Session Schedule

Rootwork: Grounding Community Arts Education Beyond the Pandemic


Wednesday 12/2 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

Radical Community Building Beyond COVID-19‚Äč

Presenter: Calida Jones, The Hartt School

In this time of physical distance, our responsibility to cultivate intentional support, creative arts experiences, and belonging must remain at the forefront. With our communities at the center of our work, let’s join together to build strategies for sustaining networks of care, for nurturing social arts communities, and for creating equitable and accessible opportunities for our most vulnerable.

Wednesday 12/9 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

Understanding Your Place in Meaningful Arts Engagement & Advocacy  

Presenter: Karla Estela Rivera, Free Street Theater

How can arts leaders, teaching artists, and advocates ensure that their programs and initiatives are community-led and community-informed? How are artists and collaborators identified and brought into programming processes? How can arts organizations serve as economic and capacity-building engines for their communities? What questions must you ask yourself as you build coalitions for policies that advance the arts in schools? In this session, participants will learn how they can build their own internal strategies by asking themselves key questions and learning how they can use them to ensure their spaces and practices are activated with intention for sustainability, community-connectedness, and policy wins.

Wednesday 12/16 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

Community First, Technology Second: Effective Strategies for Digital Tools

Presenters: Joaquin Ortiz, Museum of Photographic Arts, and Adam Sherlock, Spy Hop

The pandemic has forced us to reckon with so many realities, including technology’s role in our work and community-making. While tech often cannot replace engagement IRL, we are living at a time when digital tools are becoming more essential for our practice. Let's talk about how we can let our organizational values lead us to make the most impact with our communities, especially in consideration of the very real digital divide. Participants will learn some low-cost ways, strategies, and resources to embrace video and online technologies to deliver fun, creative experiences for learners of all ages.

Wednesday 1/13 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

BIPOC Deaf: Living at the Intersection of Ableism and Racism

Presenters: Rorri Burton of Pro Bono ASL and artists Awet Moges, Jade Bryan, and Tanisha Russell

Navigating the hearing world, the BIPOC Deaf community encounters challenges at the intersection of ableism and racism. This workshop endeavors to unpack roadblocks faced, to acknowledge challenges conquered, and to provide the hearing (arts education) community a map to accessible, equitable spaces for and by BIPOC Deaf.

Wednesday 1/27 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

Embodied Performance

Presenter: Shaun Leonardo

Artist Shaun Leonardo will discuss his multi-disciplinary work, which negotiates societal expectations of masculinity, namely definitions surrounding black and brown masculinities, along with its notions of achievement, collective identity, and experience of failure. The artist will describe his investment in performance as a process of embodiment—exploring the ways in which memory, fear, and trauma are lodged within our bodies.

Wednesday 2/3 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

Black Resilience in the Time of Bullshit 

Presenter: Adaku Utah, Harriet's Apothecary

Modeled after the Mississippi Freedom schools of the 1960s, we will ground our learning in Black radical traditions, drawing specifically from Black Queer Feminist praxis to understand how we cultivate Black resilience within our bodies and our communities, channeling wisdom from our ancestors, plant allies, and the ecosystem of the Earth.

Wednesday 2/10 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

Combating Ageism in a Socially Distanced World

Presenter: Annie Montgomery, Lifetime Arts, Inc., and Mary Moore Easter

Social isolation and invisibility due to ageism is a major problem for older adults that has only been exacerbated by Covid-19. The opportunity for older adults to learn, express themselves, and to build and sustain community is more important now than ever. In this session, participants will learn how creative aging arts education programs combat ageism and are a pathway to reconnect older adults to one another, and to their communities in the midst of the pandemic.

Wednesday 2/17 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

Youth & Adult Collaboration for Healing & Arts Education 

Presenters: Paula Ortega, RE:FRAME Youth Arts Center and Indi McCasey

With arts as the center of this session, participants will be invited to express themselves and reflect on their own mental health in these times. This engagement will be collaboratively facilitated by young artists from the National Young Artists Summit and National Youth Network, projects that have stemmed from Creative Youth Development National Partnership, and supported by an adult accomplice. Adult participants will be provided tips and best practices for collaborating with young people.

Wednesday 2/24 (4:30–6:00pm ET)

The Arts as a Vehicle for Transformation: Moving from Trauma to Healing

Presenters: Barbara Mumby-Huerta and Cynthia Tom

How do we begin to integrate a trauma informed lens into our work and everyday life? This session will provide a basic framework for incorporating trauma informed practices into arts programs as well as introduce a few successful examples of where the arts have been used as a catalyst for healing.