Carla Christopher, York City’s former poet laureate and now the city’s arts/culture liaison, talks about her new position while being
Carla Christopher, York City's former poet laureate and now the city's arts/culture liaison, talks about her new position while being interviewed at The York Emporium. (Randy Flaum photo -

York City's former poet laureate, who serves a new role as its arts and culture liaison, wants to hear from creative people willing to share their knowledge and talent with kids.

Carla Christopher said she's building a database of local artists who can help York City School District teachers supplement their curriculum with performances, presentations and workshops.

She's looking for talents of all types — visual art, music, dance, acting, writing and more.

The goal, she said, is to present teachers with a menu of options that can enhance classroom instruction.

"The teachers really designed this program," she said.

The kids, Christopher said, will get a glimpse into art "that they can turn it into a job or a fruitful lifestyle."

How it will work: For example, a social studies teacher might want to host someone who specializes in African dance or music during a unit on the continent, she said.

English teachers could book poets or Shakespearean actors. Elementary math teachers could use musicians to demonstrate counting beats and rhythm to younger kids.

Aerialists and dancers "can show the importance of physical fitness, muscle control" in gym classes, Christopher said.

"Over the years we have had to drastically cut art programs as well as our music programs and all the other special activity programs that we've had," Superintendent Eric Holmes said. "Although we can never make up for those lost programs, this is a great way to bring some folks in and give the kids some of those experiences."


Next step: Christopher said she met in May with members of the district's school board, who offered their support of the program.

She's hoping to build a database of at least 30 people representing different genres of art.

"It's certainly something that we need and I think it gives our kids an opportunity to see a variety of art forms and experience a variety of people coming in who can share with them what it's like to paint or to sing or to write or to sculpt. And it gives them a wealth of experiences that they can use not only for their art education but for in life in general," Holmes said.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Christopher by emailing her at

— Reach Erin James at