• Alternative Arts Initiative

    aai video
    The Alternative Arts Initiative (AAI) provides opportunities for students in alternative schools and special education programs to engage in the arts at no charge to the schools. Teaching Artists who specialize in dance, music, theater, and visual arts facilitate workshops with students to explore the creative process through their art form. During these workshops, students are asked to make choices individually and within groups. The goal of these workshops is not the creation of an end product, but that the students are making choices (when possible) and connections within the art form.

    Each residency in the Alternative Arts Initiative is designed to serve the specific learning goals and needs of the students through the lens of the creative process.
    Possible goals of residency work may include:
    • Coordination;
    • Socialization;
    • Life/Social skills;
    • Connections with curriculum;
    • Communication;
    • Self expression;
    • Teamwork;
    • Exploring social justice topics.
    To enhance the learning experience, students attend live performances and exhibits by professional artists. AAI schools also receive the EFA Bus Rebate to assist with transportation expenses.

    Residency Roles

    Teaching Artists lead the students through workshops that have been planned with the cooperating educator. Cooperating Educators and Paraprofessionals are welcome to participate in activities with the students, as well as support Teaching Artists by managing classroom behavior. Educators and Paraprofessionals know their students best and are encouraged to let teaching artists know what is working well for their students.


    For more information about the Alternative Arts Initiative, call Angie Melvin at (269) 250-9392.

    Thank You!

    The Alternative Arts Initiative is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council.