Anne Arundel County Public Schools 21st Century Learning Conference

I’m on day 4 of a 5-day conference. The objective is to get teachers and artists to collaborate, with the intention of bringing Arts into the Common Core Curriculum. This is a bunch of people who believe in the power of the arts to engage kids. And when the curriculum doesn’t allow much time for art classes, then how can we bring the kind of learning that happens through the arts, into the academic arena. I’m not alone in my belief in the power of the Arts to make us happy, well-rounded people. And I know it’s a stretch, but maybe we’ll get along better and War won’t be an assumption.

I’m working with a group of teachers from a variety of schools, each coming from different disciplines and age groups. I’m working in particular with a fourth grade teacher. We’ll be crafting a lesson similar to what I did with Kids At Hope.

I’m meeting and working with people I most likely would never have met. I’ve made friends, learned about myself personally and as a teacher and artist. I’ve also learned a lot about Arts Integration. It’s complicated; engineers are working with musicians, medical professionals are teaming up with visual artists. We can no longer afford to exist in one discipline, it’s all moving too quickly for that.

I’m pictured with an old friend of mine, a founder of the Teaching Artist Institute, part of Young Audiences. She’s moved on and has started an International Arts Integration Institute. Exciting stuff.