Arts Focus Schools

What is an Arts Focus School?

An Arts Focus School is a school that incorporates the arts in its day-to-day teaching and learning through aesthetic education. A teacher team attends the DeltaARTS Educator Workshop Summer Session and works with DeltaARTS Executive Director Amelia Barton and Artistic Director Sandy Kozik to design the semester-long aesthetic education plan.

All teachers receive aesthetic education in-services. A work of art and a selected theme with guiding questions are the anchors and impetus for the semester’s in-depth focus. Each semester, trained teaching artists work with each teacher and his or her students during a three-visit residency to connect arts processes related to the focus work of art. The teachers connect the arts to other curricular areas and the students take ownership of their own individual learning during the process. Parents participate by attending classrooms during artists’ visits and also a parent arts education night. All aspects are evaluated and documented.

This program is supported in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and by the National Endowment for the Arts.


2016-2017 Arts Focus Schools

L.R. Jackson Elementary & Wonder Elementary


The Mighty Souls Brass Band is the Focus Work of Art for 2016-17. They performed for both focus schools on November 16, 2016, at the Academies of West Memphis Performing Arts Center.

A school-wide parade was held on March 17, 2017, for both Focus Schools in the Wonder Elementary gymnasium. Parents, faculty, staff, and students strutted their stuff and students showed off the umbrellas they had decorated during their preparatory residencies. Teaching artists worked with the students to study New Orleans-themed culture, art, music, and choreography.




Enjoy the following clips from the Mighty Souls’ Focus School performances! (Click on each link to view the files.)