Artist Residency Programs


The cornerstone of the Morris Arts Education program is the Artist Residency Program, an interdisciplinary, in-depth program taking place over a two to six week period that demonstrates how the arts, woven into the curriculum with other academic disciplines, can inspire unique, creative and meaningful learning experiences for a school community. Artists, principals and teachers collaborate to create an educational experience that transcends the typical classroom experience by exploring multiple-intelligence, hands-on ways of learning. Students learn how to express themselves creatively while teachers are exposed to innovative strategies for implementing the Core Curriculum Content standards. 

Residencies range in price from $4000 to $7000, depending on the number of days and the number of teaching artists involved in the residency. Unlike assembly programs, all residencies are contracted and administered by Arts in Education director, Barbara Reuther  973-285-5115 ext. 16



BJ Ward's Writer-In-The-School Residency

The Star-Ledger has named BJ Ward a “master teacher” in an article entitled “10 Dynamic Jersey Artists Not Named Springsteen,”. Mr. Ward has also received the Governor’s Award in Arts Education from the State of New Jersey and has been designated Distinguished Teaching Artist by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. His poetry residency serves as an introductory engagement with literature--both the enjoying and creating of it. In this four-day residency, Mr. Ward works with the same classes of one grade level each day over the course of his residency. Designed especially for grades 3, 4, and 5, this poetry experience emphasizes the creation of literary art, as students will be led into focusing on an internal audience, not an external one. In a standard four-day program, the first three days are spent creating new poems while the last day is reserved for revision. During the revision exercise, Mr. Ward explores the differences between revising poetry and prose. At the end of a four-day residency, each student will have at least three new poems, one of which has been revised and is ready for typesetting (usually done on the student’s own Chromebook). The school is then requested to produce an anthology of student poetry after Mr. Ward’s departure (this may be done via the school’s copy machine). Each student with whom Mr. Ward works should be represented in the anthology. This publication serves as the culmination of the Writer-In-The-School residency. Each student should receive his or her own copy. BJ Ward: Grades 3-5  

BJ Ward

Cartoons and Graphic Novels 

Children’s book illustrator and cartoonist Mike Moran will work with students in the process of telling a story with their artwork by creating finished products such as cartoon strips, panels, graphic novels and children’s books. The residency will guide students through the process of; character development and design, storytelling and writing, page sequence, color, background and layout design to print production. All with an emphasis on having fun. Mike Moran Illustration’s client list includes: Major League Baseball, Disney, Simon & Schuster, Dial Books, American Greetings, The New York Times and many, many more. He has worked for, children’s book, major magazines, newspapers, animation, toy packaging to greeting cards. Mike Moran; Grades 3-12


Mike Moran 973-966-6229

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Circus Around the World with Circus Minimus 

Residency led by a former Big Apple Circus instructor has students study juggling, clowning, tumbling, partner acrobatics, human pyramid building, tight-wire, and much more. Circus Around the World is an integrated curriculum that allows students to research culture, history, social studies, language arts and geography of a chosen country, while acquiring circus skills. A collaborative approach among the artist, students, teachers and administrators builds to a joyous circus performance, which is presented to the whole community. Kevin O’Keefe; Grades K-8

Kevin O'Keefe 212.874.3976

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This Residency blends the practice of yoga with the skills of circus. Through this two-week interdisciplinary residency, K-8 students will explore kinesiology, creativity and connection. Yoga is an ancient science that teaches us how to be aware of our bodies in action. Circus is a culture of inclusion and celebration that teaches us how remarkable we can be in our bodies. We will begin by exploring our anatomy and physiology as it relates to a particular skill. We will learn how the whole body and the focus of the mind contribute to our movement, choices, and abilities in any activity. CircusYoga offers a cooperative learning environment. Students are met where they are, and are encouraged to lead with their curiosity. Through this exploration each class will co-create a performance act. Some schools opt to offer a full-circle learning experience where kids teach their parents what they’ve learned in a family workshop. And some parents even choose to join us in the classroom everyday as life-long learners. The culminating experience is an hour-long CircusYoga Celebration open to the whole school community!  Erin Maile O’Keefe; Grades K-8

Erin Maile O'Keefe 808.469.1303



Mike Dawson

Creating Comics with Mike Dawson

A series of hands-on creative drawing sessions, led by award winning cartoonist and author Mike Dawson, designed to be paired or presented separately from Mike's “Cartooning Lessons” assembly. Students work out of an original workbook filled with comic-making exercises. They learn the difference between drawing and cartooning, and gain confidence using the language of comics to tell their own stories. At the end of the sessions, students have created their own comic filled with their drawings and cartoons that they are able to keep and take home with them. Mike Dawson;Grades 3-12

Mike Dawson 917.679.0192


The Creative Journal

Creative journaling has been around since the creation of paper and writing and drawing tools. Journals or diaries have been used by artists, writers, inventors, explorers, travelers, soldiers, and ordinary people recording their lives throughout history.The Creative Journal Residency will combine writing and art. The act of chronicling one’s life can be a lifelong tool for many endeavors, including planning essays (college), recording in the moment reactions to current events, collecting material for projects, school and otherwise, and self expression. 
Students can write about their feelings, their families, or what they did the night before. It will be structured with a new topic for every session. In addition to writing, students can draw, paint, rubber stamp and collage. The teaching artists will provide all needed materials. Students can even make their journal into a graphic novel if they choose. Suggested format is for 6 sessions per class meeting twice a week. Susan Faiola and Lynn Geller; Grades 4-12


Susan Faiola and Lynn Geller

Mosaic and Tile Arts

This residency can take a variety of routes that result in the creation of a site-specific mural, a personalized art piece for an individual or an overall deeper understanding of a specific mosaic art technique. Students can expect to be challenged creatively, aesthetically and intellectually. Much of the process depends on groups working together cooperatively, allowing for each person to contribute to a larger common goal. Over the past 25 years Laura Lyn Stern has guided many student groups through the process of creating meaningful permanent murals throughout their campus buildings and grounds. As an artist and teacher, she brings a wealth of experience with expressing collective goals, mastering materials and perfecting processes. A residency creating an on-site permanent mosaic mural will go through a series of stages from concept design to creating the mosaic parts, assembling the parts and then final installation. Some aspects of the mural will be determined prior to starting, such as the specific installation site, the general theme and materials to be used in the mural. Student input into design specifics will be encouraged as will their participation in all active processes involved.Each residency experience will by nature be unique and will ideally reflect the partner community.Laura Lyn Stern;Grades K-12

Laura Lyn Stern




Mural Arts with Dan Fenelon

New Jersey artist Dan Fenelon collaborates with school communities to create vibrant, high energy murals and installations. Students are led through the mural making process from theme development and planning - to participation in painting the finished work. Educated at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Dan has designed logos for Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the Discovery Channel’s American Choppers. He has designed large scale public murals in Montclair, Newark, South Orange and Grand Rapids. Dan Fenelon; Grades K-12

Dan Fenelon 973.769.5325  

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Pages to Players JR

This residency affords students the opportunity to explore a Shakespeare play in all its dimensions, from reading and discussion to rehearsal and performance. Working with the education staff of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, the residency begins with an exploration of ensemble, introducing students to valuable skills for creative collaboration and problem-solving. Working with an abridged Shakespeare text, the students will explore both physical and verbal forms of expression, building self-confidence and the fluent, effective use of language. As time permits, the residency will make interdisciplinary connections to art, music and other areas that can enhance theatrical storytelling, but Shakespeare’s language remains absolutely central. Each residency will culminate in a performance by the student ensemble. Schools may also wish to add a performance by The Shakespeare Theatre’s educational touring company, Shakespeare LIVE! This residency is designed for a four- to six-week period, but shorter residencies may be possible. The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Grades 4-8

Doug West 973.845.6742

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Photography:From Exploration to


Educator and Fine Art Photographer Erik James Montgomery brings over 30 years of experience into his workshops and residencies. Originally self-taught, Erik went on to study at Columbia University and later at the Academy of Art University. Erik’s residencies are tailor-made to exceed the expectations of the host organizations.The students begin their exploration by learning the FUNdamentals of photography including camera settings and compositional techniques. They will then receive hands-on experience in using photographic devices to articulate their creativity. Areas of exploration to consider include Selfies and Self Portraiture, Photo Collages, Visual Storytelling, Photo-Art Integration, Photograms, Darkroom Printing, Lightpainting, and Alternative Process (Cyanotypes, Sun Prints, Anthotypes, etc.). Workshops and residencies usually culminate with an art celebration where the student's images are printed and exhibited. Erik James Montgomery; Grades 3-12

Erik James Montgomery 877.456.7924 ext.2

Printmaking with Eileen Foti

Master printer, professor, and teaching artist, Eileen Foti, has been introducing K-12 classes and university students, as well as teachers and professional artists to collaborative printmaking for over 30 years.  She has developed the Chipboard Relief process; a low-tech, non-toxic technique that can be successfully explored by children, novice printmakers and seasoned artists.   Both simple and sophisticated prints can be made with or without a printing press. This technique is great for studios and classrooms that are not equipped with special ventilation, as soybean-based inks will be used and can be cleaned up with soap and water. Eileen Foti; Grades 4-12 

Eileen Foti 732.809.3578

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The Possibilities of Glass

J. Kenneth Leap is New Jersey’s premiere architectural stained-glass designer. With a career stretching over 3 decades, he has completed installations in nearly every county in the state. As a teaching artist, he has lead professional development workshops, given presentations on the history and science of glass, and performed interactive demonstrations of medieval and renaissance techniques. In collaboration with schools, he has led student groups to create architectural installations celebrating local history while learning the storytelling power of glass. Students learn traditional and contemporary glass techniques including enameling, fusing and glass mosaic. Kenneth works with teachers and administrators to develop a custom program tailored to compliment your curriculum-based core skills and learning outcomes. J. Kenneth Leap; Grades 4-12; Price on request

J. Kenneth Leap 609.682.0456                                                                                                                                                                        

A Sound Venture

This residency offers a musical global studies adventure as students discover the limitless array of sounds available to the percussionist. African instruments and their new world offspring are used to explore and experience music principles, multi-cultural studies, instrument making or geography. The residency can be designed to support a specific unit of study or curriculum themes such as African-American or colonial music, rhythms & songs, ecology, storytelling and writing. An appropriate culminating activity such as informal sharing, recording or performance will conclude the residency. Ron McBee; Grades K-12

Ron McBee 347.432.03.12




Spiritree residencies draw on the power of art-making to tap the many talents and intelligences of students. The thematically defined interdisciplinary projects integrate the arts with the curriculum as students create masks, giant puppets and life-size figures in paper mâché and engage in creative research. Themes focus on subject areas such as history, literature or science and are chosen by teachers and the artists. So that students may share their creative learning experiences with others, each residency culminates in an installation, pageant or parade. Two- or three-week sessions. Marco Giammetti and Carol Hendrickson; Grades K-12

Marco Giammetti and Carol Hendrickson




Stop Motion Animation

Teaching artist Tracy Fox empowers students all of ages to become creators and contributors and not just consumers of digital information.  The students, regardless of their artistic confidence, become stop motion animators and create movies inspired by their own voice, words and writing.  In a series of workshops students expand their reporting, storytelling and literacy skills and have fun with hands-on art-making.  Students learn how basic mathematics plays a role in translating a single frame/drawing into a unique movie.   This program excels in creating a social-emotional learning environment for students to collaborate.  Learning throughout the design process, their movies teach what they know, share ideas, process emotions, and tell stories.  The theme of the movies and residency topic can range from short autobiographical stories, how-to guides, poem illustrations, science and history topics …   The student’s words and ideas are turned into vivid moving animations that can be shared in a culminating movie screening. This program has been successfully implemented in both in-person and virtual class settings, as well as in multiage and bilingual classrooms.Tracy Fox; Grades 3-12. Virtual program available.

Tracy Fox 908.625.0239 


Virtual Reality Residency

Teaching artist Dan Fenelon has developed a series of workshops to teach Virtual Reality development to middle and high school students. His program is designed to work with 5 students at a time to learn Unity, Tiltbrush, Gravity Sketch and other 3d programs to create assets and environments in Virtual Reality. Students will learn the basics of constructing VR worlds and creating VR camera rigs. Explore the world of Virtual Reality and see the potential for what is to come. Dan Fenelon; Grades 7-12

Dan Fenelon 973.769.5325

We Are All Artists

A residency with muralist and Art Educator Caren Frost Olmsted unleashes the artist in each student that participates in the creation of a stunning, theme driven mural. Every student will get to participate in the painting (no matter what their skill level) with the end result of knowing that they have left a permanent artistic legacy behind. Olmsted will design a mural tailored to the age level and based upon themes provided by the school, such as local history, landscapes, and community ideals. The duration of the project will be determined by the size and scale of the walls to be painted and the number of students to be included. Once the mural is complete, Olmsted will do any necessary touch-ups, as well as seal the wall for longevity and easy maintenance. This residency is also an excellent opportunity for parent volunteers to participate in a special school event. Caren Frost Olmsted; Grades K-12; $500 daily plus expenses (as an example, a 45 foot long wall with 100 students will be an 8 day residency = $4000 plus expenses)   

Caren Frost Olmsted 908.208.7516

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World Dance with Darcy Riley

During this dance residency, students learn folk dances representing different countries and cultures, while also learning about history, geography and music. Each class learns a different dance and then all classes learn one common dance, all of which are performed at a culminating assembly program for the school, parents and community. All classes perform in full costume, and each dance segment is introduced with a description of the country of origin and the history of the dance. Dances can include: Chinese Ribbon Dance, African Lion Dance, Russian Trepak, Highland Fling, Classical Japanese Fan Dance, Japanese Taiko Drumming, Cicerennella, Italian Folk Dance, Australian Aboriginal Dance, French Minuet, Mexican Clap Dance, Merengue, Colonial dances and others! Darcy Riley; Grades K-8  

Darcy Riley 917.604.0961




Zentangle with Mimi Topping

Zentangle is a relaxing, easy-to-learn method of drawing using patterns. The Zentangle method, created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, is a uniquely cool way to create beautiful works of art that require no drawing skill. Anyone can do it! Zentangle is a meditative style of drawing that helps increase focus while decreasing stress and tension. It is yoga for the brain. In a Zentangle workshop you will learn how to use simple, structured patterns to create surprisingly beautiful works of art.There are endless pattern possibilities and combinations to explore. Students will be taught 4 patterns in a 45 minute class, while having the opportunity to create both individual "tiles" and group pieces. Each class provides students with a team building experience. Mimi Topping; Grades K-12

Mimi Topping