All posts by Dawn Heinen

Join Us for a Presentation by Dr. Bettina Love

Monday, Nov 5, 2018
3 – 4:30pm
The Loft
939 Boylston Street,  2nd Floor
Boston

Dr. Bettina Love is one of few scholars to have implemented hip-hop education principles into elementary classrooms. (Photo courtesy of Bettina Love).

Dr. Bettina Love is an award-winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. She is one of the field’s most esteemed educational researchers in the ways in which urban youth negotiate culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice. Her focus is also on how teachers and schools, working with parents and communities, can build communal, civically engaged schools rooted in intersectional social justice for the goal of equitable classrooms.

Space is limited.

Register Now

The space is physically accessible. We welcome people of all abilities

Nano-Interview with Sean Elligers of Kids 4 Harmony

Name: Sean Elligers
Organization: Berkshire Children and Families’ Kids 4 Harmony
Title: Teaching Artist
Music Genre: Mostly classical
Years in the field: 9

What do you do at Kids 4 Harmony?
At Kids 4 Harmony, I teach music theory, composition, trumpet, and some string technique to students ranging 3rd to 11th grade. I work with students on various music theory skills (scales, arpeggios, chord structures) and, through collective improvisation or using the notation software, Noteflight, students compose their own music based on those concepts. I also play the role of unofficial photographer for our program.

Why do you do what you do?
My students are incredibly smart, curious, introspective, often (intentionally) hilarious individuals and I feel incredibly fortunate to have developed close connections with them. As someone who thrives on collaborative work, I am instantly swept away and energized by their ideas and am committed to helping them gain access to the tools and knowledge they seek to pursue their compositional and performance ambitions.

What comes easiest to you in this work?
Engaging with the students and their families. More specifically, one of my favorite things to do is go to a student’s parent at the end of the program and brag about the new composition that their student has started or how great the student played in orchestra. The students will be the first to tell you that I’m far more excited than they are, but the parents still appreciate it.

What challenges you in this work?
I regret never being able to spend a sufficient amount of time to help each student on their individual compositional projects in class. Despite running around to each student, helping them navigate questions with the software or find that initial spark of inspiration for their piece, it’s frustrating when class ends and there are eight students raising their hands begging you to come listen to their compositions or their revisions. I’m thrilled that they are eager to share but it always burns to tell them they’ll have to wait until next class.

What does it mean to your community that you do this work?
Thanks to Berkshire Children and Families, the social service agency that Kids 4 Harmony is part of, our program is given the support and visibility that has helped us make collaborative relationships with the local schools, colleges, and other arts programs in the Berkshire community. Our families are always generous to share their appreciation for our program and for the opportunities the students are given to perform at these events.

How do you blow off steam?
I chip away at my own compositions, try to make sense of synthesizers, and try to get better at instruments I’m less familiar with, like the violin or accordion.

What music do you like listen to (if even a little too loudly)?
I drive a lot and I often find myself in a low-stakes crisis of what music I want to listen to. I might pull from a range of artists/genres (Ambrose Akinmusire, Mount Eerie, Bjork) but as of recently, I’ve found myself unexpectedly defaulting to any original soundtrack from SEGA Genesis or Super Nintendo video games.

Do you live with any animals?
I do! Her name is Cammie and she’s a chihuahua mix. True to her breed, she keeps us on our toes: shaking when we come home, shaking when she wants our food and shaking during thunderstorms.

Register Now for National CYD Webinars

The Creative Youth Development National Partnership is hosting two webinars this month:

Healing Centered Practices through Creative Youth Development

Wednesday, October 17
3 – 4pm EST

FREE

Learn about different healing centered practices and how an intentional focus on the principles of this approach: safety, choice, collaboration, trustworthiness and empowerment, can support your CYD program outcomes.

Speakers:
Shontina Vernon, Founder and Creative Director, Visionary Justice StoryLab, Seattle, WA
Jana Lynne Umipig, Creative Productions, New York City

Register Now

Supporting Youth-led Activism through Creative Youth Development

Thursday, October 25
3 – 4pm EST

FREE

CYD programs work across sectors to engage youth in high quality arts-based programs that make a real impact in our community. To that end, youth who participate in CYD become activists.  Participants both learn about social justice issues and create art work that aims to inspire and activate social change.  Join us to hear from CYD program leaders who are creating opportunities for youth to use their art to make a difference

Speakers:
Ebo Barton, Poet and Artist, Seattle, WA
The Youth Resiliency Institute Amir, Youth Artist, and Fanon Hill, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Baltimore, MD

Register Now

Celebrate National Arts in Education Week: September 9-15, 2018

National Arts in Education Week is a Congressionally-designated celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education. The field of arts education annually joins together to bring visibility to the cause, unify stakeholders with a shared message, and provide the tools and resources for local leaders to advance arts education in their communities. Find many ways to celebrate the week alongside 500+ other communities by visiting www.NationalArtsInEducationWeek.org for more information. Are you in for the celebration? If so, please fill out this form.

Artist as Instigator: Join ITAC4’s Digital Conference

Fourth International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC4) logoThe Fourth International Teaching Artist Conference (ITAC4) will be held in the U.S. for the first time in New York City September 13-15, 2018. [Previous conferences were held in Oslo (2012), Brisbane (2014), and Edinburgh (2016).] While the in-person conference is sold out, teaching artists are encouraged to attend digitally.

Digital conference goers will be able to participate online through a live stream of plenary sessions, curated interviews and conversations, along with access to special web-only content:

  • Catch keynote presentations from Liz Lerman, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, and Aaron Huey.
  • Join the first ITAC project as they create an historical timeline for the global field.
  • Learn about and join the ITAC Collaborative that will continue between conferences.
  • And sessions like:
    • Let Our Light Shine: Songwriting and Goal Attainment for Homeless Men with Mental Illness
    • Teaching Artists in International Development: Creating Safe Spaces for Challenging Power and Agency
    • The Moth: True Stories from Teaching Artists and Their Students
    • The Power of Parade to Build Community
    • The Responsibility of 21st Century Artists in Communities
    • Theatre and Community: Engaging, Responsive and Inclusive
      Transforming Through Performing
    • And more

A detailed schedule and instructions for joining the live stream will be posted on the ITAC4 site by August 31.

All of these online sessions will be archived on the ITAC website.

Nano-Interview with Kahmal London of the Clubhouse Network

Kahmal LondonName: Kahmal London
Organization: The Clubhouse Network
Title: Coordinator/ Program Manager
Artistic Genre: Fantasy Art
Years in the Field: 3 Months

What do you do at the Clubhouse Network?
At the Flagship Clubhouse, I work as a Coordinator who manages the Clubhouse space and all the materials present. Most of my time is spent encouraging the youth to be inspired and take ownership and responsibility for their work and desires. I work to help the youth take pride in the amazing work they create, and am passionate about helping them achieve their goals. I work with and discover new, innovative ways to be creative with the tools we have available, and share them with Clubhouse members and Mentors. I also perform outreach to various organizations within our community to attract more members to our space and increase productivity.

Why do you do what you do?
I was a member of the Clubhouse as a youth in high school and learned many different techniques on how to apply myself artistically. I was offered techniques and tools that I would not have had the chance to experiment with outside of the Clubhouse, such as Adobe Creative Suite. I work as a Coordinator to ensure that youth are offered the same experiences I had that they may not have at home. I aim to encourage and inspire youth to use their imaginations to be as creative as possible and apply that to their careers and educational goals.

What comes easiest to you in this work?
I’m a highly optimistic person who sees the potential in everyone I meet. I feel one of my greatest strengths is discovering creativity and helping it flourish in the best way possible. I love meeting new members, discovering what they like, and inspiring them to continue to build upon their work to take it levels above what they originally imagined.

What challenges you in this work?
Two challenges I’ve discovered so far are planning and community building. I have long term plans of how I imagine the Clubhouse to be, but could do better at creating short term steps on how to achieve these goals. As I am a relatively new Coordinator, there are many long-term members that have their own visions on how they see our space. With more time, I would like to know each and every member and formulate a way to respect everyone’s wishes and desires of how they operate in our creative space.

What does it mean to your community that you do this work?
The Clubhouse serves as a creative space for underserved youth who may not have the equipment needed to expand their imaginations. In my youth, I was one of those individuals who did not have the creative equipment available, but had a wild imagination. The Clubhouse inspired me to use my artistic talents to attend a four year college. It is very personal and important to me that we provide a space for youth to be creative for those who have never had the opportunity to do so. There are some very creative youth in my home neighborhood that could benefit from being a Clubhouse member and exploring their creativity. I am very passionate about my community acknowledging that we care about our youth’s dreams and aim to provide many opportunities for them to grow and know they are amazing!

How do you blow off steam?
Drinking water really helps to calm me down. I am patient person and rarely get angry, but if I do, I drink water. I also laugh a lot.

What do you create in your free time?
I illustrate many different concepts in my free time. I’m an animal lover so I practice drawing different animals often. I also grew up reading comic books and playing a lot of video games so many of my drawings may revolve around those. When I have time, I also animate my illustrations, sculpt with clay, and paint.

Whose work in the Creative Youth Development field do you admire and why?
I attended Artists For Humanity when I was younger and was mentored under Robb Gibbs. He is a big influence on my creative style and how to manage myself artistically. His work is inspiring not only for me, but many others I grew up with and has done a lot for our community. I aim to inspire others the way he inspired me to never give up on my passions.

Seen any good movies lately?
Avengers: Infinity War was a big deal to me and was everything I wanted out of it. I love Marvel comics so I watched it expecting a lot to be influenced off the comic series and was so excited to learn it was completely different. Very creative and well done.

The unauthorized biography of your life is titled:
Small Canvas – Big Imagination

What’s next?
Continuing to be creative and inspiring!

 

See Kahmal’s work:
http://www.wisemidasworld.tumblr.com/
https://www.instagram.com/violx

Podcast: Rooted in Arts, Activism, and Social Justice

Vanessa Calderon-RosadoOn the Mass Cultural Council’s podcast, Creative Minds Out Loud, we spoke with Vanessa Calderón-Rosado of IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción.

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Ph.D., is the CEO of IBA, a community development corporation dedicated to empowering individuals through education, workforce development, and arts programs. She shares IBA’s holistic approach to youth development and how the arts unleash the collective power and voice of the young people they serve.

Listen to the episode.

Read the transcript.

Check out other episodes featuring Creative Youth Development leaders.