Interarts Workshop

August 8-12th 2016

The Helena InterArts Summer Workshop is an integrative music, dance, and visual art workshop for ages 6-18.

HISW will host up to 40 children and teens ages 6-18 for a week-long summer workshop August 8-12, 2016. We'll meet daily from 9am-4pm at the Holter Museum, where all participants will take part in workshops in music (instrument making, musical improvisation, composition, graphic score creation, and performance), dance (technique, improvisation, choreographed pieces), and visual art (costume and set design).

Guided by the HISW arts faculty – Mary Margaret Moore (dance), Tanya Call from Cohesion Dance Project, Jennifer Bewerse (cello) and Heather Barnes (soprano) from Diagenesis Duo, and Sondra Hines from the Holter Museum – participants will work towards a final public performance in the evening on August 12, 2016 at the Holter Museum.

Participants can choose between two focus areas: Dance and Visual Art Emphasis or Music and Visual Art Emphasis.

In Visual Art sessions (with Holter Museum artists), children will explore how the visual arts can be used to communicate story and feeling. Participants will create creatures, characters, and costumes that can help tell a story using found and re-purposed objects as well as more traditional art materials. These art projects will be pulled together to create a backdrop for the HISW final performance, illustrating how the arts work together to communicate to an audience.

MUSIC AND VISUAL ARTS EMPHASIS (Ages 6-11 with Diagenesis Duo)
In their music sessions students will compose, improvise, and build their own instruments with imaginative activities inspired by the experimental music tradition.

Using sound games and activities, each student gets the chance to compose their very own music. But composition doesn’t happen in a vacuum! The compositional part of the workshop is also a time to explore collaboration by working together as both composers and performers. In improvisation, making sound is as important as listening. In our improvisation ensemble, we learn to “listen in” as we create music together. Improvisation games and musical patterns are used to compose on the spot. With a focus on being environmentally friendly, each workshopper makes several great sounding instruments out of recycled materials to use in our improvisations, compositions, performance, and to take home for future music making!

Throughout music sessions HISW music faculty will guide workshoppers through complex concepts like listening and abstracting sound into notation while avoiding economic or knowledge barriers that traditional Western instruments and notation can present. At the end of the week students leave with tools to continue creating their own music and to listen with open, adventurous ears.

Music Emphasis is for children ages 6-11 of all backgrounds and abilities. Participants do not need to read music, play an instrument, or have any musical training at all. Those interested should come with an excitement about sound creation and experimentation, a willingness to work together to discover musical ideas, and be ready to have fun!

DANCE AND VISUAL ART EMPHASIS (Ages 11-18 with Cohesion Dance)
Participants in the Dance Emphasis portion of workshop will learn and practice self-directed movement techniques through a variety of creative explorations including space, time, shapes, levels, mood, tempo, emotion, and movement quality. The improvisational practices we use in HISW will allow participants to freely explore movement from within their bodies, regardless of dance background, experience, or movement limitations. Dance movements created during the week will integrate a road map directly related to the musical score being created in the music section of the workshop. Additionally, the process of creating the visual art pieces will be expanded into structured improvisational movement utilized for example during the painting of the large scale graphical score live during the performance.

Participants will gain a greater understanding of and connection to the intricacies of music, an awareness of their own movement qualities and capabilities, and an appreciation for movement in all forms. They will become more confident with initiating their own self-directed movement and with strategies for creating choreography.

The Dance Emphasis is for youth between the ages of 10-18, of all abilities, with or without dance experience. Those interested should come with an open mind, a willingness to participate in creative movement explorations and teamwork, and a desire to have fun!

Fee: $150.00

9:00-11:00 Emphasis Track - Music or Dance
                    Workshoppers meet in their core emphasis
11:00-12:00 Non-Emphasis Time - Music or Art
                    Workshoppers spend time experimenting outside of their emphasis, either heading to Music or Art
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Non-Emphasis Time: Experiments in Dance or Art
                    Workshoppers spend time experimenting outside of their emphasis, switching to learn in Dance or Art
2:00-4:00 Workshop (all together!)


Cohesion Dance Project is a non-profit dance production company whose mission is to enrich, inspire, and unite the community through dance. Established in May 2012 by Tanya Call and based in Helena, Montana, Cohesion evolved out of a passion for dance, diversity, and community involvement. Creating collaborative performances and dance opportunities for dancers and non-dancers, Cohesion promotes a healthy community that fully embraces people of varying ages, abilities, and experience levels and supports a diversity of dance forms as essential to the human spirit.

Cohesion often brings in professional guest artists to assist with its projects, helping to establish its unique atmosphere of openness and diversity and facilitating integration and collaboration through its productions like Shira Greenberg’s Nutcracker on the Rocks and Rhythm Dancers ~ Rhythmic Fusion. Cohesion offers a few dance technique classes focusing on those in the community less served by other organizations, ie. youth and adults interested in modern dance and basic dance technique as well as people with disabilities or special needs. In all of Cohesion’s projects Tanya and her guest artists focus on establishing a welcoming environment where participants feel comfortable reaching outside of their comfort zone and exploring new ideas, all while having fun and making new friends!

For more information about Cohesion Dance, visit

Diagenesis Duo was formed when Heather Barnes and Jennifer Bewerse met during the 2010 soundSCAPE Performance and Composition Exchange in Maccagno, Italy. While walking between rehearsal locations and working together in a chamber ensemble, they formed a mutual artistic admiration and became fast friends.

In their first several years as an ensemble, Diagenesis Duo has been able to commission and premiere nine new works for soprano and cello, perform in diverse venues from concert halls to community centers, bring their work to six states and two countries, and were recently recipients of the Myrna Loy Center Grants to Artists Award.

Dedicated to providing young people and the community with musical access, Diagenesis Duo frequently performs concerts that facilitate a dialogue between the audience and performers with the goal of building an empowered audience for contemporary music.

For more information about Diagenesis Duo, visit

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