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Telling Our Story

Hello! November was a busy month for GCAAE. In between monthly meetings and Thanksgiving, we hosted our second Arts Education Summit. It was a fantastic day full of professional development and networking. See below for more details of the jam-packed day!

On November 6, 2018, The Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Arts Education (GCAAE) hosted their second Arts Education Summit titled “Telling Our Story” at the historic Music Hall. The day broke off into two sessions. The morning session featuring two marvelous keynote speakers, Jonathan Juravich and Reginald Harris, followed by the afternoon session, consisting of breakout sessions focused on various topics related to arts education.

To start the event, we heard a brief welcome from Steve Lofton, President and Executive Director of Cincinnati Arts Association (parent organization to Music Hall), along with opening words and house-keeping from Jemannie Severson Luong and Jared O’Roark, co-chairs of GCAAE.

Following was a fantastic speech by Jonathan Juravich, the 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year. As an Arts Educator at Liberty Tree Elementary School (of the Olentangy Local Schools in Columbus, Ohio), Jonathan spoke on what it means to tell your story, as a student, teacher, parent, etc. He gave us ten points to follow when telling a story:

1) Define Your Goal

2) Understand Your Audience

3) Be Enthusiastic

4) Give Details

5) Be Thoughtful and Kind

6) Speak About What You Know

7) Practice the Art of Listening

8) Don’t Make Someone Else’s Story, Your Story

9) Hear It, Write It, Share It

10) All Good Stories Must Come to an End

Jonathan stressed the importance of not only telling a story, but telling a good story by adding details and purpose. He intertwined his speech with anecdotes of his life as a teacher, all accompanied by a hand-drawn PowerPoint presentation. Later on, the audience came to learn that Jonathan’s very own student created the PowerPoint illustration. He also noted the importance of being a good listener. Jonathan taught that in order to understand each other, we must practice the art of active listening, and that we must never turn someone’s story into our own.

Later, we heard from Reginald Harris, the Founder & Principal at InContext Advising; Former Dancer. Reginald’s speech, titled “What is Your Story? A Look at Successes and Challenges”, consisted of tales from his own family and from his time as a teacher at The Chicago High School for the Arts. Most importantly, Reginald spoke to the idea of storytelling through different lenses. He explained that while teachers have their own stories, students have their own version of truth as well. As such, it is important as teachers to be able to listen and understand the different stories that come through a classroom. Reginald also spoke about race in the classroom and the concept of policing black bodies, stating that minority students may face more obstacles in a classroom because they are constantly being monitored for their behavior rather than their performance. As an example, Reginald told the story of a student who was comforting his friend over a bad break up, but all the teacher could see was that the student’s pants were below his waist. In this instance, the teacher was more focused on policing a black body rather than focusing on the good being done by the student.

Following these impressive keynote speakers, the afternoon session consisted of six breakout groups that discussed topics such as Technology and Music, Technology and Visual Art, the Ohio Arts Education Data Project, Single-Visit to Art Museums, the Society for the Preservation of Music Hall Education Programs, and a Grants Panel. Guests were also invited to partake in Arts Organization Speed Dating, which was a fun opportunity for teachers to chat with the Education liaisons from various arts organizations, including Antonio Violins, Cincinnati Arts Association, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Lineillism Revealed, My Nose Turns Red, and The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department.

Overall, the day of professional development was rewarding for all who attended. We here at GCAAE cannot wait to begin planning the next one.

If you attended Telling Your Story: An Arts Education Summit and would like to provide feedback, please complete the following survey:

#GCAAE #Summit #Arts #ArtsEducation #Cincinnati #Ohio

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