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Monday, April 29, 2013

Billy Joel Plays the Rodrigue Steinway

We were so honored to have the Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, stop by our Foundation Education Center in New Orleans in order to play and sign the Rodrigue Steinway on April 25, 2013!

Mr. Joel was in town to play for thousands at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.  The piano, donated by the Hall Piano Company in New Orleans, is slated to be sold to the highest bidder, with half of the proceeds going to the LSU School of Music and the other half to GRFA.

Using a 1913 Steinway Model A grand piano as his canvas, George Rodrigue donated his talent in creating this piece.  It is a genuine Steinway, having been fully restored to Steinway & Sons standards by certified Steinway technicians.  It will be used as a concert and performance piece to generate interest in and funds for the needs of the LSU School of Music.

Watch a short video of his performance here.  Thank you again to Billy Joel for taking the time to support GRFA and the LSU School of Music!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jacques Rodrigue Wins Louisiana's Arts Education Award

On April 23, 2013, Louisiana's Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne and Gerri Hobdy, Chair of the Louisiana State Arts Council, presented Jacques Rodrigue, executive director of GRFA, with the "Arts Education Award."

The Arts Education Award recognizes the efforts of individuals or organizations that have helped, through educational efforts, to broaden people's understanding of the importance and value of arts and traditions in Louisiana.

From the Louisiana Culture Awards Program held at Culture Connection Day in Baton Rouge:
Jacques Rodrigue currently serves as the executive director of the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts.  Armed with a law degree from Tulane, he originally planned a career in intellectual property law but changed focus when he and his father, famed Louisiana artist George Rodrigue, founded GRFA.   
Under the leadership of Jacques Rodrigue, GRFA has built a reputation as a leading provider of arts integration and arts education resources in Louisiana.  He began his work by implementing a number of programs important to Louisiana schools, including Scholarship Art Contests, George's Art Closet Grants, an Art Therapy Program and Summer Art Camps at the GRFA Education Center in New Orleans.  He is implementing the exciting new A+ Schools program in Louisiana, continuing his distinguished work in arts education.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Capital One Bank and GRFA Donate $72,000 to Arts Programs

Lafayette, LA (April 17, 2013) – The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) and Capital One Bank today announced a $72,000 donation to support education and arts programs in Louisiana. The donation includes $41,500 to GRFA programs and $30,500 to non-profit organizations in Southwest Louisiana that align with Capital One Bank’s focus areas, supporting literacy, educational resources for teachers in high-need schools and financial education.

Funded by proceeds from the recent auction of an original George Rodrigue Blue Dog painting, 11 Lafayette area schools and multiple local non-profits will benefit from the donation.

GRFA agreed to auction off the painting after Capital One Bank donated a Festival Acadiens 1983 poster painted by Rodrigue to the foundation. The classic poster had been displayed in the Vermilion Street location of Capital One Bank since the 1980s.

The $41,500 donation to GRFA programs includes:

$16,500 for the George’s Art Closet program at 11 local schools.
$25,000 to underwrite the school fee for a Lafayette-area A+ school during the 2014-15 school year.  The school will be determined through a selection process by GRFA next spring.

The $30,500 donation to non-profit partners in Southwest Louisiana that align with Capital One Bank’s focus areas includes:

$10,000 for The Reading Clinic at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  As a major component of the Reading Center, the clinic provides individualized literacy instruction to students at area schools.  The financial donation will be paired with a book donation for participating students.
$10,000 for Junior Achievement of Baton Rouge and Acadiana.  The donation will be designated to financial literacy programs in Acadiana.
$10,500 for the Lafayette Education Foundation (LEF).  The donation will be designated to LEF’s Teacher Grant program that rewards innovative and exceptional classroom strategies for learning.

“With the help of community partners like Capital One Bank, we’re able to work through George’s Art Closet to bring valuable art supplies into the classroom,” says George Rodrigue. “Though this is something many schools in Louisiana lack basic funding for, we’re able help these classrooms become innovative learning environments.”

“Through an approach called ‘Investing for Good,’ Capital One Bank works to generate lasting, local community impact through our delivery of core banking services and specialized community development, philanthropic and volunteer support. As part of this work, we’re proud to work with the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts to support educational initiatives throughout southwest Louisiana,” said Michael Wack, Capital One Bank’s Southwest Louisiana Market President.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

GRFA at French Quarter Fest

(UPDATE: Video recap of the event now online!!)

In 2013 - French Quarter Festival celebrates its 30th Anniversary in New Orleans!  Chevron is the fest's title sponsor we have partnered with them to help introduce a new STEM Zone (STEM: science, technology engineering and math initiative), a unique and interactive environment built to inspire students to inquire and foster a passion around the science, technology, engineering and math in every arena, including arts and culture! 

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Chevron Children’s Headquarters on the Natchez Wharf (Toulouse Street at the River) 

GRFA has designed three take-away activities in order to incorporate visual art standards and STEM.  It will take each student 30 minutes to complete all 3 projects.  

Activity 1: Blue Dog Geometric Shape Collage

Students will identify and use shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, etc) to create a Blue Dog collage.

Activity 2: Life Cycle of a Butterfly 

Students will begin by sectioning cardboard circle in 1/4.  Each ¼ will represent a different stage in a butterfly’s life cycle.  Students will cut out labels for each stage and be challenged to draw a picture that will represent that stage.  They will then glue each label and picture in each ¼.

Activity 3: Exploring Symmetry through a Butterfly Sculpture

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of symmetry by creating three-dimensional butterflies using Model Magic.

We are very excited to be working with Chevron for the French Quarter Fest this year!  These activities give just a glimpse of what arts-integrated lessons can look like to help students better understand traditional subjects.  Plus, our entire area will be decorated with Blue Dog and Butterfly artwork by George Rodrigue!  We hope you can join us!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Now Hiring Two Positions

UPDATE:  Thank you for your interest in the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts. The application period for the following positions is now closed.  (5/1/13)

Louisiana A+ Schools Program Coordinator

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts seeks applicants for the Louisiana A+ Schools Program Coordinator position.  This position will provide administrative leadership and coordination for Louisiana A+ Schools, a research-based whole school network with a mission of nurturing creativity in every learner.  The Louisiana A+ Schools Program Coordinator will design and implement professional development for pre-k to 12th grade teachers, supervise contracted staff, plan special events, and assist with grant writing.  B.F.A. or B.A. and a minimum of five years pre-k to 12th grade education experience required. Applicants must demonstrate a history of arts integration/innovative learning strategies, collaboration and creativity.  This position is domiciled in Baton Rouge and will require both statewide and national travel.  Visit www.aplusla.org for more information about Louisiana A+ Schools.  

Summer Camp Instructor

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts (GRFA) seeks certified art teachers or teaching artists to lead summer art camps in New Orleans for students in preK-3 through third grade. GRFA summer art camps are designed to inspire students to create and develop their own unique artistic style while exposing them to a wide variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media. Each class explores age-appropriate elements of art and focuses on building a strong foundation in creative design.  B.F.A. or B.A. and minimum of five years teaching experience are required, and early childhood training is preferred. Teachers must demonstrate a history of arts integration/innovative learning strategies, collaboration and creativity.  

GRFA is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including age, sex, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.