered Indian settlement in a remote area of Louisiana. I would tell you all about it, except that I just posted a story for Gambit on this ancient architectural and cultural wonder here.

We next bee-lined to Auburn, Alabama, where we present tonight our husband-and-wife painting demonstration/lecture for a special event at the Jule Collins Smith Art Museum at Auburn University. I’m not sure if I’ll blog about it or not, but if you’re so inclined, I hope you’ll follow along as I stumble through yet another cyberspace phenomenon, twitter.


George and I dedicate this post, with special thanks, to MUN-roe residents Dr. Ralph and Gabriella Armstrong for their devoted friendship, generous sponsorship, and outstanding photographs (sprinkled throughout this story)-

How does George Rodrigue pronounce his name? Find out here-

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011 Art Contest Awards Luncheon

Thank you to everyone who made our 2011 George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts Art Contest possible! On Mach 26, 2011, our 16 finalist from across Louisiana came to a special awards luncheon in their honor at the Sheraton Hotel New Orleans.

Every year, GRFA hosts a special art contest where Louisiana High School Juniors and Seniors can win their share of over $45,000 in college scholarships and prizes. This year, George Rodrigue asked students to pick a topic important to them and Louisiana in order to "Speak Out" with their art. In this our largest contest yet, we received 424 entries from 114 cities in Louisiana.

The 16 Finalists were chosen by our first round of judges in both the arts and education fields. Those finalists then were all invited to bring their artwork and their family and art teachers to our luncheon so that our second round of celebrity judges could rank their work accordingly. Our celebrity judges included musician Irvin Mayflied, artist and radio personality Garland Robinette, NOMA Director Emeritus John Bullard.

Our Executive Director, Jacques Rodrigue, served as master of ceremonies and we brought in Sean Hicks, our 2010 Art Contest overall winner, and Paul Leopolous from the THEA Foundation in Arkansas to be our guest speakers.

First, we announced our winner of our Junior Category, Paul Wright from the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.

Then, we brought up our top three finalists before an exciting announcement of our winner, Savannah Bridges from Rayville, LA complete with a "Big" check presentation and balloon drop!

Again, GRFA extends our appreciation to all of those who made this event possible. Our thanks to sponsors AT&T, Louisiana Public Facilities Authority (LPFA), Louisiana Education Loan Authority (LELA), The Sheraton New Orleans, GRFA Founding Members, first and second round art contest judges, Paul and Linda Leopoulos from the THEA Foundation, the Junior League of New Orleans for their volunteer services, the students of Broadmoor High School under the direction of Laurie Johnson for their ceramic centerpieces, Keith Adams for photography, Bennet Rhodes from Launch Media, and GRFA interns Erin Horton and Mary Anna Brown.

For even more photos from our great day visit our 2011 Art Contest online photo gallery on our website.

Friday, March 4, 2011

2011 Art Contest Finalists Announced

Congratulations to our 16 Finalists for the 2011 GRFA Art Contest. They were chosen by our first round of judges out of over 400 entries from over 100 cities across Louisiana!

You can view all their entries here.

All 16 finalists will be invited to attend our awards ceremony at the New Orleans Sheraton Hotel on March 26th. At the ceremony, the winners will be ranked by a second set of celebrity judges in order to decide how the $45,000 in scholarships will be divided.

Thank you again to everyone who participated.

Monday, February 28, 2011

George Rodrigue Visits Dufrocq Elementary

Thank you to everyone who came to Dufrocq Elementary in Baton Rouge, LA on February 24, 2011 with us. We had a great day painting with all of their students and teaching them about art!

We attended the school as part of our George's Art Closet program. Dufrocq Elementary was one of 30 schools across the state of Louisiana that applied to our program that gives schools a year's worth of art supplies. We are trying to fund all 30 schools this year.

The local community group Forum 35 sponsored this school's art packet and provided volunteers to help us set up our art stations with the students.

Special guests like Craig Freeman of the Baton Rouge School Board even brought his own iPad in order to play our app "You Can Count on Blue Dog" with the students! Then, our executive director, Jacques Rodrigue, read our children's book "Why is Blue Dog Blue"

When the day was over all of the kids then enjoyed special Blue Dog cupcakes.

We would especially like to thank Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden for joining us as well. He even took a short art lesson from George and painted his very own Blue Dog.

All in all, it was a great day for all of the children and volunteers! You can view more photos from our great day here:

Dufrocq Elementary George's Art Closet Event