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Meet the Teaching Artist - Mia Branco

Posted Sunday June 04 2017 at 11:23 pm.
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Mia Branco in the classroom

As a performing artist I use music and stories as a way to create space for interaction, inspiration, and expression.  I enjoy working on projects with unlikely partners and seeing what the arts can unearth.  I believe that by learning how to imagine together, we are better able to create an inclusive reality.

With strong encouragement from a teacher, my own initiation to art began when I reluctantly joined the backstage crew for a sixth grade musical.  This teacher's encouragement changed the course of my life, and has also made me passionate about providing arts education opportunities for today's youth.  After graduating from American University with a BA in Musical Theatre, in addition to working as an actor and singer in the DC area, I began teaching with Imagination Stage - a wonderful nonprofit for children's arts education.  Through opportunities with Imagination Stage, I began to develop programming for students with disabilities.  Such programs included developing a summer program for students with autism to devise a theatre production, implementing drama programming in 4 different schools serving students with disabilities, as well as becoming the Access Program Coordinator for Imagination Stage.

It has been a joy to continue this process of developing imagination and collaborative skills here in Boston with COOL Schools and the Condon School.  Each week has been an exciting opportunity to see how each 1st Grade class will work together to create a story of superheroes and villains solving seemingly insurmountable differences.  I hope that each student will experience joy and find pride in the process of creating a story with others.

Before moving to Boston to pursue my masters in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, I was the Access Program Coordinator for a Children's Theatre in DC called Imagination Stage.  While in this position I developed and implemented arts curricula for students of all abilities, developed policies for family engagement, and worked with the theatre department to make our shows accessible.  I specialized in programming for students with autism and emotional trauma.  In addition to developing programming in house, I was in charge of programming partnerships with multiple schools and other local organizations in the DMV Area including: the Ivymount School, Kennedy Krieger, the Lourie Center, and Glen Echo Park.  I also developed and co-lead trainings about inclusion best practices within arts programming for venues including Roundabout Theatre (NYC) and Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston), this project was funded through VSA and The Kennedy Center.

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