Meet the Teaching Artist - Mia Branco

Posted Sunday June 04 2017 at 11:23 pm in Education

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.

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VSA Help Wanted: Part-Time Teaching Artist at Charlestown High School

Posted Wednesday May 24 2017 at 1:44 pm in Education

Charlestown High Logo

Job Description

VSA Massachusetts is seeking a passionate and experienced teaching artist (TA) or arts educator for a part-time, five-day-a-week position teaching students with disabilities at Charlestown High School (CHS) for the Fall 2017 semester (with a strong possibility to continue through the Spring 2018 semester).  Charlestown High School is part of the Boston Public Schools system and employs a Small Learning Community (SLC) model where students are organized into cohorts based on common matriculation goals. The VSA MA Teaching Artist will be the lead instructor for two classes, bringing their expertise in and enthusiasm for their artistic discipline to students across Charlestown's special education SLC.  The school observes a block schedule and each class meets daily for one hour and twenty minutes.

About VSA Massachusetts

VSA Massachusetts, the State Organization on Arts and Disability, promotes the involvement of people of all abilities in the cultural life of our communities.  Through our COOL (Creative Outlook on Learning) education program, we partner with schools throughout the state to provide inclusive arts-integrated instruction that creates learning opportunities for students of all abilities.

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Meet the Teaching Artist - Haley Roth

Posted Saturday May 06 2017 at 10:16 pm in Education

Haley Roth with 3 kids

I am a performing artist, yoga teacher, and educational innovator.  Over the past ten years, I have combined my two passions (the arts and mindful practices) to encourage identity exploration, positive self-expression, and deep engagement with creative process.  In 2012 I founded FLY Learning Arts which incorporates a combination of movement, mindfulness, and arts exercises into classrooms in schools through New York City and Los Angeles.  I brought my curiosity and pedagogy to higher ed two years ago first as a student, then a teaching fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

As a lifelong musician, dancer, singer, actor, writer and yogi with twenty years of professional experience on stage, on page, and in classroom, I have discovered that being in my body and heart has greatly increased my capacity to be present minded and creatively curious about the world within and around me.  And as an arts activist, I believe that understanding self and others is the key to creating positive, long-lasting change in communities and in ourselves.  My joy in education is giving space for playful engagement that enhances student learning by offering nuanced ways for students to relate to academic materials, their personal world views, and the perspectives of others.

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