Arts in Education

Artists in Residence

About the ON Jonas Artist Residency Program:

The Oscar N. Jonas Foundation's primary focus is to sponsor art education programs which place artists in ALL schools in the Dalton Public, Murray County, and Whitfield County Schools each year. In addition, the Foundation also provides programs to non-traditional schools such as NorthStar and the Dalton Regional Youth Detention Center. For many of our students, these programs are their only exposures to the arts. The Foundation works in partnership with school administrators and teachers, and the Creative Arts Guild (who donates their administrative support) to procure our artists.

Education develops a child's full potential when is includes the arts. The Oscar N. Jonas Foundation is fully committed to helping all of our students achieve their full potential. The programs performed by these artists are not merely enjoyable experiences. Through our partnership with the Foundation, each student's ability to feel, communication, judge, and learn is expanded.

The Oscar N. Jonas Foundation is the only organization in Georgia that totally concentrates its efforts on bringing talented artists into our school systems, and, more importantly, at no cost to the students.

Our Artists for 2016-2017 School Year:

Sean Driscoll

Sean Driscoll is a proven innovative educational entertainer that reaches over 6,400 children through 160 shows and workshops each year. Shows and workshops meet curriculum standards in math, science, STEAM, character education, reading, language arts and social studies, and include comedy-theater, animation, puppets, music, storytelling and/or gaming. He is also a professional classical guitarist with experience as a university professor, recording artist, and performer.

Sean has been selected to perform for numerous organizations over his career tenure. Those include Young Audiences of Atlanta, Georgia Council of The Arts, United Arts Council of Raleigh, South Carolina Arts Commission and Better Basics of Montgomery.


Tip Tap Two

Tip Tap Two consists of two members who have bonded through a shared love of tap dancing.

Terrence “Taps” began teaching at the McClendon Performing Arts Institute in the year 2000 when he himself had only been tap dancing for three years. There he met Tre McClendon who was already displaying a love and appreciation for tap dancing!

For years these two dancers would devote extra time after class to developing their improvisational skills and perfect their technique. Both have learned from some of the greatest tap dancers around, including the legendary Savion Glover.

Both of these performers were regularly featured at the Apache Café in downtown Atlanta where they would spend hours performing with live musicians. They have also been seen at the annual “Swinging Night of Tap!” In every case, audiences have been thrilled by some of the most phenomenal tap dancing seen in Atlanta in years! Both dancers are committed to the expansion of tap dancing as an art form that is appreciated in Atlanta. In addition, they are committed to educating others about tap dancing, its rich history, and its continued evolution. Their love of dance is expressed in every sound they create and every rhythm that moves the audience. They are tap dance entertainers, educators, and innovators.


Tim Oliphant

Tim Oliphant (professionally known as Mr. Ollie), has been a professional cartoonist since 1983. He’s done comic strips, editorial cartoon, humorous illustrations for magazines and ad agencies, caricatures, greeting cards, and gag cartoons for magazines appearing in local, state and national publications.

Some publications that have published Mr. Ollie’s cartoons and illustrations include The Saturday Evening Post, Woman’s World, Highlights, Ebony, American Legion Magazine, and more. Beginning in 1986, Mr. Ollie began his work as a “teaching artist” by traveling to schools as an Artist in Residence. He has been an active member of the National Cartoonists Society since 1984 and is its former Education Committee Chairman.


Ah Surely  — The Celtic Company

Ah Surely is the title of a great old Irish dance tune. It’s also a common phrase that you may hear in Ireland, as in “Ah surely, it’ll be grand!” Every performance of the band is grand as Claire Shirey, Evan Kinney and John Maschinot will make you want to kick up your heals with a program of pure, authentic Irish music and dance, combining masterfully played uilleann (Irish) pipes (a soft-spoken cousin of the Scottish bagpipes), fiddle, concertina, flute, tin whistle, bodhran, banjo and guitar with traditional Irish step dance, the trio is sure to tickle the fancy of young and old alike! Ah Surely has taken their fun, upbeat and educational program to venues and schools throughout the region. Perfectly tailored for any and all age groups, students/audience members will love to join in on authentic Irish sing-a-longs and even learn a simple dance step as they take part in a real Irish céilí (pronounced kay-lee), a traditional music and dance party.

Ah Surely was officially founded in 2014, but John Maschinot, Evan Kinney and Claire Shirey had been working together for many years before that. Claire started dancing to John’s music in 2009 at the Atlanta Celtic Christmas concert at Emory University and has performed at every production of Celtic Christmas since then. John met Evan in 2007 through Evan’s father Mick Kinney, a great old-time fiddler himself, and has been performing with him ever since.


Georgia Ensemble Theatre

The Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory provides quality theatre productions and arts education to the north metro Atlanta area. The Company annually produces five mainstage productions, attended by more than 30,000 patrons, as well as school tours, the new FamilyStage series, and year-round classes for all ages.

(GET) is proudly celebrating the 20th Anniversary tour of “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank” to schools throughout Georgia. This year’s production will tour across Georgia from February 13-March 31, 2017 and reach approximately 15,000 students during its run.

About the Show:

Written by James Still, the play is based on the book, Eva’s Story, by Eva Geiringer Schloss. Young audiences will be introduced to Eva as well as Ed Silverberg (“Hello” in Frank’s diary), two childhood friends of Anne Frank. Their Holocaust survivor stories are told by performers on stage as well as through recorded video interviews and photographs shown on screens throughout the performance. Audiences experience firsthand accounts of the rise of the Nazi regime, what it was like to be in hiding, the horrors of concentration camps, and the power of hope. This play is appropriate for grades 5 and up.

About the Director:

“And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank” is directed by Atlanta actor/director Erin Bushko, who performed in the show for five consecutive years with Georgia Ensemble Theatre. She has directed the last two years’ productions of this powerful story.


Moscow Nights and Golden Gates

In 1993 the company Golden Gates was created in St. Petersburg, Russia. Drawing upon students from the Author’s Aesthetic Music Secondary School, these children became the first members of the group, and they began performing at various cultural events, folk festivals and concerts throughout Russia and Europe. Currently under the direction of Marina Tourlygina, and ranging in ages from five to fifteen, the group now includes Russian dancers as well as singers.

A typical concert program includes songs, rituals, folk stories, audience participation, and dances that have been carefully researched and recreated in performance. The dancers will thrill your audiences with their skillful virtuosity, colorful costumes, the syncopation of footwork, and gymnastic leaping of foot-stomping ferocity.

Moscow Nights, an ensemble of talented Russian folk musicians, tours with the Golden Gates. Embarking upon their tenth season across the United Sates and performing in venues as diverse as evening concerts, arts councils, festivals, and school shows, Golden Gates and Moscow Nights are receiving rave reviews from across the country.


Laughing Matters

Laughing Matters began in 1985 as a group of students learning improvisational comedy. Over the years, they’ve developed into an educational resource for industries, corporations and first and foremost, schools and youth groups. The programs presented for area schools are interactive improvisational shows that are structured around the theme of Conflict Resolution. Based on grade level, recent events, and/or ideas given by students and sometimes teachers, scenes are improvised and a myriad of conflicts arise. Students learn ideas of avoiding conflict, cooperation, how to be aware of different emotions, the importance of making positive choices and who to come to when they have questions. Improvisational actors start each scene and frequently as the students to play a key role. Although the topic is serious and treated as such, the group always remembers their roots in comedy.


Readers to Leaders

Shell Underwood is a servant leader and small business owner working with members of our community to plan their financial future while still meeting the needs of today. Shell is a Veteran who served in the Army National Guard at the Calhoun and Cedartown Armories.  For 12 years Shell was a dedicated High School teacher in Whitfield and Murray counties, where her favorite class was Environmental Science which she taught at North Whitfield Middle School. If all that isn’t enough, she is a loving wife and mother of three young children.
Shell is actively involved in the community by serving Rotary Club, Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, Readers to Leaders and the Conasauga River Alliance. She was awarded the Fraternalist of the year award for her work in our community with Modern Woodmen of America. Shell graduated Georgia Southern with a Bachelors of Secondary Science Education, Piedmont College with a Masters in Science Education and earned a Specialist Degree from Walden University.