Posted Wednesday May 02 2018 at 4:22 pm
Sometimes, believe it or not, as an art teacher, you can feel like a bit of a weird-o. You are usually the only art teacher at your school. You have the largest amount of supplies at schools but often times the least amount of space. Some adults even think that all you do is facilitate play time and they wonder if the kids really are participating in rigorous learning.
At the National Art Education Conference you are not a weird-o. You are in a place that validates strongly held beliefs that art is essential for growth and learning, that it is an anchor and a necessity for so many kids, that art makes learning alive and makes mistakes interesting.
One sentiment that was repeated by several of the artists who's talks I attended was, art helped them figure out who they are, and remember who they are through difficult times. Their art, especially as teenagers and young people gave them something that was all their own and grounded them. And like art does, it helps you find your friends and kindred souls.
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Posted Sunday April 22 2018 at 10:05 pm
Hi! I am a teaching artist with a flair for the dramatic. Each lesson encourages improvisation and teaches skills for bringing original characters to life on stage, and storytelling. Theater education helps people gain confidence and freedom of expression in their communication and creative abilities to share their story. And I believe everyone has a story.
As a child, my dad tried desperately to get me to love going fishing with him, but what I loved best were his "Big Fish" stories. Family dinners were like private performances, watching him spin family legends out of everyday happenings. I practiced his flair, regaling my friends on the playground with stories of simple adventures about getting ready for school or making cookies. The topic wasn't important; it was about the action of sharing and entertaining. Fast forward a few years, and I was singing in choirs and starring in school plays (annoyingly memorizing everyone's lines and cueing them onstage when they got stuck). The "acting bug" bit me early, and it may be one of the reasons I'm so passionate about designing and directing creative theater programs for children and teens.
After getting my degree in Theatre from Florida Gulf Coast University, I worked in professional theaters, voiceover acting, and radio journalism. For 10 years, I told the stories of the companies and nonprofits where I worked, building a career in public relations and marketing by day and creating larger than life comedic and dramatic characters on stage by night.
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Posted Wednesday March 28 2018 at 3:16 pm
Hello! I am Rebecca Elowe, actor/musician/educator. As a performer and educator, I use the arts to inspire others to question, connect, and engage. I love when art asks difficult questions, and I believe that through theatrical experiences, we learn to work together to discover possible answers.
At four years old, I decided that I wanted to be a professional violinist. Too small for a real violin, I was first handed a homemade version - a tissue box with a toilet paper roll attached to it. I eventually graduated to the real thing and continued to love the violin while also discovering new interests - singing, dancing, acting, and eventually circus arts. I discovered the true extent of my passion for the arts when I realized that I could combine all of these interests into one piece of theatre. My favorite performances integrate many forms of storytelling (movement, music, puppets, and more) and inspire a sense of play and wonder.
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