All posts by BRSCC

Operation Trash in South Baltimore Gateway Schools 2017-2018

Theatre artist and educator Kathie diStefano from Rotterdam’s Avalanche Arts employs participatory techniques and theatre art to create awareness with youth and seniors about the environment through creative strategies to recycle and make smart consumer decisions to reduce waste.  Ms. diStefano is conducting several activities for schools in the South Baltimore Gateway District for fall 2017 – spring 2018, including:

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Operation Trash in Curtis Bay 2017

Theatre artist and educator Kathie diStefano from Rotterdam’s Avalanche Arts employs participatory techniques and theatre art to create awareness with youth and seniors about the environment through creative strategies to recycle and make smart consumer decisions to reduce waste.  Ms. diStefano collaborated with Rodette Jones, manager of Filbert Street Community Garden, to conducted several projects related to trash, recycling, composting, and healthy eating in the Brooklyn-Curtis Bay community in fall 2017, including:

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Baltimore Rotterdam educational exchange projects – spring semester 2017

diStefano in classroomsLeft: Avalanche Arts’ Kathie diStefano teaching an “Operation Trash” workshop in a Rotterdam school. Right: Kathie diStefano conducting an environmentally-themed workshop at a school in Baltimore.

Theatre artist and educator Kathie diStefano from Rotterdam’s Avalanche Arts employs participatory techniques and theatre art to create awareness with youth and seniors about the environment through creative strategies to recycle and make smart consumer decisions. Ms. diStefano coordinated several activities in Baltimore during the 2017 spring school semester, including:

1. Operation Trash virtual exchange

“Operation Trash” project is designed to educate and connect high school students in Baltimore and the greater Rotterdam area. This virtual exchange project focuses on environmental themes. Improvisational theatre techniques and remote learning techniques are used to teach sustainability, trash reduction, recycling, and inspire environmental stewardship. Through the use of classroom activities, improvisational theatre techniques, community events, student-made videos, and social media, teenagers in both cities learn about sustainability, trash reduction, recycling, and get inspired to become environment stewards for their communities. Trash serves as a theme for a cross-cultural exchange. The project leverages an existing environmental educational program developed by Avalanche Arts and used in Rotterdam schools.

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Office of Sustainability provides grant for Baltimore Sister Cities educational programs – Spring 2017

Baltimore, MD USA — March 2017

Baltimore Office of Sustainability has provided a Green Healthy Smart Challenge 2017 grant to Baltimore’s Benjamin Franklin High School (BFHS) for the Operation Trash Virtual Exchange project designed to educate high school students at Baltimore’s Benjamin Franklin High School (BFHS) and connect them with Wolfert van Borselen high school in the Rotterdam, the Netherlands in spring 2017. Improvisational theatre techniques and remote learning techniques will be used to teach students about sustainability, trash reduction, recycling, and to inspire them to become environment stewards for their communities. The grant includes a stipend for Kathie diStefano from Rotterdam’s Avalanche Arts to design curriculum materials. The grant is from the Baltimore Office of Sustainability’s Green, Healthy, Smart Challenge grant program.

Baltimore Office of Sustainability logo

Rotterdam theatre educator visited Baltimore in Oct 2016 to plan exchange programs

Theatre artist and educator Kathie diStefano from Rotterdam’s Avalanche Arts employs participatory techniques and theatre art to create awareness with youth and seniors about the environment through creative strategies to recycle and make smart consumer decisions.  Ms. diStefano visited Baltimore in October 2016 to plan several upcoming exchange projects.

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MECU Foundation provides grant for Baltimore Sister Cities educational programs for spring 2017 semester

Baltimore, MD USA — September 2016

MECU Foundation Inc. has awarded Baltimore Sister Cities, Inc. a $3,000 grant to support sister cities educational projects. The grant goes towards several projects, including the Baltimore-Rotterdam “Operation Trash” exchange project with Bard High School Early College Baltimore and Benjamin Franklin High School and several schools in the Netherlands in spring 2017, to create a virtual exchange and social digital platform to teach sustainability, trash reduction and recycling concepts.

MECU Foundation

CSX provides grant for Baltimore-Rotterdam program at Benjamin Franklin High School

Baltimore, MD USA — July 17, 2016

CSX has provided a $1,000 grant to Rotterdam’s Avalanche Arts via Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister Cities for the “Operation Trash” exchange project in spring 2017 designed to educate high school students at Baltimore’s Benjamin Franklin High School (BFHS) and connect them with Wolfert van Borselen high school in the Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Improvisational theatre techniques and remote learning techniques will be used to teach students about sustainability, trash reduction, recycling, and to inspire them to become environment stewards for their communities.

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Rotterdam Artist/Educator planning theatre workshops for Baltimore schools

Baltimore — April 17, 2016

Rotterdam theatre artist and educator Kathie diStefano employs participatory techniques and theatre art to create awareness with youth and seniors about the environment through creative strategies to recycle and make smart consumer decisions in Heijplaat in Rotterdam. diStefano’s organization Avalanche Arts (Dutch name: Stichting Lawine) has completed several exchange projects between Baltimore and Rotterdam and is planning more.

Avalanche Arts is planning several projects designed to educate students about sustainability and environmental stewardship:

  1. Pen Pal Project linking Baltimore high school students with counterparts in the greater Rotterdam area (More info)
  2. Improvisational theatre workshops for Baltimore public high school students (info below)

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Rotterdam artist receives WWF grant to set up pen pal exchanges between Baltimore and Rotterdam area schools

The Netherlands chapter of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) has awarded a grant to Rotterdam theatre artist/educator Kathie diStefano, Avalanche Arts (Stichting Lawine), to link students in Baltimore with Dutch high school students in the greater Rotterdam area. This ‘Pen Pal Project’ will use social media to build awareness for environmental issues in both countries.

Participants will begin by looking critically at their own trash behavior and how this affects their communities as well as global waste problems. Students will be asked to “think globally and act locally” to help reduce litter and increase recycling in their communities.

Students in the two cities will share stories and compare findings regarding trash problems and recycling challenges in Dutch and American neighborhoods.

The Baltimore-Rotterdam Pen Pal Project builds on a pilot exchange completed in 2015 with Baltimore’s Masonville Cove Environmental Education Center and a school near Rotterdam, and on previous environmentally-themed art educational projects with children and community residents in the Baybrook area of Baltimore and Heijplaat area of Rotterdam, completed by Avalanche Arts in collaboration with Baltimore artist/educator Stephen Bradley.

The Baltimore-Rotterdam Sister City Committee (a member of the Baltimore Sister Cities 501(c)(3) association), supports these exchanges. Baltimore and Rotterdam have been sister cities since 1985. The committee encourages engagement between the two cities to creatively learn, work, and solve problems together through reciprocal exchanges and projects.

Rotterdam artist gives trash/recycling workshops at Nederlandse School

Rotterdam theatre artist and educator Kathie diStefano employs participatory techniques and theatre art to create awareness with youth and seniors about the environment through creative strategies to recycle and make smart consumer decisions in Heijplaat in Rotterdam. She did an artist residency in Brooklyn-Curtis Bay in December 2013 and is returning to Baltimore area in fall 2015.

On 3 October and 10 October 2015, she is giving workshops at De Nederlandse School in Bethesda. This is for kids who speak Dutch or are learning Dutch. These workshops are open to kids that are not students of De Nederlandse School; there is a fee for non-students. The two Saturdays are stand-alone workshops – kids can attend one or both. Suitable for a wide variety of ages. Using the medium of theatre & play, kids will learn about sustainability, trash/recycling, and ecology themes. This event is produced in conjunction with DC Dutch.

More information:

www.dcdutch.org/events/operatie-afval-speciaal-voor-kinderen