I am one lucky art teacher – last week I got to attend the first ever Arts Empower MEGA Conference for San Diego County arts educators. It was flat-out AMAZING. There were 400 educators in all the arts disciplines – visual arts, theatre, dance and music. Our conference was in San Diego’s gorgeous Balboa Park, home to so many San Diego arts institutions.
Our keynote session included an interview with young artist Inocente, subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Inocente. As a homeless teen in San Diego, Inocente discovered painting through a program at ARTS: A Reason to Survive. She and Matt D’Arrigo, founder of ARTS talked about the impact of the arts on young people
We had our choice of a huge variety of breakout sessions. Guess what? You could attend any session, even if it wasn’t in your specialty. Options included 3D theatre set design, teaching dance improvisation, and teaching music with an iPad. It was a great opportunity to ‘cross pollinate’ ideas across specialities.
I presented for the very first time – one of my best sculpture lesson plans, ‘3D Olympic Sport Sculptures’. It went really well – we were able to create mounted sport trophies in under an hour! Even if you missed the session, you can still make your own trophy. Click here for the trophy lesson plan.
Our dynamic closing session featured a live painting performance Stephen Fishwick set to student music and choreography, followed by a reception accompanied by jazz from San Diego Unified School District music teachers.
What a perfect day!
Thanks a million to Russ Sperling and the amazing folks at the San Diego County Office of Education, Arts Empower San Diego, Art Pulse, Blick, Artists and Craftsmen, the San Diego Museum of Art, Mingei Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts and the Timken Museum, AERO (Art Education Resource Organization), Balboa Park Commons, SDCAEA, our local arts education associations and area museums for a wonderful conference.
Bonus: Here is a video of performance painter Stephen Fishwick!