Since 1950, Fisterra’s eldest teacher, William Twain, established an educational legacy after a 36-year career and 13 years serving as Director of high schools. He led alongside 97-year-old activist and teacher, Opal Lee during de-segregation. Executive Director, Amy Morrow, has 20 years of educational experience in K-12 and connects high school seniors to over 35 University partners. In 2009 and 2011, she oversaw student interns and taught master classes at the American Dance Festival School. Since 2015, she has facilitated teacher training sessions for Austin ISD, UT Austin, and Dallas ISD. She was a five-year guest artist at McCallum Fine Arts High School to choreograph and offer master classes with students from México as part of Fisterra’s exchange program. Fisterra produced eight free family friendly arts festivals from 2015-2022.
Our students have graduated from Performing Arts Schools McCallum Fine Arts and Booker T. Washington, received degrees from Juilliard, and currently perform with Ballet BC (Vancouver), Complexions Dance Company (NYC), American Ballet Theater (NYC) and Batsheva Dance Company (Tel Aviv). Paid interns presented our GIS art social and emotional learning project, The XYZ Atlas, as their senior thesis and are now on scholarship at the University of Michigan and Columbia University. We customized programs for Austin ISD faculty during the Dance USA Conference, for Murchison Middle School Students, and two National Dance Education Organization conferences.
Quantitative goal indicators include academic achievement, discipline, attendance, and behavioral ratings. Qualitative methodologies allow teachers to evaluate the effectiveness through interviews and observations. Seven mentoring goal components are: 1. Support and train mentors 2. Match mentors with mentees by race and gender 3. Target recruitment of mentees who particularly need intervention 4. Group mentoring 5. Cross-age peer mentoring 6. A perspective that sees the afterschool club as “home” 7. Customize programming with local resources.
Our village is vast. Fisterra Projects has partnered to offer 245 educational events, given over $29,000 in student scholarships, reached over 900,500 people in- person, and nine million in the media, offered educational workshops in 24 cities, and mentored nine Artistic Ambassadors from Texas and Mexico.
“We engage youth in creative problem solving and expression to learn from each other and our bodies as our teachers about communication, resiliency, adaptability, compassion, and vitality. We as evolutionary beings communicate through presence, pressure, and play - to affirm kindness and security and neutralize hostility. We inspire people to greater trust, satisfaction, and prosperity through connectedness to their community, place, and purpose.
We fail forward. We are co-cartographers and journeyers of our emotional worlds. We share in life-giving and life-sustaining practices to do what we love with those we love even longer. We are caring polymaths who engage communities facing erasure in a process of introspection, and expression and play with new autonomous media.