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ArtSource VI Conference---Hooray for Diffendoofer Day!
Dorrance Hall The Botanical Gardens
Dorrance Hall The Botanical Gardens
8:30-9:00 a.m. Coffee & Networking
9:00-9:30 a.m. Welcome by Jocelyn Hanson, Chairperson, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture
9:30-11:00 a.m. Guest Speaker, Sherry Kafka Wagner – Designing the Learning Experience
Sherry visits with Dr. Elayne Achilles - Maricopa Partnerships for the Arts http://www.mpacarts.org/about_us.php, and they exchange stories from the mouths of their grandchildren.
Sherry began her talk by reading from a book created after Dr. Seuss died: Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! (ISBN 0-679-89008-4) is a children's book credited to Dr. Seuss "with some help by Jack Prelutsky and Lane Smith." The book is based on verses and sketches created by Seuss before his death in 1991, and was expanded to book length and completed by writer Prelutsky and illustrator Smith for publication in 1998.
The story surrounds a school that is well-liked by its students notably because of its many eccentric teachers. However, the students must make a good grade on a standardized test or else they will be sent to an adjacent school, which requires uniforms to be worn and is incredibly dull.
Sherry’s framework for the day’s message came from this children’s story. She discussed the MIND and the necessity to give learners of all ages tools to SEE, THINK (REFLECT), WONDER (UNDERSTAND) and then RESPOND creatively through the use of one’s imagination. This methodology allows the learner to “process what to do when given a situation that needs to be problem solved in everyday life.” Teachers must give learners an opportunity to make mistakes, and then facilitate learning from these mistakes in a positive manner.
Individuals must also be guided to do collective work, thereby developing collaborative creative processes that incorporate emotional intelligence as well as new learning. This is not the Industrial revolution model of education that presents assembly line rote learning. Instead, this learning is governed by the idea of interconnected systems that function best when understood as a whole unit.
The Botanical Gardens www.desertbotanical.org could not have been a better place for the Keynote speaker to present her information. Nature provides the best metaphor for this idea of an interdependent and interconnected system, demonstrating an educational cellular model. This is a new paradigm for global education. Thank you, Sherry.
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions Showcasing Model Partnerships between Cultural Organizations and Schools or Districts:
Cultural, Kitchell Patio
Model Program C: Cultural Arts Coalition, Technical Assistance Services
Other cultural organizations: Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Pueblo Grande Museum, Arizona Science Center, Phoenix History Museum, Japanese Friendship Garden, Heard Museum
Visual Arts, Dorrance Hall
Visual Arts, Dorrance Hall
Music, Farrington Conference Room
Theatre, Munson Family Classroom Dance, Wells Fargo Classroom 12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch & Afternoon Sessions in Dorrance Hall
Theatre, Munson Family Classroom
Dance, Wells Fargo Classroom
12:30-1:00 p.m. Lunch & Afternoon Sessions in Dorrance Hall
The work of artists and community arts activists in our community is significant and moved forward in a thoughtful, creative and peaceful manner.
Jan. 10, 2008, in the Arizona Republic newspaper an article was published by E.J. Montini (B1) on a major issue for the state of Arizona: Immigration. The article is titled "A Polite Approach to #&@!$% Discussion." It was a commentary on Juliana Yoder, director of the Arizona Humanities Council (www.azhumanities.org), regarding her belief that the humanities are particularly situated to deal with this subject of state concern.
She is quoted by Montini as saying, "We look at the values that people share and try to start the conversation at that level. Even if you are on opposite sides politically there are things people agree on. Things like love of family. Patriotic feelings."
The night before the ArtSource VI Conference judy butzine was on the phone with Francisco G. He is a youth studying art at Phoenix College and a wonderful hip-hop artist and muralist. Francisco is very committed to dealing with the issues of tension on the street in a peaceful, creative manner. Members of the CAC have mentored him for the past 14 months, assisting him with: enrollment in Phoenix College; applying for scholarship funding; structuring his youth arts programming; and providing funding this past summer to work in a Glendale Community Center. He has also been mentored by Martin Moreno, http://www.barriozona.com/art_cuervo_studio_martin_moreno.html, Phoenix's incredible mural artist and community activist. The conversation of a couple evenings ago ended up on this note.
Francisco has applied to be a teacher at Free Arts Camp this summer. He asked very specifically what he can do to deal with the tension within our city and the fears of children.
Like Sherry, the CAC utilizes a children's story to frame discussions and multidisciplinary arts-based learning units. This kind of methodology is part of the CAC’s guiding practices as a means to establish a theme which is the basis for all arts programming designed, coordinated and later facilitated within safe spaces.
Francisco and Judy discussed the book by Carmen Lomas Garza--a bilingual children's story titled Family Pictures--Cuadros de Familia. The purposeful focus for Francisco’s use of this book is to have the youth in the summer camp reflect on memories and experiences of belonging to some kind of family (the family may be found in a foster home). We have all had experiences of a community fair or celebrative events that bring us joy. We can all relate to nature in some way and sense a feeling a wonder in this environment. We all share meals together and family birthdays, giving honor to loved ones. We all have to work together for economic reasons, share some kind of a spiritual connection that reinforces our values and beliefs in community, and retire at night to seek rest.
Again Sherry talked about starting the learning process based on existing experiences children have in their memory bank. The objective is to help participating learners understand that people are more alike than unalike – a universal humanity seeking the best to be achieved for ourselves and loved ones. Tools are given to these learners to process issues of everyday life in a positive manner, teaching them to problem solve and THINK!!!! This is not a process of rote memory.
By formatting the curriculum to the CAC’s “Nine Guiding Practices for Community Arts” (http://www.ArtsCARE.org/cac3.shtml), a significant life lesson will occur. Indeed, the dialogue referenced by Juliana Yoder arises to the surface. This is the primary mission of the CAC.
The Mission of the Cultural Arts Coalition, Arizona: 501 (c) 3
This means of presenting life lessons in an artful fashion reinforces the message that Sherry Kafka Wagner – "Designing the Learning Experience" delivered yesterday at the ArtSource VI Conference.
Sherry's concepts for methodology are exactly what the Cultural Arts Coalition delivers in its holistic, multidisciplinary arts programming.
This is still the way the Arts Education community needs to move if it is to present the Cellular Educational Model Sherry referenced. It is the responsibility of education leaders and community arts activists to make sure there is follow through when persons like Sherry provide the rhetoric to take the community on this transformative journey.
The Arts at their BEST in the garden!!!!!