Monday, February 11th
Teaching for Equity, Joy and Justice

DreamYard hosted an Arts Professional Development Day and welcomed the Bronx Arts Learning Community and the CEI Network.

We had a combination of 30 teaching artists, art and classroom teachers engage in two of the following workshops:

Social Justice in Theatre Classrooms: teaching social justice themes and using non-theatrical texts on stage
Facilitated by Ron Russell, Epic Theatre

Participants were lead through Epic Theater's process of helping students generate theatrical material from non-literary texts, specifically newspaper articles and firsthand accounts of historical events, such as genocides. The workshop covered a wide range of theatrical exercises that focused on and/or used social justice issues in the creation of student work, with the intention of giving participants a new set of adaptable tools for their Teaching Artist toolbox.

Music for Change: Igniting the Visceral (*this workshop composition is in this video's music background)
Facilitated by Gwen Dorell

Arts Educator and musician, Gwendolyn Dorell, leads participants through the exploration of musical and lyrical choices that accentuate the music of composers such as Tracy Chapman, Paul Simon, and Dave Mathews. Attention was brought to the effects that call and response, repetition, and percussive elements can innately generate in the listener. Nigerian composer and activist, Fela Kuti, will be used as a catalyst example for the group creation of a written chorus on social change, and the session culminates with the creation of group choruses or verses inspired by some of the musical and poetic devices explored in the session.

Teaching with Purpose
Facilitated by Renée Watson

“I am a door." "I am a bridge." "I am a hand extended." These are some of the ways educators often see themselves. In this workshop participants reviewed teaching and artist statements and discussed the importance of being able to articulate why one teaches. Through the sharing of personal stories, reflection and visual art activities, participants create artistic mission statements that can guide their teaching practice.

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