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Below is a list of teaching artists in the state of Michigan. This list is to be used as a reference. Please contact Teaching Artists individually for professional references. If you are a teaching artist interested in being included in the database, CLICK HERE for the application.
Cultural, History, Instrumental Music
Aaron Jonah LewisDetroit All Served
Aaron Jonah Lewis is a multi-instrumentalist with experience teaching all ages and skill levels. He is well versed in many styles, especially traditional American music: bluegrass, old time, ragtime, country, blues, jazz, etc.
br>One of his students wrote, "I enjoy his style and temperament. He's patient, knowledgeable and prepared with numerous skill building and developmental activities... He's a well-rounded folk musician who can help people at various stages of learning to play instruments."
He also has experience teaching group classes and workshops as well as more specialized lessons for advanced students. He has taught classes and workshops at schools and festivals in the US and UK, including the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London.
He has won many awards including First Place Neotraditional Band in 2008 and 2015 at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival in West Viriginia, First Place Bluegrass Fiddle in 2007 at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention in Virginia (the oldest fiddlers convention in the country), and First Place Fiddle at the Wilson County Fair in Tennessee (biggest fair in the state) in 2015.
He has also performed at major festivals from the US to the UK and from Italy to Finland and he has appeared on dozens of recordings from bluegrass and old time to swing jazz, modern experimental and Turkish classical music projects. He also plays and teaches banjo, mandolin, guitar, and bass and is currently based in Detroit.
Cultural, History, Instrumental Music
Carolyn KoebelKalamazoo Kalamazoo
Dunuya Drum and Dance is a global drumming collective presenting music and dance from Africa and the Diaspora. The group moves easily from traditional West African choreography and rhythms through Middle Eastern medleys, Garifuna songs and social dances, Brazilian samba and Caribbean music styles, including bembe, rumba, Puerto Rican bomba and more. Following the heritage of these traditions, programs include extensive use of call-and-response and audience participation, making the five-member Dunuya Drum and Dance a performance that is appealing to broad demographics.
Corinne StavishSouthfield Oakland
Corinne captivates listeners of all ages with personal narratives, folklore, historical and biblical stories. Reviewed as a wordsmith who crafts powerful and poignant stories laced with humor and humanity, her programs and keynotes emphasize themes of justice, peace, problem-solving, strong women and wisdom tales.
Detroit Historical SocietyDetroit Wayne
StoryLiving Presentations: Presentations by a professional storyteller. Groups can choose from either 'The Underground Railroad' or 'The Great Fire of 1805.'Presentations are 90 minutes in length.
Ella Sharp Museum of Art and HistoryJackson Jackson
The Ella Sharp Museum offers both art and history outreach programs for school children. “Jackson’s Underground Railroad” (History Goes to School Program): Elementary classes learn about the history of the Underground Railroad in Jackson, and how a secret code of quilt patterns may have helped set escaping slaves on the right path. We bring the program into the classroom, saving schools all transportation costs. Students learn about the Underground Railroad, Jackson’s role in the anti-slavery movement, and engage in a “make and take” art project.
Arts Go To School: One of the Museum’s most beloved programs, AGTS takes art into kindergarten through 6th grade classrooms via trained Museum volunteers, who expose students to art concepts and prints using the Visual Thinking Strategies Techniques (VTS). Six classroom visits alternate VTS kits and informational kits. AGTS brings art to many schools that have been forced to eliminate their programs due to budget constraints. Materials are geared specifically for each grade level.
History, Instrumental Music
Fifth Michigan Regiment BandNovi Oakland
The beats and melodies of the Civil War era continue into the 21st century with the 5th Michigan Regiment Band, the official State of Michigan Sesquicentennial Civil War Band. The talented ensemble brings history alive through the historical recreation of the Civil War.
Historic Mackinac On TourMackinac Mackinac
Hear the music, see the rifles and learn about soldier life all from your classroom. Two costumed interpreters bring the fur trade and Straits history to life with exciting demonstrations, hands on activities and a truck full of touchables. Students help in trading and bartering, carry a fur bale, get dressed in historic clothing and hear the sounds of the past!
Karen Dunnam - Traditional Country DancingGrand Rapids Kent
Would you care to dance? Let’s have a hoe-down! Old-time traditional dancing provides simple, active fun for everyone, from a barn dance to a Victorian dress ball. Ideal for school events, western hoedowns, community festivals, historic re-enactments.
The figures are similar to square dancing. There’s a walk-through prior to each dance, and prompting to the music. You’ll dance with everyone in your set. And when the music stops, thank that partner and find a new one—you’ll get to dance with everyone else in the hall! No partner or previous experience needed; soft-soled shoes and comfortable attire recommended.
Cultural, History, Literary Arts, Theatre
Lois KeelClarkston All Michigan Counties
Storyteller Lois Sprengnether Keel’s lively style enriches her large repertoire of international folklore, historical reenactment and Michigan tales in stories from around the world and back in time. Keel, who performs as Lois, matches programs to audiences’ age and interests. Her entertaining, educational programs are often participatory and may include music, sign language or puppets.
In her wide range of Michigan programs, Lois reenacts such historic figures as a woman who grew up on an Underground Railroad Station and aided Civil War home front efforts or another serving in World War I. She also conducts storytelling workshops for all levels.
Michael P. DerenAnn Arbor Washtenaw
As The Past In Person, Michael Deren presents historical, musical, educational and participatory programs as one of seven characters from the 19th or 20th century. An accomplished musician, songwriter and storyteller, Deren includes the audience as full participants in every presentation. Audience members develop their own character and engage in singing, dancing and activities to portray the situation. Join Michael Deren for a journey into the past through the music, songs, and words of the people whose labor built America.
Michael S. NassaneyKalamazoo Kalamazoo
Fort St. Joseph was a French mission, garrison and trading post established in 1691 along the banks of the St. Joseph River in Niles. The site eluded archaeologists until 1998 when it was discovered in a survey sponsored by the Michigan Humanities Council. Since that time, Western Michigan University archaeologists have been investigating the site to uncover its secrets about the fur trade and interactions between the French and Native Americans. This program discusses the search for the long-lost French fort and what archaeologists are learning about daily life along the frontier of New France in the eighteenth century.
History, Science, Visual Arts
Midland Center for the ArtsMidland Midland
The Midland Center for the Arts has a variety of outreach programs in the areas of science, art and history. Programs include the human body, the light spectrum, magic of electricity, and Clay all the Way among others.
Cultural, History, Theatre
Ring of Steel Action TheatreDexter Washtenaw
The swords of heroes walk into your classroom with a display and/or workshop of theatrical fighting along with a collection of over seventy historical weapons (safely dulled), wearable armor, and combative props from well-known movies. Presentation is tailored to class type (Theatre, English, Humanities, History, or Foreign Language) and includes a lecture on the historical context of theatrical combat, safety techniques that protect performers, and presentation of selected scenes from classic plays or duels between historic character types.
Cultural, History, Instrumental Music, Theatre, Vocal Music
Sheila Grazino and Neil Woodward as Matter & GhostChelsea Washtenaw
Sheila Graziano and Neil Woodward pay tribute to the ghosts of their folk arts ancestors by performing the music and dances that are the foundation of their traditions. These Michigan artists are well known for their entertaining and educational performances of traditional and original dance, songs and folk music. Together as Matter and Ghost, the pair performs dances from England, Scotland, Canada and the Appalachian Mountains, accompanied with tunes and stories reflecting the historical settings of the steps.
Troy Historic VillageTroy Oakland
Cheddar's History Trunk is also available as an outreach program. This is an alphabet adventure to the past, this 50-minute program exposes kids to a variety of artifacts that explore life of the settlers in the 1830s.