Graduates of the school and company of French choreographer Maurice Béjart, Bluepalm directors Jackie Planeix and Tom Crocker design programs that allow students (K-16) and staff to develop artistic perception and improve their creative capacities. Certified by the French Ministry of Culture, Ms. Planeix and Mr. Crocker have led their company to become nationally recognized for its capacity to transform educational institutions; it is one of the most sought after arts-based learning organizations within Los Angeles Unified School District. Providing programs in both English and in French, Bluepalm has directed multiple projects in France, including residencies at the l’Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel (Paris), and the Velette School (Lyon) in collaboration with La Compagnie Maguy Marin. Vetted by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Bluepalm has received support from National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, City and County of Los Angeles, the Dana and Thelma Pearl Howard Foundations, and the French Embassy. Bluepalm specializes in three main areas: cross-curricular arts integration, oral expression, and cultural development.
Bluepalm provides standards-based, sequential programs K-16. In university settings, Bluepalm offers professional development for professors and courses focused on creativity, performance, and communication. The bases of artistic excellence – focus, problem-solving skills, sense of wonder – are also the keys to academic success. As a result, Bluepalm does not consider that arts education is about identifying the natural talents of a few students, but rather, about helping the largest number of students to think more creatively. Bluepalm distinguishes itself by going directly to the essence of artistic perception, demonstrating practically how to put art at the center of all teaching. This approach reflects recent scientific research underlining how training interdisciplinary skills supports cognitive development. Bluepalm’s team of carefully selected, highly trained artist educators, designs programs that may include the following components: workshops, professional development, artist residencies, dance and/or theater projects, parent training. The goal of all our programs is teacher ownership, ensuring that staff is able to maintain and extend Bluepalm techniques.
1. Cross-curricular Art Integration
Establishing relationships between different areas of knowledge; visual arts and math, music and writing, dance and science, theater and history – these are samples of the connections Bluepalm programs make. Blending areas of learning is of increasing importance in classrooms as it better responds to the needs of the 21st century workplace. Our well-trained artist educators are the natural conduits for this approach, making cross-curricular thinking not just an occasional experience but a habit of mind.
2. Oral Expression
Bluepalm’s kinesthetic, emotionally compelling techniques help students to flourish in their mother tongue and to be fluent in a second language - fully expressive, with a rich vocabulary. Bluepalm professional development helps English and French educators to teach students how to ‘think bilingual’.
3. Cultural Development
The importance of art in an international, multilingual world is greater than ever. Bluepalm programs create relationships between learners and the artistic process, where art is a platform for tolerance, debate, multiple perspectives, shared learning. Bluepalm cultural development makes a classroom a living organism, employing resources from the past and present to create the future.
- Micheltorena Elementary School (Los Angeles): design of community-based, systemic arts plan (K-6); art-based projects, visual arts/science, dance/health, theater/literature, professional development; parent dance class; building arts advocacy with parents and the local community
- Velette School, Rillieux-La-Pape (Lyon): interdisciplinary program combining language, dance, theater; arts-based learning professional development; intercultural workshops
- Montebello Unified School District (California): professional development to teach English using movement and expression; application of these methods to anchor cross-curricular learning
- Music Center Summer Institute for Educators: designing new ways to teach; how to establish interdisciplinary collaborations
- Watts Learning Center: two-tiered artist mentorship for teachers; movement integration using the work of Bill T. Jones; collaborative artist/teacher projects
- Growing Learning Communities (Pasadena, Glendale, Silverlake): lecture/demonstrations around bilingual theater
- USC, University of Southern California: ‘Memory, Movement, and the Brain’, Neuroscience Department; lecture/demonstration exploring the cognitive benefits of learning through dance and theater