Photo Gallery of the program (2000-present) shared with permission of the parents.
“Before children speak, they sing. Before they write, they paint. As soon as they stand, they dance. Art is the basis of human expression.”P. Rashad
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2022-23 ENROLLMENT Application is available here
Founding Directors of the internationally traveled DANCE MONKS, Rodrigo Esteva (born in Mexico) and Mirah Kellc Moriarty (born in the United States of Slavic origin) established Nature and Arts (previously The Green Project) in the year 2000 in response to the deep-seated modern need for children to (re)connect physically and imaginatively to Nature through immersive experiences. Nature and Arts is a bi-lingual (Spanish/English) hybrid of play-based explorations and artist-led experiences. A typical day includes supported outdoor adventures, storytelling, drawing, gardening, and creative movement practices with music from around the world. The focus is on supporting children to stay connected to and strengthen their own unique vibrancy and gifts, learn self-care skills, cultivate empathy, and co-create a culture of kindness in relationship with one another and the natural world. While many adults are expressly concerned for the future of the earth, little has changed in the education system to support the future protectors of our planet. Nature and Arts encourages children to fall in love with the environment for a lifetime. Rodrigo and Mirah have drawn from thirty+ years of experience working with children of all ages in public and private schools to create this visionary, interdisciplinary program. They have taught throughout Mexico and the United States as well as in Peru, Canada, and Europe. Please see the teachers' full biographies here.
NEWS! DANCE MONKS currently offer an intentionally small micro-program in Berkeley parks with a unique 2:8 (Teacher to Student ratio) for children 3-6 years of age. Teachers are vaccinated. Masks are currently optional based on the local health guidelines.
CONTACT: E-mail Mirah and Rodrigo at email@example.com
TUITION | Payments are due on the 1st of each month via PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org
Enrollment priority is given to families who participate 3 days a week and register for the whole year
>> A non-refundable deposit of $720 is due on June 1, 2020 for Fall Enrollment with the next payment due on October 1, 2020
3 days a week |Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays | 9am-1pm: $720/ month (Discounted rate)
2 days a week | Wednesdays and Thursdays | 9am-1pm : $600/ month (Subject to space availability)
1 day a week | Thursdays | 9am-1pm: $300/ month* (Subject to space availability)
SEASONS | ~12-weeks/session | Enrollment priority is given to families who register for the whole year
Fall Session: September 2-November 24
Winter Session: December 8-March 10
Spring Session: March 15-June 2 (Last payment is due on May 1)
VACATION TIMES are in sync with local Berkeley Unified School District
Fall Recess: Monday, November 22 – Thursday, December 2, 2021
Winter Recess: Monday, December 20 – Friday, December 31, 2021
Spring Recess: Monday, April 4 – Friday, April 8, 2022
Last day of Year-long Program: Thursday, June 2, 2022
NATURE & ARTS DAILY RHYTHM
We encourage gentle beginnings and parents are welcome to linger in the morning to build friendships between families
9am: DROP-OFF AT THE MOTHER TREE- Gathering of friends with free play, chalk drawing, and bubbles
9-10am: ADVENTURES- Tree climbing, imaginative play sensitizing our perception and wonder-building at the unicorn garden
10am: SNACK TIME- Sharing stories, myths, legends, music, and songs from around the world
10:45am: MOVEMENT SKILLS Creative movement, building confidence and connection to each other and Nature
11am: SELF-CARE Transitions breathing and Yoga moment (Nationally certified teachers)
11:30am: GARDENING and art-making
12noon: LUNCHTIME Picnic and storytime, walk/dance caravan to pick-up location with costumes, bells, and colorful wind ribbons
12:45pm: FAMILY GATHERING TIME Sharing and children's meditation cards for integration
1pm: PICK-UP TIME
MICRO-PROGRAM RATIO: 2:8 Teachers to Students (2:9 on Thursdays, only)
Our past youth environmental performance projects include The Great Dreamer (Malcolm X in Berkeley), The Green Project: Rain Dances (Highland Elementary School in Richmond), The Green Project: Wild Child and other Tales of the Tall Trees (Berkeley Arts Magnet), The Green Project: Bike Tour (Bay Area), Madrid School (Mexico City) and Conversaciones con Arboles, (Nayarit Mexico). The Green Projects were made possible thanks to The Open Circle Foundation (2007, 2009, 2010, 2013) and The Zellerbach Family Foundation (2007 & 2016). >> Watch an excerpt from the GREEN project at Highland Elementary School, Richmond California.
DANCE MONKS is part of the Children and Nature Network.
"Mirah and Rodrigo are such skilled, empathetic teachers. They are excellent at channeling the kids' energy into imaginative projects and games. There is such ease, flow, and delight (!) in these mornings. It's a really special, tight-knit group of kids and families." Larissa, Parent
"Nature and Arts has been a blessing for my son and our family. He has absolutely thrived under the loving and attentive care of Mirah and Rodrigo. They have created a magical and unique experience for little kids that celebrates each child, as well as the beauty of exploring nature, making art, gardening, movement, storytelling, and more. They have navigated the flux of Covid with grace and adaptability and place a real emphasis on community amongst the families. I feel truly grateful that we have found Nature and Arts!" Helena, Parent
"The Green Project (now Nature and Arts) is hands down the most inspiring and professional arts programming for children that I have ever encountered. I look forward to working with Rodrigo and Mirah for years to come."
Sarah, Public School Teacher