Day 2 of Creativity at the Core started out with Intensive Workshops most of which were off site at local museums, theaters, or dance studios. I chose the Museum of Photographic Arts: Visual Literacy Workshop. We started with an overview of the history and purpose of the museum and then did a docent led tour of the exhibitions. We looked at several images from the Moment in Time Exhibition. At each stop, the docent led us in an inquiry based discussion and we talked about ways to use these strategies in the classroom.
We also looked at works by Erica Deeman, George Hurrell, and then into their interactive gallery. Once the tour was complete, we went to the library to create a curated exhibit of our own using pre-printed images from the collection, foam core, tape, and markers. Each group was told to pretend they were curating an exhibition and could choose the theme and the display. This lesson could be replicated easily in the classroom and gives a great deal of latitude to be able to curate an exhibition of anything from art to animals to rocks. They gave each of us a thumb drive with the images so that we can create our own.
Our lunch Speaker was Dr. Ivonne Chand O’Neal, Muse Research. She talked about the creative process, creativity and the research she and her colleagues have been doing in this field.
She also talked about how the arts can help improve student learning outcomes.
For the afternoon session, I chose her breakout which was all about failure. Making it okay to fail allows us to have great success. She had each group make a vehicle out of art supplies that would take us to Mars. Each group had to create a sales pitch and during the creating of the vehicle, were given a card with something that created failure.
Our plenary session was with Francisca Sanchez and several musicians. Francisca discussed the CCSESA Handbook about Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Art Teaching. She talked about the power of the arts in decolonizing the classroom to reach all students. We split into table groups and came up with soundtracks for a children’s book that each group chose. Music, dance, collage, language, literature.
One musician, Miles Jay, said “Music allows us to communicate without words.” Miles flew from Turkey and came straight to the conference to share his music and words with us.
Day three began with remarks from Sarah Anderberg. That was followed by a presentation about Creativity at the Core Module 19: Developing Empathy and Understanding through World Music with Pauline Crooks and Aaron Bryan who developed the module. Because The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association Arts Initiative, these modules are available to be used in classrooms at no charge.
It was a fun interactive session that discussed the research around music and empathy and how music connects cultures and helps develop appreciation for diversity. I chose to attend the presentation bi Lindsay Weiss, Ed.D on The Why, the What, and the How of Increasing Inclusion. She talked about Universal Design for Learning and how it can be used to reach students with special needs.
After Lunch, there was a special closing with the Chula Vista Music teachers. They came in singing and then taught us a song in the round and we all joined in.
Being with so many VAPA leaders and educators was really amazing. It is so refreshing to be in a place where everyone in the room from a district superintendent to a researcher, to a VAPA coordinator, to a teacher recognize the value of visual and performing arts as an integral part of the curriculum and are all finding methods to bring the arts into the classroom in meaningful ways.