AOA Startup Grant 2018

Teaching storytelling through comics

Ira maracks 1.jpg Who:
Ira Marcks

Workshops in the art of storytelling through comics.

My name is Ira Marcks. I am a cartoonist and independent art educator. The focus of my teaching is to reach out to students who are in need of a more specialized outlet of artistic expression. I work on both ends of the spectrum: Developing classes for extra curricular art enrichment programs as well as programming for special needs and adapted education facilities.

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I am applying for the Sunmark Startup Grant to aide in the costs of materials to bring my cartooning workshops to a higher level. My workshops are based in the art of storytelling through comics. I believe comics to one of the few art forms where an artist's vision can be shared through various forms of mass communication. The tools used to create comics are fairly simple. But one of the key motivators in making comics is the potential to share them with a reader. With funding assistance, I can offer my workshops at reduced prices and provide art materials without charging a fee to my students. Some of the fees I need to cover are; printing costs and materials, general and specialized illustration paper, paint and inks. Proper funding will give me an opportunity to reach more young artists and provide them with an opportunity to share their art with the wider community.

The have a series of phases to market my workshops. Primarily I need to create venues to reach new students. First, I am currently gathering arts funding to self-publish my own graphic novel. With successful fundraising, I will freely distribute the book to local schools and libraries to build an audience for my own work and, hopefully encourage students, institutions and parents to seek me out and learn about my workshops. In tandem with my book's release, I will host a series of performances of storytelling based on my comics. Again, this project is intended to entertain and enrich my community as well as let people know who I am and what to expect when taking one of my classes.

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I have attached a resume that highlights my teaching and artistic experiences throughout the Capital Region that have helped me develop my curriculum. I pride myself in being a very diverse educator. Currently I am teaching a teen cartooning workshop and developing a play with the consumers at a metal health facility. I am proud of the growth and confidence I've encouraged people to discover through art. I hope to find support from groups like yours to bring my work to a wider audience of potential artists.

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Art Instructor with Social Services 2010-current | Roarke Center for Social Services | Troy, New York Teaching general art theory and art history to an at-risk community of adult students. Independently developed curriculum for a variety of students and situations.
Special Education Art Instructor 2009-current | Art Center of the Capital Region | Troy, New York Teaching adapted art classes for special needs students.
Special Education Teaching Aide 2007-2009 | Shaker High School | Latham, New York Taught or assisted with a Special Ed Teacher's curriculum in a classroom setting. Integrated Special Education Students into mainstream art classes.

Art Workshop Instructor 2005-current | Capital Region of New York State Teaching ciricullum on general art, cartooning, animation and storytelling theory. Collaorators include The Art Center of the Capital Region, Hudson Valley Community College, Renselear Polytechnic Institute and the BOCES Arts Enrichment Program.

Special Education Teaching Assistant 2000-2006 | BOCES Special Education | Mexico, New York Assisted in a classroom with autistic and emotionally disturbed students. Assisted teachers in the planning and execution of daily curriculum.

Regular Contributor to Award Winning Fantasy Magazine; Weird Tales Illustration and animaiton for business clients and academic institutes Self-Publishing comics of varying lengths (most work is out-of-print) Digital works can be viewed at:
BFA in Graphic Design & Minor in Creative Writing 1999-2003 | Rochester Institute of Technology | Rochester, NY

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