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Presidential Seal

Collection: Presidents
Learn about America’s most famous leaders and their appreciations and influences over the arts; from Lincoln’s connection to music, to Kennedy’s advocacy for the arts, to the importance placed in having White House photographers capture the president’s everyday achievements.
America, Presidents

President Obama being sworn in.

Lesson: Who Can Vote for President?
In this lesson, students will learn general facts about the voting process and its importance in a democratic form of government.
America, History

Paul Bunyon and his Big Blue Ox, Babe

Lesson: Exploring American Tall Tales
Students will explore the common elements of folktales and tall tales while learning how these tales built the spirit of the American people
America, Folklore

freedom-riders

Lesson: We Are The Freedom Riders
Students will learn about the courageous efforts of the Freedom Riders while embracing the bold theme, "We Will Overcome!" as a theme surrounding the civil rights movement.
America, Music

Women and Men

Lesson: Tolerance: Gender Issues
In this lesson, students research how professions such as nursing, clerking, and teaching have changed gender dominance over the past 150 years in the United States.
Education, America

Constitution of the United States

Lesson: Utopian Visions
Students are introduced to the idea of a "utopia"—an idealized society. Students read Sir Thomas More's Utopia and examine the concepts behind his vision of an ideal society.
America, Literature

Newport: The Elms

Lesson: Three Newport Mansions of the Gilded Age
Research the history, architect, architecture, and patron of each mansion gaining understanding of the arts and culture of the Gilded Age.
America, Architecture

Scene from

Lesson: Southern Puritanism and Tennessee Williams
This lesson continues the exploration of "Puritanism" as an influence on the development of modern American drama in works by Tennessee Williams.
America, Literature

Old river boat docked at Memphis, Tennessee.

Lesson: Twain: Steamboat's a-Comin'
Examining the mystique of rivers as inspiration for creative expression it shows us the powerful influence the Mississippi River had on Mark Twain’s writings
America, Literature

Mark Twain

Lesson: Twain: Icon and Iconoclast
This lesson asks students to examine samples of Twain’s work in the context of pre- and post-Civil War America
America, Literature

Tom Sawyer

Lesson: Twain: Tom Sawyer—Mythic Adventurer
Learn about the source for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Read, and analyze the novel, with attention to character and style.
America, Literature

Scene from Eugene O'Neill's 'The Hairy Ape'

Lesson: Broken Worlds
This lesson provides a variety of options for conducting comparative analysis between Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire
Literature, America

Pioneers

Lesson: Pioneer America: Pioneer Living
In this lesson, students will learn about what life was like for early American pioneers
America, History

Blind Boys of Alabama

Audio: Gospel Quartet: Blind Boys of Alabama
Composer Thomas A. Dorsey and other pioneers of gospel music helped open the church doors to music considered sinful by conservative churchgoers. The tradition of gospel quartets continues to lift the spirits of both its listeners and participants in concert halls and churches alike.
Music, America

Marcia Ball

Audio: Texas Blues: Marcia Ball
Texas blues originated in the early 1900s alongside the sweat and tears of Blacks working on oilfields, lumber camps, and ranches. After a day of back-breaking labor, workers could unwind in nearby bars or on their own porches and listen to blues musicians who spoke to their own experiences.
Music, America

Geno Delafose

Audio: Zydeco: Geno Delafose
Zydeco is often linked with Cajun music, but it has a harder, faster sound and employs more electric instruments. In dance halls today, elements of soul, disco, rap, and reggae can be heard among the rhythms of the frottoir.
Music, America

Nanci Griffith

Audio: Texas Troubadour: Nanci Griffith
Backed by a tradition of independent spirit and grounded in multicultural roots, Texas singer-songwriters continue to imbue classic musical genres with new experiences and sounds.
Music, America

Tremé Brass Band

Audio: Brass Music: Tremé Brass Band
Follow behind a parade in New Orleans and you'll still be a part of the show. Whether a parade was organized for a celebration or funeral, honorees and others in the main procession would be followed by a "second line" of participants hoping to get closer to the rhythms of the brass bands.
Music, America

Michael Doucet

Audio: Cajun Music: Michael Doucet
Louisiana-based Cajun music has roots in unaccompanied, narrative ballads brought by European settlers. Cajun songs, traditionally sung in French, fused narrative balladry, Irish and Anglo-American reels and jigs, and Black and Native American folk traditions.
Music, America

arts challenge

Everyday Arts Challenge: Patriotic Puzzler
Time to update an old classic. For fun, write a new Pledge of Allegiance. Recite your version out loud for a friend or family member. How would yours sound at the beginning of each school day?
America, Poetry

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Thomas Merton
"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
America, Literature

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Georgia O'Keeffe
"To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage."
America, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Robert Motherwell
"In the brush doing what it's doing, it will stumble on what one couldn't do by oneself."
America, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Robert Motherwell
"Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it."
America, Visual Arts

arts quote

Arts Quotes: Louise Nevelson
"Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind."
America, Visual Arts

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