Yesterday, I had the pleasure and honor of speaking at the 5th Annual ArtsR4Life Conference on behalf of the NC Chapter of ASTA and came home inspired and renewed. So, just a few words today about the event.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction partnered with Meredith College, the NC Arts Education Leadership Coalition, and the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources hosted the fifth annual “ARTS R4 Life” professional development conference for NC K-12 Arts Educators in Dance, Music, Theater Arts, and Visual Arts.
This was an opportunity for arts educators to develop personalized learning experiences and have cross-sector learning and collaboration around the 4R’s:
- Rekindle your artistic spirit by participating in hands’-on arts experiences
- Reflect on the profession through deepening your understanding of the standards to support student learning and growth
- Reconnect with colleagues and professional organizations
- Renew your body and mind through expressive, contemplative, and rejuvenating experiences designed to promote your well-being
The conference took place on Saturday, September 8, 2018, and was be preceded by Arts Education Think Tank, Arts Education Coordinators, and Arts Education Leadership Coalition meetings on Friday, September 7th, 2018. Educators had a menu of options and selected a personalized learning plan for their time at the conference.
I gave my session, "Finding and Maintaining Fulfillment in your Career in Arts Education" during the morning. In this session, participants consider their level of fulfillment with their work and career in arts education and related factors. I provide a variety of focus areas for consideration and models for identifying and assessing career fulfillment. Attendees are asked to consider (and perhaps share) their roles as artists/educators, motivations for embarking on a career in arts education, sense of mission in the school and community, complexity of their work, perspective on workload, busy schedules, and a balanced life. Participants (hopefully) walk away with strategies to find fulfillment in their careers while balancing their personal and professional life.
I gave the session during two different time slots and was thrilled to have over 30 attendees between the two sessions. Feedback was excellent and I feel my message was well-received. Some other highlights of the day, for me included connecting with friends, new and old; the Keynote interview with Lauren Kennedy Brady, Producing Artistic Director for Theater Raleigh; A fun kinesthetic opening exercise led by Shannon Gravelle, Director of Choral Activities and Music Education Coordinator for Meredith College; and an inspiring dance performance by the Rainbow Dance Company to open the day. In addition, it was great to spend some time with my friend and NC ASTA colleague, Bill Slechta, who has been instrumental in establishing NC ASTA's involvement in this conference for the past 5 years. I was also happy to spend some time with my friend and colleague, Pat Hall from NCMEA offices.
In all, this was a great event and I am so happy that I was able to attend and participate at such a deep level and represent NC ASTA.