Annually, Springer hosts multiple residencies giving students access to hands-on learning experiences with professional artists, musicians, authors or illustrators, and actors. Most residencies conclude with a performance or collaborative art piece. These enriching programs are supported by two generous finds: The Maureen Wenker Artist in Residence Fund and the Norita Aplin Musician in Residence Fund.

2022-2023 Musician in Residence Holly Pratt

Holly Pratt is a harpist, educator and founder of the nonprofit Lyrica, Inc. Pratt has played in musical ensembles around North America, Europe and Japan. She has been the recipient of the Continuing Creativity Teaching Award, the Great Isle Arts Service Award, and the Merfyn Jones Award.

During Pratt's visit to Springer all students at learned about the harp and spent time playing the instrument. A group of fifth graders worked at length with the musician for a week to learn a song which was performed before an audience of parents, peers and staff at a special assembly.

2022-2023 Theater Residency - Actress Eileen Earnest

Eileen Earnest is a Cincinnati-based actor, improviser and singer who received her Musical Theatre degree from Ohio Northern University and improv training from Second City Chicago. She is a member of OTRimprov and ComedySportz Cincinnati among several others.  During her residency at Springer, Earnest taught students all about improvisation. She worked with all students for a week in December teaching the big rule of improv, say “yes and.” She and the students did fun exercises including one fun game that begins with the prompt, “I’m packing my suitcase and in my suitcase is a …” The yes rule means no matter how silly the response is, the rest of the group enthusiastically shouts “Yes!” and continues the game. “Improv is all about go with the flow,” one student shares. The sessions were active and fun with a strong positive vibe. Lower School Green students learned a whimsical snow-themed play that they performed at an all-school assembly.

2022-2023 Visiting Author Blythe Russo

Blythe Russo an author and illustrator living just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a master's in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design and is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She is the illustrator of several children’s book and has become an author in her own right. At Springer, students viewed Russo’s sketchbook and learned how she thinks of ideas for characters. The author-illustrator talked about working as a group with all the people who contribute to the process of creating and publishing a book. At the end of her presentation, students learned to draw the main character from her recently published Sloth Sleeps Over and worked as a group to develop an entirely new character.

2022-2023 Artist in Residence Cedric Michael Cox

Cedric Michael Cox one of Cincinnati’s most well-known and accomplished artists recognized for his often-vibrant paintings with elements of cubism and representational abstraction. His work has been the focus of numerous solo exhibitions and is housed in private collections including the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati City Hall Mayor’s Office. Large-scale murals include Avondale Pride completed in 2019, and Welcome Home series in 2022, also in the Avondale neighborhood. Most recently he designed From Enslavement to Emancipation: Sky’s the Limit at 1001 Lincoln Avenue.

At Springer, Cox worked with all students in grades one through eight, tailoring his message and lessons to the age of the students, each coming away with an artwork to represent their time spent together. A group of fifteen eighth graders worked closely with the artist on a large collaborative painting. Their painting, Together We Grow, he explains, is “based around the idea of what happens here at Springer—about how multiple grades work together to uplift each child in a way that makes learning collaborative.”

2021-2022 Artist in Residence Visualized Productions

Eleven eighth graders worked with the founders of Visualized productions, Nick and Greg, for two weeks to create short films. They learned a storytelling technique called the hero’s journey, how to use photography equipment and then used editing software to bring the technology and expression together.  This residency marks the first time that videography as an art medium has been offered by the program in its twenty-nine year history.

Art Teacher Kristin Zanos was overcome with pride when she first viewed the completed movies, and thinking of the work the students put into them. "This is so awesome, they should be so proud!" Learn more about the students' experience and view their videos.