New Immersion Program Brings the Arts and Social Justice to Academic Classes

Sophia+Venetis+22s+image+for+her+Ansel+Adams+immersion

Sophia Venetis ’22’s image for her Ansel Adams immersion

Sophia Venetis, Staff Writers

Whether during a music, art, drama, or photography class, Falmouth Academy has always embraced the artistic talent of its student body. However, as of October 2020, Falmouth Academy has introduced a new Immersion Program – an initiative that allows students across all grade levels and in all classes to participate in various creative projects throughout the academic year.

Falmouth Academy’s Immersion Program reworks the old concept of the Arts Across the Curriculum program, which allowed students to do an art project relating to a unit in one or two of their five core classes over the course of a week. The new Immersion Program brings this to the next level, as it is not just art that students will be working on.

During periods of time that correlate with their class curricula, students will engage in a variety of artistic and interdisciplinary lessons and experiences. It is projected that by the end of May, fifty or more classes will have had an immersion experience taught by Mrs. Carol DiFalco (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) who teaches the RIISE (Respecting Individual Identities through Social Engagement) portion of the program, as well as by Mrs. Lucy Nelson (Studio Art), Mr. George Scharr (Music), Mr. Charles Jodoin (Drama), or Mrs. Susan Moffat (Photography). So far, there have been eleven immersion experiences across all grades, including Mrs. Nelson’s seventh-grade watershed project that is currently hanging up in the science wing. 

One immersion experience was recently taught to all junior English classes by Falmouth Academy’s photography teacher, Mrs. Moffat. 

“I think it’s going really well,” Mrs. Moffat enthusiastically said enthusiastically when she was asked about her thoughts on the Immersion Program. “I think it’s interesting cause us teachers are exposing the students to new areas of the arts and it’s really exciting!”

Towards the end of October, the Class of ‘22 studied landscape photography by Ansel Adams – an American photographer from California who became famous for his beautiful captures of nature. This project integrated with the junior’s unit on the novel, Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck, which is set in rural California landscapes. The interactive portion of the project allowed students to look at the world from different perspectives (or camera angles) and experiment with photo editing apps such as Adobe Spark and Lightroom. Ultimately, Juniors put together a set of photographs now on display in the first-floor corridor. 

 “I think it’s a good opportunity for students to engage in the arts as well as undertake challenges that we wouldn’t be encountering nor discussing during a typical class,” Hannah Brazil ‘22  said.

“I enjoyed the project!,” added Abigail Neubert ‘22 after her Ansel Adams Photography experience, “Since I am not the best at drawing or painting it was nice to be able to create a good piece of artwork that I worked hard to make.”

Thus far, Falmouth Academy’s new Immersion Program has received positive feedback, with much more feedback to come. As a result of this program, Falmouth Academy’s mission statement will continue to be fulfilled as students broaden their horizons once they RIISE to these challenges of our times and immerse themselves in thought-provoking situations.