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    VSA Mass. Announces Mia Branco as COOL Schools Program Manager

    Posted Monday July 17 2017 at 2:12 pm.
    Used tags: , ,

    Mia Branco in the classroom

    After spending a year working as an intern with Aysha, Nicole, Charlie, Jon, and COOL School's many wonderful Teaching Artists, it was a no-brainer for us to offer Mia Branco the position of COOL Program Manager, starting September 1, 2017.

    Before moving to Boston to pursue her Masters in Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and interning with VSA, Mia was the Access Program Coordinator for a Children's Theatre in DC called Imagination Stage.  While in this position she developed and implemented arts curricula for students of all abilities, developed policies for family engagement, and worked with the professional theatre to continue to grow the accessibility of their productions.  Mia specialized in programming for students with autism and emotional trauma.  In addition to developing programming in house, she was in charge of the programming for multiple school partnerships and other local organizations.  Through a project funded by VSA and The Kennedy Center Mia also had the opportunity to develop and co-lead trainings about inclusion best practices within arts programming for venues including Roundabout Theatre (NYC) and Wheelock Family Theatre (Boston).

    In addition to working in art education and inclusion, Mia remains engaged with her own artistry as an actor and musician.  As a performing artist she uses music and stories as a way to create space for interaction, inspiration, and expression.  Mia enjoys working on projects with unlikely partners and seeing what the arts can unearth.  She believes that by learning how to imagine together, we are better able to create an inclusive reality.  After graduating from American University with a BA in Musical Theatre, Mia remained in the D.C. Area for six years and enjoyed the opportunity to perform with many local theatres such as Constellation Theatre, Flying V, and The Source Festival.  During this time, Mia primarily focused on opportunities for devising and workshopping new plays.

    Mia says: "I greatly look forward to the opportunity to continue providing high quality, inclusive arts programming through COOL Schools.  In my own practice as an artist, teacher, and education administrator, it has become evident that a vital component of a child's educational experience is the opportunity to develop knowledge of self and positive understanding with peers and teachers.  With COOL School's unique program design that includes involving the classroom teacher in the artistic process, teachers and students have the opportunity to engage in imaginative expression that brings out the inner self and strengthens classroom relationships to include everyone.  It has been a joy to work with COOL Schools, and I look forward to being a part of the COOLest team in Boston this coming year!"

    Mia can be reached at mia@vsamass.org or by phone at 617-350-7713 x 100 starting September 1st, 2017.

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