Arts education refers to the teaching and learning of various forms of art, including music, theater, visual arts, and dance. It aims to develop creativity, self-expression, critical thinking, and cultural awareness among students.
Anti-racism refers to the practice of actively opposing and dismantling racism in all its forms, including systemic, institutional, and individual racism. It involves recognizing and challenging racist attitudes, beliefs, and practices, as well as promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Arts Education Anti-Racism Symposium 2023
Art Education in Maryland Schools’ 3rd Annual Arts Education Symposium on Anti-Racism focused on exploring ways to incorporate anti-racism principles and practices in arts education.
I have taken the role of Equity Liaison at my school, and being apart of the NAEA CAN network, I am excited to bring my perspective into the conversation about how the Arts helps to heal and transform.
The symposium was a wonderful experience of self care, social emotional learning, and cultural proficiency discussions. One of the best parts was listening to Paula Liz from Anti-Racist Art Teacher!
Overall, the symposium aimed to provide a platform for educators, artists, researchers, and advocates to share insights, experiences, and strategies for creating more equitable and just education system through the arts. If you are interested in learning more ways to celebrate diversity and have a more inclusive space, please reach out.
Anti-Racism is really a matter of looking within at your own experiences and how we accept our paths, find gratitude in our experiences, and learn from our mistakes, all while knowing others are a valuable part of our growth… and we are in this together. That is what my ancestors mean by Respect, knowing we are all parts of the whole.
The Ed3DAO UnConference 2022 was one of the most interactive and inspiring virtual conference that I have ever attended.
This was a 3 day conference, full of information about WEB3 and blockchain technology, and how education can and will be affected by these new technologies.
Interactive Digital World
Using ZEP the Ed3DAO team created the most beautiful and content rich metaverse experience. They also scheduled the most meaningful presentation. ZEP is platform to create virtual spaces for events, meetings and gatherings of all types in the metaverse as if you do in real life.
We were able to explore a thoughtfully laid out metaverse and you could definitely tell it was prepared by teachers, with lots differentiating. Such a wonderful sight to see all the avatars moving around and being able to see each persons video!
Check out Ed3DAO YouTube
There are recordings of EdTalk sessions from the conference!
Also check out their DISCORD to be apart of the community!
Cultural proficiency is the result of finding out what makes us feel valued. It is responsiveness. The ability to find out what someone needs… to feel valued, seen, and heard.
The ultimate goal of each of us is to feel valued and be appreciated for who we are. Being seen by others is a huge reason why we do things, and is a result of the things we do.
When we come into a situation with breath first, we are more open to being genuine and authentic. This is a culture of care, one that supports accountability and humility. Working to align our inner voice to our goals in order to support the work. The vision must be at the center of what we do each day.
What is the GOAL of our existence?
What is it that we do what we do for… what do we want to build, create, share, express, learn, experience?
I believe when we begin questioning ourselves in such ways, it leads to deep self reflection and self awareness. It leads to building community and creating innovative experiences for the good of all. When we being to spend time aligning ourselves with our vision, then we are able to connect to one another on a deeper level.
I was invited to the Maryland Cultural Proficiency Conference in October, at Morgan State University. It was my first time at the conference and visiting Morgan State. The conference theme was A Reckoning: Equity, Consciousness, & Healing.
The presentations that I attended and speakers I saw were fantastic. There was a diversity that reiterated what the conference is about equity, diversity, and inclusion, and social emotional learning.
Climate of Mutual Respect
When Dr. Amer F. Ahmed spoke he shared his journey and the experiences that lead him to arrive on our stage. He shared that we must create climates of mutual respect that consists of self-awareness, empathy, tolerance for ambiguity, flexibility in thoughts and behaviors, patience, curiosity, and active listening.
This reminded me of the Seven Teachings of our Anishinaabe grandfathers; Love, Trust, Humility, Honesty, Bravery, Courage, & Wisdom.
Culturally Responsive Curriculum
This presentation was on ways we can incorporate more culturally relevant articles, materials, and learning into our curriculum. Attending this presentation opened my eyes up to new ways to incorporate different cultures into my art classroom. Simple things like teaching my students something about my culture, such as how to say hello in Anishinaabe. We need to normalize multiple perspectives!
Positive Schools Center
The presentation by the Positive Schools Center was perfect. We participated in practices we are being asked to use with our students. We sat in a circle and started with a welcoming ritual. Then we shared something we needed. This presentation was so inspiring and helpful in getting a handle on how I can implement more meaningful interactions with my students.
Lead with vision, integrity and passion says Dr. Gregory C. Hutchens Jr. He shared with us highlights from his book, Getting into Good Trouble at School. Six things we can do to achieve diversity, equity and inclusion in the classroom:
Know your history
Commit to racial equity
Eliminate de-facto segrigation
Differentiation, discipline vs. policy.
Engaging in strategic thinking and planning
Display courageous bold leadership.
During the conference, we were treated to mindful moments, chair massage, reflexology, great food, and time to socialize. This is vital during any professional development as it assists with practicing what we are preaching. How do we want and deserve to be treated, and how do our students?
For the past few months, I have had the pleasure of meeting with some brilliant and kind educators. We all sign in late, usually 9pm EST and begin our discussion about a selected topic. We share our passions and stories with one another, the perfect way to remind us we are all connected. I look forward to spending these evenings with the 4 of them. Thank you Laura, Matt, Candido, and Joe for being you <3
Let’s all celebrate Laura and Matt’s achievements with the Creativity Department podcast! Go listen and follow today!
Also Check out the k12ARTChat Podcast, there are 4 Creativity Crew Conversations.. Episode 99, 92, 86 and 78!
Web 3.0 (also known as web3) is the third iteration or version of the Internet that interconnects data in a decentralized way to deliver a faster and more personalized user experience. It offers a read/write/own version of the web, in which users have a financial stake in and more control over the web communities they belong to. Web3 promises to transform the experience of being online as dramatically as PCs and smartphones did.
What’s the difference?
Web 1.0is a read-only web where people can read information written on websites.
Web 2.0is a read-write web where people can read and write content on websites and applications.
Web 3.0is a read-write-interact web (powered by artificial intelligence) where people can read, write and interact with content, including 3D graphics, on websites and apps.
The key features of Web3 are:
Open – It’s ‘open’ in the sense that it’s made with open-source software developed by an open community of developers and in full view of the public.
Trustless – The network offers freedom to interact publicly and privately without an intermediary exposing them to risks.
Permissionless – Anyone, including users and providers, can engage without the need for permission from a controlling organization.
Ubiquitous – Web 3.0 will make the Internet available to all of us, at any time and from any location. At some point, Internet-connected devices will no longer be limited to computers and smartphones, as they are in web 2.0. Because of the IoT (Internet of Things), technology will enable the development of a multitude of new types of connected gadgets.
What is a DAO?
DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization, is formed when a group of people decide to abide by certain rules to meet common goals. These rules are written into codes of the organization on the blockchain. This gives the community voting rights for how the DAO is run.
What does this mean for Education?
Education system can use DAO’s in many ways. They would be able to vote on critical decisions like curriculum, assessments, and allocation of budget. Everyone would need to think equally about the success of the school and the happiness of it’s population in order to continue operating.
Ed3 DAO is a global community reimagining education, with web3. The first DAO for educators, by educators.
I am excited to know a few other awesome connected educators, and excited that I will be attending the ED3 DAO UnConference in November!
The Ed3 Unconference is a virtual, gamified, learning & networking experience focused on web3, & contextualized for education.
Discussions between innovators in web3 & experts in education about the utility (& risks) of blockchain, metaverse, NFTs, & cryptocurrency in education
Practical sessions on how the web3 ecosystem is impacting the workforce
Ideation & collaboration on the future of education
Choice-Based Art Education is student centered and based around teaching through the use of the Studio Habits of Mind.
The Studio Habits of Mind are ways in which we process our experiences, here is a great project example. They are very similar to the Scientific Method, or the Mathematical Practices.
Teachers in the Mid-Atlantic area came together the first weekend in August for a retreat, to reignite the flame before school begins. When Pam Ehrenreich asked if I knew of a place to host a retreat for teachers in our area I was THRILLED to offer my studio space.
When everyone arrived we started the weekend with appetizers and a TASK party! It was a nice way to get into the weekend… start to make art and open ourselves up new ideas.
Silk Screening TAB SHIRTS
Tracy Skeels shared her method of silk screening. We created stencils from paper and worked together to print our designs.
We shared different projects and resources with each other, creating examples for our students. Julie Dimino shared all of her amazing resources with us!
There were presentations on Cold Finishes on Clay, Gelli Printing, Weaving, and Cyanotypes. Each presentation was so insightful and inspiring.
Cold Finishes for Fired Clay
Jen Byrne shared a few awesome tips for cold finishing clay! Mixing metallic acrylic paint with water in buckets for a quick dip in the shimmer bath!
Tracy Skeels presented on gelli printing, and we were able to explore and create to our hearts content.
Kate Heuston presented on cyanotype, and her experimentation with the process as an artist. We tried new techniques like drawing on acetate, and using transparencies to create different layers of prints.
April Pink presented weaving, and we learned quick and easy ways for our students to be able to weave on cardboard looms.
We also shared the many resource for how we structure our classrooms. The reflection and discussion time were super valuable.
Aside from all the learning, it was great to meet like minded individuals and also have time to create art of our own.
Painting Flow and Glow Party
On Saturday evening we had an intuitive painting party. Each teacher created their own work of art, and then we discussed how we could use this in our classrooms.
The weekend was so amazing. 10 art educators coming together to share and create!
If you missed out on this years, keep an eye out for next! It will be the first weekend in August 2023.
In March I applied for a Connected Arts Network (CAN) Teacher Leader position, and was accepted into the program. I will be part of a virtual, nationwide Professional Learning Community (PLC). Over the course of five years, I will learn and collaborate with other visual arts educators, gaining resources to positively impact your students.
Arts educators are expected to increase their self-efficacy in and use of practices that incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion; social-emotional learning; and leadership in their standards-based arts instruction. For students, this will lead to improvement in their expression of their identities, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs; understanding of their peers’ artworks and processes; and knowledge of the societal, historical, and cultural context of artworks.
What is CAN?
CAN stands for Connected Arts Network.
The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association (EdTA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is launching Connected Arts Networks (CAN), a five-year grant initiative to create nationwide virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with educators in visual arts, music, theater, dance and media arts. The overarching vision for CAN is to build a sustainable model of professional learning for arts educators to strengthen their pedagogy, instruction and leadership skills in order to better serve students. This project is modeled after the successful structure of the PLC program in New York City, initiated by the Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP), another partnering organization.
As a Teacher Leader I will receive specialized virtual training to build my capacity to address Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion and Social-Emotional Learning within arts education. After year two, I will facilitate my own virtual PLC of arts educators of my same art discipline and student grade levels.
I am very excited about this opportunity and feel this is the beginning to something big.
Overall goals of the project
To develop highly effective arts educators, building their capacity to address ED&I and SEL in their standards-based arts instruction through sustained, intensive, and job-embedded blended professional learning.
To develop a local and national cadre of Teacher Leaders in the arts by building their content knowledge and leadership skills in order to expand the impact of arts learning for students and their communities.
To develop accessible arts-based instructional materials, strategies, and toolkits to disseminate to arts educators nationwide, including synchronous and asynchronous professional development programs and digital resources.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity is where everyone is invited to the art studio
Inclusion means that everyone gets to contribute to the artwork
Equity means that everyone has the opportunity to explore
These there aspects of the human journey are great to consider when collaborating and co-creating. To me they are no brainers, to create a world we all desire… we must encourage all people to find their self expression and support their journey to that the best way we can. For the Connected Arts Network teachers, we will be supporting through resources, workshops and sharing our stories.
Social Emotional Learning
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is the process of developing the self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills that are vital for school, work, and life success.
Creativity is the number one way to assist in developing self-awareness and self-actualization. Interpersonal skills are developed through creative expression as well. When a person shares their stories with another, they are learning about themselves through a new perspective while teaching the other person something new as well.
I am so excited to be apart of the Connected Arts Network, and to be able to have a platform to share my stories, ideas and experiences so that others might come to a place where they feel safe to fully express themselves.
So far we have had one meeting with each arts network: Visual Arts, Music, Dance and Theater. It was so inspiring to be with such amazing art educators!
Art educator and artist Raine Valentine joins the Creativity Department on this episode. Raine talks about her Chippewa heritage and how it inspires her. Hear how indigenous philosophies have informed her creativity as she discusses her belief in the importance of expressing yourself. Self-expression is a powerful tool that will inspire others (students) to feel comfortable to do the same! Listen in to understand how tying this altogether creates connection between us all.
Amethyst Retreat Center hosted a Community Weekend event with the focus on the Gift-Giving economy structure. There were many creative and talented people there sharing their gifts; reiki, massage, art, readings, astrology, herbalism, nutrition, wellness, music, and more.
How can we use art to remind us of our connectedness?
What happens when we remember we are all connected?
How do you connect with yourself, and others?
When someone was ready to respond, we presented them with a community mural that had been sketched out and painted the night before. The mural is our visual representation of the importance of our connection. Each mark adds to the whole of the image, and is vital in representing the energy of the space!
I have to give a shout out to my two awesome helpers, Rachel and Elijah! Both of them were there from the beginning helping to fill in spaces and make sure it was ready to be painted on the next day. Thank you!!
So, the design has a lot of elements to it! First I wanted to honor the Susquehannock Indigenous people, who inhabited the land before we were blessed with it.
In the Susquehanna River there are petroglyphs from the Indigenous people on rocks all throughout! A few of these petroglyphs were incorporated into the design…. human, thunderbird, water, and Manitou (the Great Mystery or Creator.)
The center of the mural is a totem of the Amethyst crystals, a rising thunderbird, and the spiral sun of the Amethyst logo. In the center of the thunderbirds chest is a handprint that symbolizes all those who are not seen and recognizes their being.
A sunrise over the Susquehanna river covers the garage doors.
The left of the mural is a flower of life surrounded by concentric circles in colors of the rainbow.
Each attendee left their mark on the mural in response to their remembering that we are all connected. The marks created by each person added to the creation of the mural, like we each add something to the play of life.
I am beyond thrilled with the outcome and in awe of life because of each and every beautiful soul that shared themselves for this project.
Thank you Karen for believing in the vision and hosting such a beautiful community gathering.
A Gift Economy talk where we gathered to hear the stories of transformation and the wisdom shared by individuals who are answering the call and are cultivating their gifts into services that inspire, heal, and nourish others. Karen Kovacs facilitates a group discussion with Erin Shrader, Calyx Liddick, Jennifer Rabenstein, Nicole Sharkey, and myself.
On Saturday and Sunday morning there was breakfast made by Lisa and a community potluck on Saturday night.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this weekend happen, and to everyone who attended! Together we create beautiful things, especially when we remember we are all connected.
The Teaching Artist Institute (TAI) provides an opportunity for artist to learn techniques for social transformation through artistic expression.
Their goals are :
To train artist and artisans as educators of socially engaged art.
To establish and maintain a teaching artist collective.
To advocate cross cultural communication and mutual understanding thru art
To create a platform for teaching artist expression
Kim Poole is a Soul Fusion Performing Artist and Teaching Artist, as well as a Founding Fellow of the TAI. Kim and her team of Teaching Artists are developing ways to explore Art for Social Transformation. Kim is motivated to create art that celebrates culture, resilience and connection to one another.
TAI also offers tours. A unique artist-led traveling experience which allows for authentic exchanges with people of the world! They offer customized itineraries, knowledgeable artist guides, and flexible schedules.
They also offer a Studies & Cultural Exchange which is a program that focuses on curating authentic exchanges with communities for the world in order to study or contribute to the regions symbolic.
The goal of the experience is to ensure that participants receive a holistic introduction to the region by being fully immersed in intimate ways with local culture and people of different sectors and classes in the region.
Underground Railroad Excursion offers an experiential learning opportunity in outdoors survival education, scouting, land navigation and mariner arts that brings African American history off the page and into a practical modern-day focus.
I was introduced to Kim through social media, we both worked on promoting an art conference, and only recently did we meet in person! We immediately hit it off, I knew we were going to do awesome things together! Kim is such an inspiration, has a wonderful heart, and purpose driven! On top of all that she is an amazing vocal artist! Check her out on Facebook and Instagram.
Kim also works with tribes to share their creations! I was so blessed to now own a Chungu drum! Check out the video I made of it!
We are all connected! When we allow ourselves to shine bright, we shine light on those around us <3