A BOX OF BEADS, MAGICAL STRING, AND A SPECIAL LOOKING GLASS
ArtObet takes children on a journey of artists from A (Anguissola) to Z (Zorach), with stops along the way for favorites like Sandro Botticelli, Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keeffe. Five children sit on a sunny porch with a favorite babysitter. When the babysitter’s skateboarding cohort whooshes in, the fun begins! Out comes the box of special beads and a jewel-crusted magnifying glass. Looking through the glass at each bead they see a letter, starting an adventure into the world of an artist whose name starts with that letter. When the bead goes on a string, the magic begins.
ArtObet is ideal for children 3-8, but with engaging stories, beautiful imagery, fun animations, relaxing period music, easy-to-chant poems that help children remember and understand each artist, plus cameo appearances by the tooth fairy and a cookie bandit, it’s a film the whole family can enjoy! ArtObet is just the beginning of the Little Great Thinkers™ Series. We hope to follow it with MusicObet, ScienceObet, WriteObet, InventObet, and many more stories of great thinkers throughout history. We hope these stories will inspire your children to explore the great thinker that is within each of us.
TWO MOMS, A TEACHER, A FILMMAKER, AND TWO GREAT KIDS!
ArtObet began with two moms, Eleanor Palm, a kindergarten and first grade teacher who created a unique and magical curriculum that inspired children to learn so much more than what many thought was possible, and Carol Pineau, a filmmaker who thought her young daughter’s amazing experience in Eleanor’s classroom should be shared with children everywhere.
When Eleanor’s son, Samuel, was 5 years old he memorized more than 200 Pokémon characters. Eleanor marveled at how a five year old could absorb so much. They began a journey together, delving into the stories and work of great thinkers throughout history, including great artists, writers, poets, composers, scientists and more.
As a teacher, Eleanor began to wonder why reading lessons so often started with “A” is for “Apple”? Why couldn’t “A” be for (Sofonisba) Anguissola, (Louis) Armstrong, or Antonio Vivaldi. And so her magical and engaging method of teaching early reading skills began. She started each week by introducing a letter, and with that came stories and exercises inspired by famous people throughout the ages whose names started with that letter.
Years later, Carol Pineau watched her daughter bloom in Eleanor’s class, coming home with thoughts on the brushstrokes of Monet, asking to decorate a “Jackson Pollack cake,” and reciting an Emily Dickinson poem on hope when she needed a boost of confidence.
As a parent, Carol was thrilled, but as a filmmaker she felt strongly that something this innovative shouldn’t be limited to just one classroom a year. It should be shared with children, parents and teachers everywhere.
We hope children, families, and teachers will enjoy the film and in the future we look forward to bringing you more great thinkers.
OUR WONDERFUL COMMUNITY, CAST AND CREW
ArtObet brought together a community of children, parents, family, friends, and professionals all dedicated to bringing this vision to the world.
ArtObet’s magical babysitter is played by Jenny Donovan, whose professional acting credits include many child-oriented productions, such as a National Players Tour of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Tiger Lily in Prairie Fire Theatre’s performance of “Peter Pan.”
The more than 40 children in the film – all former students of Eleanor’s – show that the natural make-believe ability in young children combined with a love of learning and devotion to a favorite teacher can create actors in all of us.
Michael Kinney, an award winning videographer with more than 25 years experience, lent his professional eye to the project, backed up by Kian McKeller, doing second camera and sound. Editor and Graphic Artist, Brad Dismukes, brought his wonderful creativity and kid-like nature to the post-production process.
We were so fortunate to have the support of the DC Arts Commission for Arts and Humanities and the Palisades Community Fund.
We are grateful to everyone who gave us their time and expertise to create ArtObet, and especially to the parents, children and our community, where this all started. We thank them for all they have done to support the film and spread the word!
ArtObet started in our community, but we hope this love of learning from great thinkers will spread throughout many communities. If you like what we are doing, tell a friend. In fact, tell lots of friends! For the latest updates on new films and ideas on bringing art into the home and classroom, visit our blog, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.