KATONAH, N.Y. — School often gives students a chance to have their subjects meld together, allowing them the opportunity to understand why some subjects go with others. Patti Hupp, an instructor of the arts and music who teaches around the Westchester County and Connecticut area, is trying to give students all across the country a chance at such an integration.
Hupp, who is known to her students as Ms. Patti, teaches at the Katonah Art Center, which is gearing up to host the filming of Hupp’s newest venture. With the help of her producer husband Kevin Hupp, Ms. Patti is putting together a series of webisodes with some of her students from Westchester County and Connecticut that is called “Art Smart,” which includes learning about art and music history while also giving kids the chance to make a mimic of a masterpiece.
“It’s based on the program I’ve been teaching for six years. I teach preschoolers how to re-create works of art,” Hupp said. “Half art, and half music. It’s art history with music terminology.”
Hupp’s plan is to promote the webisodes as five-minute clips that can be used between programs on PBS, Scholastic, Nickelodeon and the like. Once she posts the videos on YouTube and other video homes, she’ll have enough material to bring to the networks.
“You might find preschools with progressive teachers, and the kids are exposed to it, but we want to put it on a national level and expose it to everybody,” Hupp said. “Parents also can see how they can also spend quality time doing something with their child, and giving them an education that they’re not getting in school.”
Loren Anderson is the executive director of the Katonah Art Center, who employs Hupp’s services as a teacher and is giving her the space needed to film the webisodes. Anderson, though, was more than happy to give up her space for the cause.
“She’s one of our teachers, and she’s wonderful. She approached me to see if I would be happy to host a show, which of course, we’re delighted,” Anderson said. “So now she’s in the process of putting it all together, and it’s very exciting.”
The filming, which includes many students in the center, will be taking place this week with the students who were most comfortable with the limelight atmosphere. Anderson is excited that such a program will be calling her center “home.”
“I love the way she combines music and art. She takes music and exposes them to a variety of musicians and to a variety of art,” Anderson said. “It’s important for kids to get this well-rounded exposure to the arts.”