For years, Snow City Arts has been proud to receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). That’s why we were thrilled when Adam Kampe, a media specialist with the NEA Magazine, asked to do a special feature on Snow City Arts. The first issue of 2019 was going to be on “the healing power of the arts” and Snow City Arts was a natural fit.
“At the National Endowment for the Arts, we believe the arts have a unique ability to heal…Whether we are talking about individuals or communities, physically or emotionally, we know the arts have an important role in healing across the spectrum. In this issue of NEA Arts, we look forward to sharing the many ways the Arts Endowment promotes the good health and well-being of our nation.”
Adam wanted to do an audio story about a Snow City Arts student and teaching artist, and the relationship they’ve developed through working together. We immediately thought of John Lyons, the Snow City Arts media arts teaching artist at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. John has vast experience with audio and documentary media, and even has a workshop where he produces podcasts with his students. John suggested the story be about his student Nicholas (who has been featured on this blog before!) and the film he was making about Godzilla.
Over the course of several workshops with Nicholas, John was able to interview him and record him as he worked on his film. Nicholas was super excited to participate and even, at times, would go from interviewee to interviewer.
“John Lyons: Is there anything else you want to add?
Nicholas: Godzilla so far has been a big part of my life.
John Lyons: Is there anything else you want to ask me or Jon?
Nicholas: Oh yeah, what’s your hopes on it? What are your hopes? What are you thinking?
John Lyons: My hopes?
John Lyons: My hopes are that we realize your vision.”
This is not the first film that Nicholas has created about Godzilla. His first film Godzilla vs. The Monster Invaders was finished in 2018 after two years of production. (Watch the full film here!) He has become incredibly knowledgeable about the process of creating a film and has become close friends with the teaching artists he directs as production assistants.
Being featured in the NEA magazine is a big deal. The NEA is one of the leading voices in the national arts community and funds over 50 organizations in Illinois alone. The support we receive from the NEA is unrestricted and goes towards funding our teaching artists, the purchasing of art supplies, general operations, and in any area of greatest need that we have. We are thrilled that Nicholas, and John, get this national recognition for their work.
Although we can easily share the talents of our students through showcasing their finished work, it is rare that we get to hear their voice and to hear the process of a workshop. We are grateful to the NEA and Adam for making this audio story and featuring Snow City Arts in the magazine.
To listen to more of this audio story visit the NEA Magazine website here.