Arts Empower Mega Conference

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October 9 was the San Diego Mega Arts Empower Conference for VAPA teachers. This is year 2 of the conference and it is actually a lot of fun.

It was held in Balboa Park both last year and this. There were just over 500 people in attendance. It is a little tricky to find all the locations of the sessions as they are spread out all over the park and not all of them have clear signage.

It was nice this year that the museums allowed us to go in for free but I found it impossible to get to a museum AND the sessions so I did not see the benefit in that idea at all. It would have been nice if the museums had given the teachers a voucher to come back on another day.

The opening session featured Siddharth Moran, Mark Doolittle and Ben Vereen all of them discussing how the arts fostered their success. I missed most of that session to set up my book making session all the way across the park.

They had vendors in a room near Panama 66 at SD Museum of Art. I only got there at lunchtime. It was packed and the tables were really close together but I did manage to get around to all of them and gather up some ideas and brochures.

There were many sessions to choose from for all areas of VAPA. I chose to attend Visual Arts sessions, of course. I also prefer hands-on sessions where I can touch things and get ideas and lessons to take back to my students so those are the sessions I chose to attend.

Here are some images from the sessions I visited. I see some new art lessons for my students in the making!

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Puppets made with scrap cardboard. This reminded me of the hearts I made with the preschool 3’s last year.

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Scrap cardboard sculpture-slotted squares of cardboard decorated and notched to create a changeable sculpture.

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Crayon resist (hydrophobic) flowers with dampened marker (hydroponic).

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Paper mache bowls with tissue paper and botanicals.

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3D Images in chalk-uses chromadepth 3D glasses for viewing but nice as a stand alone image as well. LOVED the giant black chunky crayons she had. She said they were from Nasco.

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Painting with dirt…glue, water and strained dirt used as paint. Interesting concept. Not sure my principal would appreciate the students digging holes all over the school yard to bring in dirt to make paint but certainly a fun lesson.

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Machines that move. Oh I think some grade 2’s are going to love this lesson!

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The layered self. I would use clear acetate instead of the cut paper or the cut images would be far less elaborate and done with scissors and symmetry instead of using the box cutters and exacto knives this high school teacher uses.

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Vegetable print making-I pretty much knew what this one was before I started but it was next door to the dirt painting session so I straddled the two and got the best of both workshops. The teacher for this one came all the way down from Fallbrook!

There were so many ideas and thoughts on arts integration, STEAM, best practices, National Standards and Common, Core. It was a splendid day and a great way to meet teachers from all over the county.

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