Creative Art Workshops

Simmons' most recent achievement was to design Bronx Community Crime Scene Investigation (BCCSI), an interactive, interdisciplinary science program for the Bronx Community College STEP series.  BCCSI provides students with hands on application and understanding of the core math and science skills principles. “My program teaches students to apply science and criminal investigative research skills towards the solving of a fictitious 'murder mystery',” says Alex Simmons, (who is also one of the program instructors).

“Students use criminal forensic techniques to collect and 'analyze' evidence, develop research and observational skills, conduct interviews, and draw deductive conclusions based on the data obtained’," continued Simmons. Simmons has also used the interdisciplinary structure of BCCSI to incorporates Social Studies and Language Arts as integral components of the instructional design. Along with the scientific research and application students strengthen writing, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills.

Simmons leading professional development, as well as creative art, workshops from Albany to Baltimore

Simmons has taught his Art of Making Comics workshop to young people for over 12 years. He's also developed and taught Professional Development Workshops to educators and parents on using the creative arts (comics, theater, and journalism) to support academic studies, from the US to Africa

The Art of Making Comicson the Road

Action, adventure, satire, and the human condition

These are just some of the things artists and writers have explored for generations through the world of comics. Comic art is one of the most popular story-telling mediums around the globe -- from comic strips to Manga, from humorous teen ankhs to social commentary.  Now students can be part of that magic!  In this exciting workshop, students will be introduced to the process of creating comics -- from idea, to script, to full color art.  The'll also obtain insight into the process of creating their own comic strips and full-length stories (developing plots, penciling and inking the pages, etc.). 

For nine years Simmons has taught this journalism workshop to kids from six to sixteen. This includes three years at the Creative Arts Summer Camp. During four weeks the kids produced numerous podcast inter iews and published a daily newspaper under the title SUMMER ACTION NEWS. "The children come to the class with energy, excitement and creativity," Simmons said. "I just give them some guidance and then get out of their way."

( View Video )


C.A.T.1 Studio

Creative Arts & Technology Studio: A program by Alex Simmons & Eugene Adams

How Can Art & Technology Help To Teach Academic Subjects?

In this workshop Simmons will show participants how to the arts and technology can work together to improve academic interest and studies, building a strong path to a young person's future.

In the workshop participants will:

• Identify the subject matter (Math, English, Science, etc.)

• Find creative programs or projects that support subject matter

• Introduce students to the exciting aspects of that field

• Demystify the field with stimulating examples

• Give students a series of short term assignments

• Discuss each project at intervals, tying them to everyday life

• Identify and invite guest speakers (college students, or professionals in the field)

• Display students’ works

Example: Using Graphic Design

Studying graphic design requires the class to view the world differently. They have to look at it as SHAPES, PATTERNS, SYMBOLS, and SUBTEXT. This method of thought and analysis will affect how they look at literacy, mathematics, social issues, subliminal messaging, cogitative thinking, other matters as well.

Tools of the Trade:

• Samples of posters, covers, etc.
• Pencils
• Paper
• Inking pens
• Tracing paper

You will also need:

• Computers
• Microsoft Word
• Adobe Photoshop
• A Scanner
• Internet Access
• A Printer

The Science Of Superheroes
January thru February 2010 Simmons will be at:

Community School 21 in Brooklyn, teaching his Art of Making Comics Workshops to middle schoolers.
The program is sponsored by Behind the Books which send authors into schools to works with young people in the areas of literacy appreciation and the creative arts.

School 21 in Patterson, NJ
. Simmons will bring his Art of Making workshop to over 80 students who will create, write and illustrate their own comic strip stories.
This program is sponsored by the Christopher Barron Live Life Foundation, which will also sponsor a culminating event and a creating comics contest in the weeks to follow.

Watch a clip from FIOS News coverage: