For 22 years the NH State Council on the Arts has been gathering educators and community leaders for high quality professional development in Arts Education. This year’s conference, The Arts are Essential, was held on November 11 and 12 in downtown Claremont, NH. The conference theme references the new federal legislation in education, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), where the Arts are listed as core academic subjects that are essential to a well-rounded education.
Each year the conference brings inspiring keynote speakers who are national leaders in Arts Education. They connect and empower attendees as individual artists and educators. Hands-on skill-building workshops are taught by local teaching artists in all the arts disciplines: Media Arts, Dance, Theatre, Music, Visual Arts, and Literary Arts. The conference cultivates a network and community of educators that strengthen education in New Hampshire. Whether you’re a classroom teacher, a school administrator, a special education provider, an artist, or afterschool provider, there conference provides opportunities every year for you to engage with moving keynote speakers and hands on workshops.
Previous attendees have said:
- “The presenters on storytelling and Effective Advocacy for Arts Ed were outstanding and engaging.”
- “I loved the different backgrounds of the panel!”
- I will bring back to my school and community, “the role of the Arts as a language for inclusion of all learners.”
- “The themes were clear, the passion was real. Very impressed with the integration of ideas and advocacy.”
The Arts are Essential 2016 conference featured:
24 workshops led by NH Teaching Artists:
- Skill building workshops in: poetry, theater, clay, mosaics, dance, movement, pan pipes of the Andes, music for everyone, animation, grant writing, digitizing your lesson plans using Google classroom, STEAM & Arts integration, makerspaces, advocacy, the art and science of color, arts integration & more
8 Keynote Presentations:
- Jumping In: The Creative Process
Stuart Kestenbaum, Interim Director of Maine College of Art; Maine Poet Laureate
- Ensuring Access in Creative Youth Development
Zakiya Thomas, former director of Education, Boston Ballet
- The Arts and ESSA
Matt Wilson, Director of MassCreative
- Pathways to STEAM Excellence
Brian Pickering, 2016 Principal of the Year, ConVal High School
Amanda Bastoni, Photography teacher and AIR coordinator, ConVal High School
- Illustrating Science
Amy Zhang, Senior at Dartmouth College majoring in Studio Art and Biology
- Using Cartooning and Doodling for Meaningful Note Taking
Marek Bennett, NH Teaching Artist and Cartoonist
- Movement for Healthy Teaching
Heather Oberheim, NH Teaching Artist, Movement and Dance teacher
- Improv: An Asset for Everyone
John Windmuller, WIT improv theater, Washington, DC
To see photos, handouts from presenters, and othe resources, visit the New Hampshire Arts Learning Network.
A certificate for 7 CEU hours for each day of the conference was offered to attendees. Visit the conference webpage to learn more.