John Rodger Elementary School has been awarded a grant of $3,012 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 559 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2016 funding. Organizations receiving a MCACA grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars. Amanda Kik, co-director of Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology and parent volunteer, was able to secure these matching funds. This project brings highly skilled Traverse City artist Glenn Wolff into the school, where each student will participate in a mural project while exploring place through art. Rather than simply teaching the technical skills of drawing and painting, this project walks students through the conceptualization of a piece of artwork, through the lens of the earth sciences. This project, in which students will work directly with Wolff to create murals, will integrate with learning standards students are already expected to reach in the earth sciences. Lessons will build skills in interpretation, reflection, drawing, earth science, painting and collaborative work, and will incorporate Michigan Content Standards. Because we are sensitive to the limited time that families in this region can commit to extracurricular activities, this program takes place during the school day. In this way, every student can participate. Glenn Wolff is highly regarded as Northern Michigan’s bioregionalist artist, and his work is exhibited throughout the United States. His paintings and illustrations are highly detailed and capture a rich sense of place. Wolff studied Printmaking at Northwestern Michigan College, and received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His career began in New York as an illustrator for such clients as the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Central Park Conservancy, and the New York Zoological Society. In 1987 he returned to Northern Michigan, concentrating on fine art and book illustration. The list of authors he has worked with include Stephanie Mills, John Gierach, and Robert Sullivan. But he is best known for his illustrations in the books of Jerry Dennis, starting with 1990’s It’s Raining Frogs and Fishes, and most recently The Windward Shore. The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences. A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241- 4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at http://www.michiganbusiness.org/community/council-arts-cultural-affairs/#MCACA.