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The Conference for Community Arts Education features 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. 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, Community Partnerships, Creative Youth Development, Social Justice, Arts-in-Education, and Teaching Artist Development, as well as the Next Level nuts and bolts skills you need to grow your organization.
Thursday, November 3, 10:00AM - 11:30AM
In 2016 arts educators need to be providing the youth that they serve with conceptual tools for both understanding and working collectively to combat racial and social injustice. Dr. Bettina Love will discuss how art, resistance, and Hip-Hop, when linked to the sociopolitical lives of youth, nurture their civic sensibilities to engage in the work of fighting for visibility, inclusion, and justice. Her speech will also be a call to action. Dr. Love calls on the field to not only teach students about racial violence, oppression, and how to make sustainable change in their communities through innovative movements, but to also expose youth to the possibilities that come with envisioning a world built on joy, radical love, and finding power in centering humanity.
Friday, November 4, 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Friday plenary session speaker and description will be set in the upcoming weeks. Check back for updates.
Saturday, November 5, 12:30PM - 2:15PM
Join us for a celebratory luncheon honoring two extraordinary leaders in the field: Lowell Noteboom (National Guild Service Award) and this year’s National Guild Leadership Awardee(TBA). The Luncheon, which is included in registration, also features performances by local Chicago musicians and performers.
Cultural Competency and Racial Literacy: 21st Century Frameworks for ALL Effective Arts Education Leaders
Thursday, November 3, 12:00 - 3:30
The 21st century represents an unprecedented interconnected global society, as demographics in the United States continue to shift and longstanding effective leadership strategies are challenged. Similar to all effective leaders, arts leaders are also increasingly recognizing the urgency to cultivate the ability to communicate effectively across cultural differences and deepen their racial literacy in order to realize their goals of maximizing access and supporting all students and families during their arts education. This workshop will provide you and your organization with new skills and resources to help navigate an increasingly complex cultural tapestry and better support all children and families during their arts journey.
Ticketed event: $15. Lunch will be provided. Registration for this event can be found in the "Next Level Luncheons" section of the registration portal.
Rebuild Foundation Neighborhood Tour
Saturday, November 5, 3:00 - 5:00 PM
Founded by Chicago-native and nationally-recognized artist/social activist Theaster Gates, Rebuild Foundation rebuilds the cultural foundations of underinvested neighborhoods and incites movements of community revitalization that are culture based, artist led, and neighborhood driven. Rebuild’s programs enlist teams of artists, architects, developers, educators, community activists, and residents who work together to integrate the arts, apprenticeship trade training, and creative entrepreneurship into its process of neighborhood transformation. During this special walking tour, you’ll learn about the organization’s history in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and visit multiple program sites, including the Archive House, community garden, and the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative. The tour will conclude at Theaster Gates’ newest project, the Stony Island Arts Bank, where participants can explore unique collections, including the Johnson Publishing Library and Frankie Knuckles’ Records.
Ticket event: $15. Rountrip transportation provided.
Standing on the Pillars of Hip-Hop: Finding Community Voice through Artistic Expression
Friday, November 4, 2:00 - 5:30 PM
Part 1 - Democracy and Equitability: Exploring Agency in Hip-Hop Culture
How does Hip-Hop have the potential to be a democratizing platform for marginalized populations? In what ways can Hip-Hop make access to arts learning more equitable? Our panelists from community arts institutions throughout Chicago will discuss how a practice in Hip-Hop arts (including graffiti art, turntablism, MCing, and breakdancing) holds the potential to create safe space for exploration and vigor, affirm identity for marginalized populations, circumvent systemic obstacles, and supersede established institutional narratives. Participants will come away with tools for using the lens of hip-hop culture to instill a new sense of possibility and equitability into their programming.
Part 2 - Visual Affirmations of Community: A Pilsen Neighborhood Walking Tour
Led by Graffiti Institute, this walking tour through Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood builds on Part 1 to reinforce the diverse aesthetics and artistic forms that can tell a vibrant community story. From historic Chicano murals, to community projects, to graffiti and street art, this walking tour will connect seemingly disparate art forms into a cohesive story about the affirmation of identity in communities of color. Participants will explore how the ethos of hip-hop culture manifests in one of Chicago’s most artistically vibrant communities.
Part 2 is a ticketed event: $15. Roundtrip transportation provided.
Highlighted sessions from 2016 Conference. New sessions will be added weekly. Check back regularly for the latest updates!
Fostering a Healthy Environment for Arts Leaders Who Work for Social Justice
When an arts education organization commits to social justice, it is important that the work is happening at every level. How your administrative team works affects the way your teaching artists work, which directly affects the students you serve. In this workshop, hear how DreamYard Project, a creative youth development organization in the Bronx, is prioritizing community building and leadership development within its administrative team to help develop and sustain well-being in the workplace. DreamYard staff members are expected to approach their administrative work in the same way that DreamYard’s teaching artists and students are expected to approach art-making: creatively and through a social justice lens. In this session, you’ll learn strategies and techniques for fostering a healthy environment for social justice within your organization and hear from representatives of DreamYard’s team on how these practices have positively affected their leadership and social justice work.
Storytelling from the Source: Making Arts Learning Visible
Documentation is a critical process for teaching artists, schools, and educational organizations. But how do programs establish authentic documentation and package it for public relations and marketing efforts? In this workshop, you’ll learn how to harness the power to illuminate student voice, deepen learning in any discipline, and communicate authentic experiences in your classroom or program. Participants will engage in documentation practices, study artifacts of learning, and evaluate the audiences and methods for communicating impact. This workshop is grounded in the work of Project Zero’s Making Learning Visible project and is guided by the question: How can I make student learning visible to students, educators, learning community, and beyond? Leave this workshop prepared to implement strategies that simplify and improve how you communicate your impact, beginning in the classroom.
Sustaining the Human Fabric of Your Organization: Moving Human Resources from Wish List to Reality
Recruiting, developing, and retaining talent is essential to sustaining the structural and fiscal health of our organizations yet rarely do arts education leaders discuss formalizing HR best practices to support and protect our greatest assets—the people whose work fulfills our mission. Whether you have an HR person at your organization or not (and many fall into the “not” category), your organization is doing it. We hire, promote, onboard and occasionally, off-board. In this session, we’ll discuss frameworks for organization talent development and share strategies for strengthening existing HR processes that align with your organizational core values –and budget. This session is designed for all arts administrators who are responsible for managing people
Transforming School Climate to Embrace the Arts and Creative Practice—Even in Challenging Times
Arts education organizations can play a key role in helping school administrators take advantage of arts opportunities for their students and build a school culture that actively creates a safe space for creative expression. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn about EASEL (Education, Arts and Social-Emotional Learning), an innovative partnership between three California agencies—Inner-City Arts (an arts education organization), Center for Collaborative Education, and the California Community Foundation—that is supporting school administrators in embracing the arts as a way to connect academic, social-emotional, and social justice goals for their schools. EASEL provides Los Angeles Unified School District administrators in underserved areas with a 10-month program that includes experiential visual and performing arts engagement, social-emotional and brain-based pedagogical theory, and support for implementing these practices at schools. As a participant, you’ll learn about the partnership and gain tools and practice in applying its strategies back home.
Ticketed event: $35
These dynamic, peer luncheons featured facilitated discussions that generated ideas and practical strategies for taking organizations to the next level. Topics include:
Meet with some of the National Guild's Networks and Ambassadors. Meetings include:
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