COSACOSA's Art and Education initiative, Art Smart, infuses hands-on art-making activities as an educational tool across the K-12 curriculum. Working with Philadelphia students and teachers both during and after school hours, the program enhances participants' literacy, math, science and social studies learning, as well as critical thinking abilities.

hrough cross-referential learning experiences, students acquire a hands-on understanding of targeted subject areas. Art Smart focuses young people on listening, observing, remembering, practicing, interpreting, and deciding -- essential survival skills from the earliest of times -- while imparting to them the academic and social competencies necessary to succeed.

Art Smart projects include Rhythmatic, practical applications of math taught through music; STEaM Ahead!, explorations of science and nature through art; and Working Together, multicultural literacy learning combining poetry and new media art.

COSACOSA's civics curriculum, Liberty is Our Responsibility, guides students to uncover the civic duties implicitly expressed in our nation's founding documents, and to write a Bill of Responsibilities for themselves. Classes culminate in the creation of public art projects, ranging from sculpture to murals to PSAs, featuring the children's hopes for the future – for themselves, for our city and for our nation.

In partnership with Let Art Freedom Ring!, an initiative of the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) and the National Liberty Museum, COSACOSA civics students created three larger-than-life reimaginings of the Liberty Bell. The bells were exhibited at the National Constitution Center during Fourth of July Welcome America! festivities, the National Liberty Museum and Philadelphia School District headquarters.

COSACOSA's Art Smart initiative also collaborated with PAEP on Arts Bridges, a model project building literacy through the integration of multidisciplinary arts learning across the curriculum. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, our Arts Bridges project tracked five years of literacy learning for 4th, 5th and 6th grade students at the Julia de Burgos Bilingual School. The project proved successful not only in increasing students' understanding of basic literacy concepts, but also in raising standardized test scores.

Please email info[at] if you are interested in bringing Art Smart to your location.
Art Smart students at the Kenderton School explore leadership and scholarship through a relay race with artist Dit Wah Deng.
STEaM Ahead! painting created by Hartranft School school students and artist Rosita Kamihira.
Liberty is Our Responsibility giant Liberty Bell and civics class at Kenderton School with artists Sharnae Mask, Kimberly Niemela, and Ezechial Thurman.
Arts Bridges students at the Julia de Burgos Bilingual School explore basic literacy concepts though puppetry with artist Lee Fogel.
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