Repha Buckman

Repha Buckman

Out of State Region
Sterling, Kansas
[email protected]

No matter what genre I am working in with students and teachers, I have the same goals: 1) enrich the curriculum by increasing their understanding of the art form, 2) enhance behavior and social skills, 3) celebrate our diversity, 4) increase their ability to communicate, 5) increase their self-esteem, and 6) have fun. I begin a writing residency by sharing some of my favorites so that students can identify with my own process in the form we will be working in. Then I take them through the steps of the writing process as a group, practicing as we go. We then do the process individually, breaking it down into steps, one by one. In a playwriting residency, we usually work as a group, outlining and writng together, so that everyone contributes and feels included in the adventure. I put their lines on the board, while our scribe puts it to paper or computer. Every student has ownership of the entire play. We have created plays that deal with math, science, social issues, English as a second language, and history. With all art forms, I want the students and teachers to end the residency stronger in their skills, aware that art is a life-long activity for learning and pleasure, that correlations can be made between subjects, that everyone is creative, and that creativity enhances everything we attempt in life. And, I want them to feel that whatever the subject, there are no limits to how the arts can enhance it and the learning about it.


Executive Director of Southwest Arkansas Arts Council in Hope, Arkansas from 1999 - 2012, Repha has been an Artist-in-Education for over  thirty-five years. With a B.A. in Education and an M.A. in English Literature, she was a secondary teacher for nine years and joined the AIE program in Kansas in 1984. She has done residencies in Kansas, Nebraska, California, and Arkansas. She also designed training programs and trained staff in detention centers and youth shelters in Kansas for five years. Repha initiated and designed SWAAC's After School/Summer arts programs, which won the President's Committee for the Arts and Humanities 2006 Coming Up Taller Award. She often teaches classes in her fields of poetry, playwriting, theater, puppetry, and mask-making. In 2000, she won the Arkansas Governor's Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work with students and the community in Hope, and in 2005, was named Hope Business and Professional Woman of the year, again because of her work with at-risk children. Her philosophy is, "We never know where the ripples will stop. In a time when we, as a culture, spend more on incarceration of our youth than on intervention, it is imperative that we do as much as we can, to save as many as we can, however we can. We know that the arts work for many of our children who otherwise, would fall through the cracks."

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: Elementary; Middle/Junior High; Senior High
Geographic Availability: Statewide
Time Availability: open
Special Needs: It will vary with the discipline.