Ten years with Communities in Schools

Posted by Heidi on May 13, 2008

School Residencies

This morning BOM’s Program Director, Dixie Uffelman, and I attended Communities in Schools of Chicago‘s annual Partner Recognition Breakfast. CISC is a great organization that helps match under-served community schools with community organizations like ours that can fill critical unmet needs—everything from providing health screenings to anger management and so on. This year CISC honored us as a ten-year agency partner by giving us a lovely plaque.


That’s Dixie, showing it off.

The event was at US Cellular Field, which is always exciting. Dixie claims that she’s spent more time at the Cell as a guest of CISC then as a patron of the White Sox.

That aside, it was really great to see other partner organizations and some of the school principals and site coordinators and hear about the other ten year partners. Our friends at CISC were extremely nice (as always) and had a giant poster board depicting one of our school residencies. It’s always exciting to be in an environment where everyone in the room is committed to “meeting unmet needs” and serving the schools and communities. CISC got to thank us this morning, but I’d like to thank them—their help and guidance allows us to serve the schools that can most benefit from our specific programs and over ten years has provided us with many fruitful partnerships. We rely on their network to make sure that we can serve the most appropriate communities and help us make the first crucial contacts with new school partners. Here’s looking forward to another ten years of collaboration.

Not unlike what we do

Posted by Rachel on May 9, 2008

. . . but in a different medium. I’ve recently come across a couple of photographers with series that adapt the brain children of, well, children.

Note: These links will take you away from the Barrel of Monkeys website. The immediate links contain kid-friendly images, but these are artists’ websites, not designed specifically for children. Explore with care.

Check out Jan Von Holleben’s Dreams of Flying series, based on children’s dreams. I love that on his site, he features a series of photos taken by kids, inspired by their own dreams.

And artist Yeondoo Jung’s Wonderland series adapts children’s drawings to photography.

Melt their faces off

Posted by Rachel on May 6, 2008

School Shows School Residencies

The Chalmers teaching team consisted of Educational Program Director Dixie, Joe, Alex, Monkey apprentice (and every child’s idol) Stephen, and myself. For one class we even had former Ed. Director, Kristie. After assembling such a team for a class of only 13 students, Dixie expressed concern that “their faces will be melted off by our love and individual attention.”

Joe took this picture of one third of our rockstar team fortifying at the White Palace Grill before class.

We had our first Chalmers rehearsal Saturday. In an initial rehearsal for a school show, we go through all the notebooks from the residency, and it’s always fun as a teacher to see the rest of the cast experience the kids’ writing for the first time. For those unfamiliar with our rehearsal process, we put a show together in only six short rehearsals, relying on the innate merit of the stories, our own silly abandon as performers and adapters, and chaos theory.

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Stockton: Wind, Rain, Thunder…and Clones

Posted by Tai on May 2, 2008

School Shows School Residencies

The Stockton Elementary show was this morning, and it was a blast. This residency was taught by lead teacher Geoff, Laura G., Rani, awesome volunteer Maggie K., and myself. Although it was BOM’s first residency and show at Stockton, the kids took to us like ducks to water. They were a creative and eager bunch, and it showed in their stories.

Not only was this our first show at Stockton, it was company member Kate Staiger’s first time directing a Monkey show, and she was a natural. Over the past week and a half we have been adapting and rehearsing stories featuring robots, chipmunks, J-Lo and a not-so-scary haunted house.


On the way to the school this morning, after our traditional pre-show breakfast, we saw a surprising sight on Montrose Avenue:

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