There is a lot going on this summer. We are working at summer camps or even running our own summer programs. We are participating in cool summer residencies all over the country. Maybe, just maybe, we even have the time (and money) to take a little vacation. Whatever you are doing this summer, I wish you the best of luck.
I also have another wish for you. I hope and wish and pray that you can join me at the Inventing Our Future Summer Institute in Oakland, CA from August 12-14.
- This Institute puts what we do in a much larger (and very exciting) social and educational context. On the first day of the Summer Institute, you will see Julia Marshall’s presentation of the “Integrated Learning Framework.” This will blow your mind. You will see just exactly how the work we do as teaching artists is about so much than getting kids to make art (even though that’s a lot in and of itself). Your intellect will have a field day with the concepts she will present.
- This Institute is less like a “Conference” and more like a Call to Action. When I think of an “arts education conference,” I picture a lot of folks doing a lot of workshops focused on why art-making is so important for kids and how folks can do it better. However, when you come to the Summer Institute, you will also experience a lot of folks connecting together in intentional community about how we can change the landscape of our urban and under-resourced communities. We recognize that arts-based learning is at the center of the social innovation that we need to solve some of our communities most crucial problems. Sure, you will attend some workshops but, watch out. These workshops are actually social change recruiting stations in disguise.
- Shirley Brice Heath will be there. I know it sounds a bit geeky to be a fan of a researcher, but I am…and have been for over a decade. Dr. Heath is a linguistic anthropologist whose research has greatly impacted our practice in the fields of community-based arts and arts education. I discovered her work over a decade ago when I read and saw Art Show and it gave me all the language I needed to talk about how vital our work is in the world. She will be at the Summer Institute talking about her latest research into the changing role of work and play on childhood and family life. If you want to sit with me, I’ll be in the front row. And Dr. Heath is not the only exciting speaker you’ll see. Check it out.
- We can have lunch together. Each day of the Summer Institute, grab your lunch and look for those of us wearing the TAG buttons. This is an incredibly fruitful time for teaching artists to come together, discuss what we are learning, ask each other questions, and figure out the implications of it all on our field. Remember, the Summer Institute is a Call to Action (see point #2). Why not take advantage of our time together to activate big things for our field?
- They care so much about teaching artists being there that they are giving you a discount. The Alameda County Office of Education, the producer of this event, values the role of the teaching artist is making this all happen. They know that many classroom teachers, administrators, and other education and other professionals in the community have an employer who will pay to have them attend the Summer Institute. They also know that you most likely do not have that same employer. That is why they are giving a TAG discount of 25% off. Click here to unlock that discount code.