National Guild For Community Arts Education

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Home > Program 2015 > 2015 > Sessions

The Conference for Community Arts Education will feature nationally renowned speakers and dozens of professional development workshops, roundtables, and program showcases designed to help you increase impact, improve participation, raise money, sustain and grow key programs, and advocate for more equitable access to arts education. There also will be daily opportunities to gather with your peers to address common challenges, network, and brainstorm innovations for the field.

Sessions are organized in progressive tracks to provide you in-depth training in leadership development, partnership/collaboration, creative youth development, social justice, innovation, and teaching artist development, as well as the nuts and bolts skills you need to take your organization to the next level.

Plenary Sessions

 Reclaiming Main Street: How We Can Authentically Do Good 


  • Rich Harwood, Founder & President, The Harwood Institute, Bethesda, MD

Thursday, November 12, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

Each of us as arts education leaders comes to our work with the urge to do good, inspire individuals, and enrich the civic life of our communities. But as we try to get things done, we often turn inward to focus more on our own organization at the expense of turning outward to the people we serve. In this thought-provoking keynote, Harwood will discuss how the key to greater impact is to move beyond the walls of your organization and align your vision, goals, and key services with the aspirations of your local community.

 A Love Note to Justice: Building Hope and Healing in Urban America


  • Shawn Ginwright, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education and African American Studies, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA

Friday, November 13, 10:15AM - 11:45AM

Ginwright’s bold and nuanced keynote proposes a new movement of healing justice to repair the damage done by the erosion of hope resulting from structural violence in urban communities. Drawing on ethnographic case studies from around the country, he emphasizes the need to place healing and hope at the center of our educational and political strategies. In his talk he will share how "teacher activists" in community organizations and stressed schools are employing healing strategies to help their students become powerful civic actors.

Breakout Sessions

 Highlighted sessions only. We'll be continuing to add sessions to the website as we develop this year's exciting line-up of sessions and speakers!  

 The Infinite Possibilities of Change: Spark Innovation at Your Organization


  • Helen Eaton, Executive Director, Settlement Music School, Philadelphia, PA
  • Dan Fink, Associate, Innosight, Lexington, MA

Learn how Settlement Music School  in Philadelphia—an organization with a 107 year history—is intentionally innovating through a systemic approach to identifying growth and expansion opportunities, designing and launching new concepts, predicting success rates of new offerings, and leveraging investment for further innovation.

 CoCre8: Reimagining Spaces for Collaborative Arts Learning


  • Jill Potter, Director of Programs, Urban Gateways, Chicago, IL
  • Marya Spont-Lemus, Community Arts Program Manager, Arts + Public Life, University of Chicago, Chicago IL
  • Emily Hooper-Lansana, Associate Director of Community Engagement, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Developed by Chicago-based organizations—the Smart Museum of Art, the University of Chicago Arts + Public Life, and Urban Gateways – the CoCre8 model brings together artists, high school teachers and students, and arts administrators to look at, talk about, and make art collaboratively. Learn how these partners are dismantling traditional learning hierarchies; embracing multiple roles as learner, educator, and maker; and reimagining spaces to consciously serve new audiences and deepen students’ awareness of and connection to arts learning.

 Sustaining Creative Youth Development: Why Cross-Sector Partnerships are Vital


  • Cynthia Campoy Brophy, Executive Director, artworxLA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Maureen Dwyer, Executive Director, Sitar Arts Center, Washington, D.C.
  • Jane Golden, Executive Director, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA

Creative youth development leaders from Sitar Arts Center (Washington, DC), MuralArts Program (Philadelphia), and artworxLA (Los Angeles) will share effective practices for partnering with school districts, government agencies, and cultural and health organizations to sustain and grow programs for youth who are majority low-income and at highest risk of dropping out of high school.

 From Evaluation to Evolution: A Design-Centered Approach to Program Development


  • Dan Berkowitz, Director, Collaborative Learning, Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia, PA
  • Polly Kahn, Principal, PK Art Solutions/PK Orchestra Solutions, Philadelphia PA

Using The Philadelphia Orchestra as a case study, this session will share practical strategies for impact evaluation and a design-centered process for developing robust and highly relevant education initiatives for the future.

 Negotiating the Gig: Business Strategies for Teaching Artists


This is a professional development workshop designed for teaching artists only.

Have you ever lost money on a residency or realized you charged way too little for the work you promised? What are the components you need, from strong curriculum to a working sink, to provide a successful program? In the first half of this session, you will select a signature lesson and work with your peers to identify clear goals, curriculum/community connections, and a sampling of activities. From this, we will work through how to set fair prices for your teaching artist activities, budget for all parts of a project, and develop ‘what if’ scenarios to make budgeting a useful tool in your teaching artist life. You will leave with templates for defining roles, drafting letters of agreement, and designing your unique offerings.

Board Development Institute

 Strengthening Trustee Effectiveness


  • Susan Meier, Senior Governance Consultant, BoardSource, Washington D.C.

Saturday, November 14. Included in main conference and single day registration; however, pre-registration is required.
9:00AM – 5:30PM (Attendees will break for the Annual Awards Luncheon, which is included)

Strong board and executive leadership are essential to every organization’s ability to fulfill its mission and effectively serve the community. High performing boards understand how to work in constructive partnership with their chief executives, optimize their time in the boardroom, and focus on that which is most important to best support their organization. The result? Higher board engagement, better organizational strategy, advancement on the mission, and greater success in fundraising. This highly interactive, full-day institute, led by board development expert Susan Meier, will provide your leadership team with fresh ideas, concrete tools, and effective practices for strengthening board-staff dynamics, developing a healthy board culture, and engaging collectively in more meaningful, consequential work.

Designed for teams of two ideally comprised of the executive director and an experienced or new board leader. Additional team members are optional.

Teaching Artist Development Track

 Building on the energy-charged work of the past two Guild conferences, this year’s Teaching Artist Development track includes a full-day pre-conference institute (November 11) and a series of breakout sessions during the main conference. The program—designed with arts education expert Eric Booth and a team of teaching artists and stakeholders— will provide a rare opportunity for teaching artists and those who care about advancing the field—employing organizations, funders, organizations that train teaching artists, and others—to work together to draft an action plan for improving the business of teaching artistry, advancing the quality and breadth of teaching artist practice, and activating a national network of the teaching artist field. The track will also include a special professional development workshop for teaching artists only, led by the Bartol Foundation, on Saturday, November 14.

Need-based financial aid is available for career-dedicated teaching artists to participate for a discounted rate of $50/day. Click here for eligibility and application details.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.