Arts in Education
Wildwood Park and neighboring schools, Chenal Elementary, Robinson Elementary, Baker Elementary and Roberts Elementary, are partners in a year-long, In-School Residency program supported by the Arkansas Arts Council and Deltic Timber. Students, kindergarten through fifth-grade, experience a curriculum of creative expression and environmental awareness with explorations through history, literature, music, theatre, visual art, world cultures, and science.
Arts in Education artists are in residence throughout the year and work alongside classroom teachers to incorporate the arts through a cross-curricular approach, expanding the school’s campus into outdoor classes at Wildwood Park. Since the first residency was launched at Chenal Elementary during the 2010-2011 school year, Wildwood has grown the program to include additional schools, Robinson Elementary, Roberts Elementary, and Baker Elementary.
For more information contact 501-821-7275.
Meet Our Partner Schools
Meet Our Artists
April Gentry-Sutterfield is a director, deviser, and educator who uses theatre as a tool for social justice, education, and community-engagement. April has over a decade of teaching experience in widely diverse settings including as a middle school drama teacher in Hot Springs, a community college theatre instructor at Pulaski Technical College, a seven year returning drama teacher for Arkansas Governor۪s School, and a teaching artist in preschool, elementary, middle and high school classrooms across Arkansas and Texas. As an educator, April enjoys adapting theatre exercises and techniques to meet educational objectives in non-theatre classrooms. She also enjoys mentoring drama teachers in best practices for the drama classroom.
As an artist, April specializes in devising using movement, improvisation, and writing exercises to collaboratively create original and adapted performances. April has facilitated students in the process of devising at Hendrix College, Arkansas Governor۪s School, and UT Connections Youth Theatre in Austin, TX. April has directed plays on the college and secondary levels. Elementary students across the state have seen April۪s children۪s play, Lily and the Apple Seed, as Wildwood۪s 2012 Art-to-Go tour, and she received a playwriting mentorship through the Playwright۪s Center of Minneapolis for her one-woman show, Sticky Thickets. April has published articles in “TYA Today,” “Stage of the Art,” and for the Community Arts Network. April has an M.F.A. in Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Hendrix College.
Patricia Carreras has been working professionally in all types of theater for over eighteen years. She has an undergraduate degree in Theater and Film from the University of New York at Fredonia and a Masters of Art in Theatre and Film from SUNY in Buffalo, New York. Currently Patricia is working for the University of Memphis as an adjunct professor teaching aesthetic education to education majors. She is also works as an actor/director/writer and storyteller in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Alaska. Every summer, Patricia is invited to join the Alaska Theatre for Youth staff as a guest director, teaching artist and playwright. She also teaches at the Center for Arts Education summer institute in Memphis. Patricia has written and directed many plays, including her most recent work, “Say What You Mean,” a musical play about communication that was written in part by students nationwide. A teaching artist for over fifteen years, Patricia has shared her talents throughout most of the USA. She has written many one-woman shows that incorporate mime, puppetry and storytelling, each holding an aesthetic experience for learning.
Chris James is a professional spoken word artist, playwright, author and teaching artist. He has been involved in Arts in Education since 2009. He is affiliated with organizations such as Thea Foundation, Arkansas A+, Wildwood Parks for the Arts, Arkansas Learning Through the Arts, Pulaski County Special School District, Pine Bluff School District, Pulaski County Youth Services and many more. Chris James has worked with hundreds of students throughout Arkansas. He has orchestrated school-wide and district-wide poetry slams and stage plays with schools and organizations. Chris is the Executive Director of two amazing programs; Poetry Saves Lives and The Roots Art Connection. He is also a member of nationally known poetry slam team, Foreign Tongues who ranked 2nd place in the world’s second largest poetry slam in 2014(Southern Fried Poetry Slam).