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K12ArtChat the podcast

Laura and Matt Grundler

What do you get when two groups of mission-driven creatives band together? A new podcast from The Creativity Department and Davis Publications! Listen to K12ArtChat the podcast and learn from experts in the field during in-depth conversations filled with education innovations, resources, tips, tools, and inspiration to keep you connected and moving forward!

Check out new episodes every Thursday!

Laura and Matt Grundler strive to help connect the dots for educators by building a professional learning network infused with art.

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The Creativity Department does more than the K12ArtChat podcast. Check out what else they are working on.

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Listen to past episodes of The Creativity Department podcast before it became the K12ArtChat podcast.

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Episode 164: Enhancing Your Art Room with Teaching Artists
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Episode 164: Enhancing Your Art Room with Teaching Artists

Alicia Peters and Mary Bruno

How would you introduce an unfamiliar art form or medium to your students? Would you plan an introductory lesson and learn along with them? Or maybe consider bringing in someone who works with the medium daily to help enhance your student’s experience? That’s what Alicia Peters and Mary Bruno have done! Alicia is Minnesota’s 2022 Higher Ed Art Educator of the Year and Mary is a local artist who owns a letterpress shop. After meeting through a program run by their local arts board that matches artists with educators, they’ve partnered for years to bring unique experiences to students. Listen in to learn from Alicia and Mary’s experiences and discover how to use teaching artists in your art room!

Listen Now | Episode 164
Episode 163: Equitable Protocols in Action! Part 2
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Episode 163: Equitable Protocols in Action! Part 2

Alexa Wynschenk-Ring and Jessica Lucas

We all want to create positive classroom environments. Protocols go a long way to achieving this! From setting norms that encourage collaboration, creativity, and mutual respect to setting the tone for communication, protocols provide structure and support for students. In this episode, Oral Historian Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz and Matt Grundler talk with art educators from NAEA’s Connected Arts Networks (CAN). Jessica Lucas and Alexa Wynschenk-Ring join the conversation to discuss their experiences in implementing guidelines for students and teaching respect for others. Listen in to learn how you can apply these philosophies and protocols in your own arts classrooms.

About Connected Arts Networks (CAN): The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students.

Listen Now | Episode 163
Episode 162: Equitable Protocols in Action! Part 1
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Episode 162: Equitable Protocols in Action! Part 1

Chay Ross and Enoch Robbins

There are many challenges to managing an arts classroom and there is no “correct” way to go about it, but there are some guidelines and tips that can help art educators across the board. In this episode, Oral Historian Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz and Matt Grundler talk with art educators from The Connected Arts Networks (CAN). Enoch Robbins and Chay Ross join the conversation to discuss how they manage their students and their expectations in their arts classrooms. Learn how you can apply these philosophies and protocols in your own arts classrooms.

About Connected Arts Networks (CAN): The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students.

Listen Now | Episode 162
Episode 161: Practical Printmaking
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Episode 161: Practical Printmaking

Donna Anderson

There’s no denying that there are common projects and lessons when it comes to the art room. Painting, drawing, and sculpture are just a few that come to mind, but what about a medium that combines techniques from all three? When was the last time you did a printmaking lesson? Donna Anderson, the author of Experience Printmaking, joins the Creativity Department to discuss practical ways of bringing printmaking into your art room! She shares tips and tricks for success and her experience with the medium! With over 40 years in printmaking, Donna shares a plethora of insights, stories, lesson ideas, ways to make printmaking budget-friendly, and much more!

Listen Now | Episode 161
Episode 160: Staying Versatile and Curious
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Episode 160: Staying Versatile and Curious

Justin Burns

As art educators, we’re always looking for new and exciting projects to challenge our students. Keeping students inspired and projects exciting requires thinking outside the box and flexibility. It can be challenging to find projects that achieve this in fresh new ways. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Justin Burns about staying versatile and curious in the art room! Justin is an artist and educator constantly working to help his students grasp creativity in new ways including embracing experiences that can be molded into a piece of art. From mixing mediums and styles to collaborating with colleagues and students, learn Justin’s keys to keeping students out of a creative rut.

Listen Now | Episode 160
Episode 159: Be a Creative Changemaker
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Episode 159: Be a Creative Changemaker

Paula Liz

Discovering new artists to showcase in our art rooms can be a difficult task, it’s easy to fall into the rut of highlighting the same familiar artists. And they often don’t represent the diverse world of art or that of our students. Luckily, there’s a new resource for elementary grades centered on underrepresented artists from across the world and throughout history! In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by the author, Paula Liz. Throughout her career, Paula noticed the absence of non-Western artists in courses and instructional materials. In response, she’s written Be a Creative Changemaker: A Kids’ Art Activity Book to help students discover new artists, materials, techniques, and styles.

Listen Now | Episode 159
Episode 158: Sharing the Lessons We Love
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Episode 158: Sharing the Lessons We Love

Raine Valentine and Joe Boatfield

Weaving, clay, printmaking…from what we know these are just a few of students’ favorite things! But what are some of the teachers’ favorites? In this episode, the Creativity Department catches up with Joe Boatfield and Raine Valentine of the Creativity Crew to talk about how the school year is going in their classrooms. Listen in to hear what’s been working well, and what’s been adapted as they share some of their favorite lessons, tools, and strategies. Discover tips for tempering students’ expectations of their art, working with different mediums when you don’t have the proper tools and the benefits of working outside your comfort zone as you enjoy learning alongside your students!

Listen Now | Episode 158
Episode 157: Visual Expression Technology
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Episode 157: Visual Expression Technology

Ben Forta

Over the past few years, the use of technology in the classroom has accelerated dramatically. Whether it’s employing tablets or shifting to a hybrid learning model—technology is here to stay. This means there must be a variety of tools in the educator’s box. At the forefront of where education and tech meet is Adobe’s Senior Director of Education Initiatives, Ben Forta. Ben joins the Creativity Department in this episode to discuss visual expression, the importance of CREATING content for consuming (vs. consuming other people’s content), and the tools Adobe provides for creating. Listen in to hear how technology is more than the device to display information, it’s a meaningful way to engage students in learning.

Listen Now | Episode 157
Episode 156: Making Murals
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Episode 156: Making Murals

Alice Mizrachi

Have you ever walked by a bare wall and thought to yourself “That would make a great canvas for a piece of art”? So did Alice Mizrachi, so she became a muralist to bring drab urban landscapes to life! Based in New York City, Alice has made countless large-scale murals that take up entire sides of buildings to bring communities together through art. In this episode, she joins the Creativity Department to talk about her work as an artist, educator, and mentee—and how all those things come together to shape the art she makes in the communities she’s a part of. Discover how Alice’s relationships, love of community, passion, and hard work create art that’s enjoyed by all.

Listen Now | Episode 156
Episode 155: Envisioning and Living a Creative Life
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Episode 155: Envisioning and Living a Creative Life

Christopher Strickland

“Humans are inherently creative beings. As art educators, we’re primed for helping others learn about this and understand it as they nurture their creativity.” But how do you model this? How do you inspire students to expand outside where they are in school and in their lives? How do you help them find and embrace their creative capacities? Assistant Professor for Art Education at University of Nebraska Kearney, Christopher Strickland joins Matt in this episode to share his unique perspective on this challenge. Listen in to the discussion and discover strategies educators can use to cultivate creativity and encourage students to fold it into their lives.

Listen Now | Episode 155
Episode 154 - Coffee with Karl: The Fine Art of Craft
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Episode 154 - Coffee with Karl: The Fine Art of Craft

Karl Cole

Is craft art? It’s a debate as old as time. Implying skill or skill level, using the word “craft” to describe fine art can be taken derogatorily. The term could be thought to diminish the work of an artist. However, it has recently enjoyed a revival in many mediums to denote a considerable amount of time and care taken during making. So how does this reflect in the world of art? Davis Publications’ Fine Art Images Curator and Art Historian, Karl Cole, joins The Creativity Department for a new Coffee with Karl episode about just that! Learn about art forms from different periods in history and cultures where art is decorative and serves a functional purpose. Listen in to determine for yourself—is craft art?

Listen Now | Episode 154
Episode 153: Cultural Responsiveness in the Arts Classroom Part 2
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Episode 153: Cultural Responsiveness in the Arts Classroom Part 2

Connected Arts Networks (CAN)

Connecting students’ cultures, perspectives, and life experiences with what they learn in school is the focus of cultural responsiveness. All educators strive to create meaningful learning, diverse experiences, and inclusive environments for students but hearing from other educators in the field can be inspirational! In this episode, Oral Historian Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz and Matt Grundler continue the conversation with New York City educators from NAEA’s Connected Arts Networks (CAN). Lidia Menniti and Catherine Plichta join the discussion about incorporating Cultural Responsiveness into classrooms. Listen in to explore their thoughts on how it cultivates empathy and supports students’ discovery of their interests.

About Connected Arts Networks (CAN): The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students.

Listen Now | Episode 153
Episode 152: Cultural Responsiveness in the Arts Classroom Part 1
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Episode 152: Cultural Responsiveness in the Arts Classroom Part 1

Connected Arts Networks (CAN)

Educators strive to create inclusive environments that honor and celebrate differences using a host of methods, including cultural responsiveness. In this episode, Oral Historian Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz and Matt Grundler talk with New York City educators from The Connected Arts Networks (CAN). Tina Barone & Edwin Brathwaite join the conversation to discuss incorporating Cultural Responsiveness into classrooms. Discover how this approach goes beyond tolerance and encourages genuine engagement and collaboration across diverse perspectives through honoring and appreciating the values, beliefs, and communication styles of diverse groups of people.

About Connected Arts Networks (CAN): The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students.

Listen Now | Episode 152
Episode 151: Finding Your Authentic Teacher Self
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Episode 151: Finding Your Authentic Teacher Self

Jeanne Sparrow

What does it mean to be your creatively authentic self? Does it entail sharing your personal artwork with your students? Or openly communicating with them about what they’d like to learn in the art room? What exactly does it mean to be creatively authentic? Emmy award winning radio and TV host Jeanne Sparrow has a “life theme” she calls —Fearless Authenticity. It centers on purposefully and intentionally knowing ourselves and tapping into our value. She joins the Creativity Department in this episode to talk all about what exactly that means, how you can achieve it, how you can help others be their authentic selves, and how this philosophy translates into the arts classroom.

Listen Now | Episode 151
Episode 150: The Healing Power of Art
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Episode 150: The Healing Power of Art

Steven Branfman

Losing a loved one is devastating. Grief takes a toll on our emotions, our well-being, our relationships, and often it can put our creative endeavors on hold. In 2005, Steven Branfman lost his son to cancer, a tragedy that led him to embark on a remarkable project—A Father’s Kaddish. Steven created 365 Japanese Chawan tea bowls, one a day for a year after his son’s passing. Through these small bowls, he found a unique channel for his grief. In this conversation, Matt, Laura, and Steven discuss the powerful connection between art, healing, and storytelling. They delve into the symbolism behind the tea bowls, the community it created, and how this labor of love became a tribute to his son’s memory.

Listen Now | Episode 150
Episode 149: Integrating Mindfulness into the Art Classroom
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Episode 149: Integrating Mindfulness into the Art Classroom

Jane Dalton

How do we integrate mindfulness into the art classroom? And what exactly is the difference between mindfulness and mindfulness meditation? Wouldn’t it be great if the answers were compiled into one place—like a book? Jane Dalton, Professor of Art Education, has written such a book! In this episode, Jane joins The Creativity Department and co-host Raine Valentine to talk all about mindfulness in the art room. Listen in to hear about meditation and the expressive arts and learn about the crossroads of creativity and well-being. Jane shares her experience integrating mindfulness into her art room as well as simple but effective techniques you can use to do the same.

Listen Now | Episode 149
Episode 148: Reflective Teaching Practices
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Episode 148: Reflective Teaching Practices

Richard Kim

How do we create art assignments that empower all our students, not just those who wish to pursue art in their future? How are the messages embedded in our curriculum shaping “what art is” to those students who aren’t going to art school? In this episode, The Creativity Department dives into how to rethink curriculum with artist and Art Educator Richard Kim. Contemporizing curriculum is more than simply adding contemporary art. It’s about taking risks and developing content that taps into contemporary practices of how art is being made today. Listen in to hear strategies for developing curriculum content as a reflective practice instead of just providing art assignments.

Listen Now | Episode 148
Episode 147: Creating Effective Learning Environments for Neurodivergent Students
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Episode 147: Creating Effective Learning Environments for Neurodivergent Students

Amy Appleton & Kirsti Lewis

“Too often society underestimates and undermines people with disabilities. They are capable of so much more.” These words drive the work of the organization People Like Us, an organization devoted to creating more inclusive and effective learning environments for students with disabilities through the arts. In this week’s episode The Creativity Department and Amy Appleton, NAEA’s Connected Arts Networks (CAN) Project Director, discuss the mission of People Like Us with the Founder, Kirsti Lewis. Dive into the discussion and learn why she started the organization and how they can help educators who may feel ill-equipped offer meaningful instruction to students with developmental disabilities.

About Connected Arts Networks (CAN): The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students.

Listen Now | Episode 147
Episode 146: Accessibility & Inclusion in the Arts Classroom Continued
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Episode 146: Accessibility & Inclusion in the Arts Classroom Continued

Connected Arts Networks (CAN)

Accessibility ensures participation barriers are removed for people with disabilities, inclusion takes that further to guarantee people with disabilities are embraced as members of the community. In the episode, Teacher Leaders from NAEA’s Connected Arts Networks (CAN) continue the conversation about building accessible arts classrooms that foster a sense of belonging for students of all abilities. Dive into a new conversation led by The Creativity Department and Oral Historian Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz. Arts Educators Rebecca Visintainer and Sean Turner share strategies used to create inclusive and welcoming environments for students of all abilities, insights about how they learn students’ unique abilities, and resources you can tap into to do the same.

About Connected Arts Networks (CAN): The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students.

Listen Now | Episode 146
Episode 145: Accessibility & Inclusion in the Arts Classroom
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Episode 145: Accessibility & Inclusion in the Arts Classroom

Connected Arts Networks (CAN)

The Connected Arts Networks believes that SEL and ED&I practices overlap to contribute to greater accessibility in the classroom. In this episode, Oral Historian Dr. Mi'Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Krissi Davis Orchestra Director for Midtown High School in Atlanta, and Art Educator Matt Grundler explore ways of serving students with developmental differences. By making changes and adaptations to classroom environments and curriculum through a knowledge of equity and inclusion students’ self-awareness, communication, emotion regulation, and interpersonal connections can be strengthened.

About Connected Arts Networks (CAN): The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of this Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students.

Listen Now | Episode 145
Episode 144: Building a Culture of Community
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Episode 144: Building a Culture of Community

Brice McCasland

The presence of “community” in activities such as band and theater is obvious. These require groups of individuals to work together. That type of connection may look absent from the studio. However, in the art room students can express themselves openly and have a sense of belonging. That’s exactly the environment Brice McCasland creates in his art room. Brice is the K12 Visual Art Coordinator for Lovejoy ISD in Texas and went to college with Matt & Laura. Their art professors created a welcoming, supportive, and inspiring creative community which they’ve emulated in their own art rooms! In this episode, Brice shares his strategies for building a community of artistic culture in the art room. Listen in and discover the positive and lasting impact it can have on students.

Listen Now | Episode 144
Episode 143: Intentional SEL in the Art Room
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Episode 143: Intentional SEL in the Art Room

Jonathan Juravich

Yes, there are many Social Emotional Learning (SEL) moments in art classrooms students experience as part of sharing space and because art is about feeling. However, “for true SEL learning to take place, there needs to be intentionality. Educators must think through how they build specific experiences for students that include SEL.” But how? Maybe you’ve had trouble incorporating it in your art room. 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year, Jonathan Juravich is here to help! In this episode, the Creativity Department discusses Jonathan’s dissertation on SEL in art education, his TED Talk about teaching empathy, his work as a national Arts advocate, and his experience with SEL and elementary students. Dive in to learn more and come away with a plethora of resources.

Listen Now | Episode 143
Episode 142: National Arts in Education Week
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Episode 142: National Arts in Education Week

Laura and Matt Grundler

Happy National Arts in Education week! Established in 2010, this week-long celebration was created to recognize the impact arts have in education. The goal of the week? To bring awareness of this importance to elected officials and decision makers to ensure all students have access to the arts.  In this episode, The Creativity Department share and reflect on their journeys as art educators and how art has impacted them. Listen in to hear their “who & why”. Learn who inspired them to become art educators, why they are art educators, and what keeps them coming back? Then, visit us on social media and tell us your story, we want to know!

Listen Now | Episode 142
Episode 141: What do you Mean
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Episode 141: What do you Mean "Rules" for the Art Room?

Paul Kretchmer

What!? Rules!? Don’t be alarmed, this week’s guest, Art Educator Paul Kretchmer, explains—“We live in a world that is about relationships. ‘Rules’ are guides you can use to build those relationships.” Paul joins The Creativity Department to discuss a set of tips he’s coined “Happy Art Teacher Rules.” Among the rules, you’ll find Amplify Student Voice, Celebrate Diversity, and Prioritize Equity. Having guidelines in the art room can set the tone for the school year, Paul’s were made to help create a positive, supportive, and friendly environment for students. With guidelines in place, the art room is a place where students openly share ideas and help shape their artistic journey.

Listen Now | Episode 141
Episode 140: Starting the School Year Off Right
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Episode 140: Starting the School Year Off Right

Raine Valentine and Joe Boatfield

With summer coming to an end and many schools already starting the new school year, it’s time to consider how to make the school year exciting, engaging, and enjoyable. A successful start goes a long way to continuing that energy throughout the year. In this episode, art educators Raine Valentine and Joe Boatfield join The Creativity Department to talk about preparing for a successful new school year. From how they connect with students to adjusting curriculum to align with new standards, this conversation explores a multitude of topics. Hear about things like setting the tone and expectations in the art room as well as what projects get students excited for art in the coming year!

Listen Now | Episode 140
Episode 139: Creating Art Ecosystems
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Episode 139: Creating Art Ecosystems

Mike Mitchell

In general terms, an ecosystem is a complex network or interconnected system. Considering this, what is an “Art Ecosystem?” How does it differ from a PLN? Mike Mitchell joins the Creativity Department in this episode to examine the networks, communities, and connections that can create an “Art Ecosystem.” Mike is the Art Education Coordinator at Tennessee State University (TSU) with years of experience teaching high school art. Dive into the conversation as he shares his experience building connections through teaching, networking, social media, and mentoring. Discover how to cultivate an ecosystem of your own and how it affects your work as an educator, an artist, and a mentor.

Listen Now | Episode 139
Episode 138: Talking about Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB)
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Episode 138: Talking about Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB)

Jen Ferrari & Abi Paytoe Gbayee

“The very heart of TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior) is centered around 1) the child is the artist, 2) the classroom is the studio, and 3) exploring what artists do.” TAB can be a sticky subject depending on if you dive into a full student-centered approach, introduce elements of it, or rely on a “standard skill-based pedagogy.” Is there common ground? In this episode, the Creativity Department discusses this with Jen Ferrari and Abi Paytoe Gbayee. As art educators and hosts of the TAB Storytellers podcast, Jen and Abi have years of experience. Listen in as they share advice and information on TAB pedagogy. Get resources for using it in the art room and learn how it can be assessed using a skill criteria.

Listen Now | Episode 138
Episode 137: Clay in the Art Room
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Episode 137: Clay in the Art Room

Sharon Carr and Christine Colby

Ceramics can be frustrating, clay is an intimidating medium for students as they begin working with it, but it can also be just as rewarding for those who stick with it. Students gain many skills working with ceramics, they learn about aesthetics and the importance of design, form, and function. They learn persistence and how to work through the artistic process. In this episode, the Creativity Department is joined by art educators Sharon Carr and Christine Colby to discuss ceramics in the art room. Discover ideas for introducing students to the medium, tips to help them manage frustration, classroom and materials management ideas, ceramic artists to showcase and more!

Listen Now | Episode 137
Episode 136: Making Meaningful Art Experiences through Partnership
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Episode 136: Making Meaningful Art Experiences through Partnership

Susan Martin & Melissa Friedewald

Do you have a local arts center in your community? Have you considered working with them on a project but don’t know where to start? Susan Martin, Executive Director of the Bower Center for the Arts, and Melissa Friedewald, Art Teacher from Liberty High School in Bedford, Virginia, join The Creativity Department in this episode to inspire you! Melissa’s students and The Bower Center worked together to create a public mural for the Bower Center for the Arts. Listen in as they dive into the details of how student artists were selected for the project, how they collaborated on developing the LOVEworks mural, and more. Tune in to learn how local arts centers can help students discover a community outside of the art room and provide real-world experience.

Listen Now | Episode 136
Episode 135: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) - Teacher Leadership Part 2
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Episode 135: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) - Teacher Leadership Part 2

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Corazón Tierra, Charles Jabour

As NAEA states, school leadership shouldn’t have a singular definition, or “be seen as a practice that can be definitively attained. Rather, it should be thought of as a flexible and dynamic process that educators are constantly honing and working toward.” In the second part of the Teacher Leadership episode, the Connected Arts Networks (CAN) explores the varied roles and importance of teacher leaders further. Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz and The Creativity Department continue the conversation with two new CAN members. Arts Educators Corazón Tierra and Charles Jabour weigh into the discussion from the Dance and Theatre perspectives. Listen in as they address important questions such as how do you want to lead? How do you want to transform? What ways do you want to change lives positively, for yourself or others? Discover for yourself if there is a way to pinpoint how or when we can spark the same inspiration to lead in others.

Listen Now | Episode 135
Episode 134: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) - Teacher Leadership Part 1
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Episode 134: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) - Teacher Leadership Part 1

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Nathan Rødahl, Tim Needles

There are all kinds of perspectives around what educational leadership looks and feels like. It’s not one size fits all, it impacts the mood, atmosphere, and environment of a school so it must be flexible to meet the needs of diverse student populations and families in communities. During the fourth series of Connected Arts Networks (CAN) conversations, we take a deep dive into Teacher Leadership. As a partnership between The National Art Education Association (NAEA), Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects, the goal of this network is to build a sustainable model of professional learning. In this episode, the Creativity Department and Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz are joined by educators Tim Needles and Nathan Rødahl. Dive into an informative discussion about adapting leadership structures in the classroom and discover strategies used to ensure all students’ needs are met.

Listen Now | Episode 134
Episode 133: Teaching and Creating: A Practice of Permission
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Episode 133: Teaching and Creating: A Practice of Permission

Jorge Lucero

How do you maintain a robust teaching practice that doesn’t take a back seat to your artist practice while remaining actively engaged with your artistic practice? Jorge Lucero, author of What Happens at the Intersection of Conceptual Art & Teaching, believes the solution to this rests on permissions. If we can get out of our heads long enough to think differently about our practices, we can expand our ideas of what art can be. In this episode, Jorge joins The Creativity Department for a conversation about allowing ourselves to be conceptual in our artmaking, time, and materials. Listen in to discover how leaning into unconventional processes and ideas to broaden how we think about art can benefit our practices and ultimately help students!

Listen Now | Episode 133
Episode 132 - Coffee with Karl: Curating Images for Art Education
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Episode 132 - Coffee with Karl: Curating Images for Art Education

Karl Cole

Including images in a wide variety of topics, themes, or categories (cultures, genders, time periods, etc.) is essential to keeping content interesting and relevant to students. But it’s never that easy, curating images for lessons can be time-consuming and tricky. There are always questions, how do you choose which artists and works to highlight? How much information should you know about an artist before sharing their work? In this week’s episode, the Creativity Department speaks with Davis’s Curator of Images Karl Cole to answer these common questions. Hear about his curatorial process and discover if there is anything missing from your own selection process.

Listen Now | Episode 132
Episode 131: Supporting New Teachers with Disabilities
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Episode 131: Supporting New Teachers with Disabilities

Reahna Robinson

Representation matters, especially in the art education world—a wide variety of students should be taught by a wide variety of educators. Reahna Robinson is currently a Senior at FSU, applying to be a middle school music teacher—she’s known this is what she’s wanted to do for years and has worked hard to make it happen! She also happens to be blind. In this episode, Reahna joins the Creativity Department for a discussion about her pre-service experiences. Discover how they’ll shape her upcoming teaching career, and how educators can support their disabled colleagues. Listen in to hear more from Reahna!

Listen Now | Episode 131
Episode 130: Engaging Students in Conceptual Art Practices
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Episode 130: Engaging Students in Conceptual Art Practices

Sam Peck & Dave Modler

In this episode, the Creativity Department is joined by art educators and creative collaborators Samuel Peck and David Modler for a discussion about the importance of “process over product.” Hear how they encourage their pre-service teachers to focus on the creative processes of art making rather than producing a “good” artwork. Learn how “process over product” helps student development and correlates to the Studio Habits of Mind during a conversation covering strategies for classroom application, activities you can do with students, and artists that inspire.

Listen Now | Episode 130
Episode 129: Art, Education, & Artificial Intelligence
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Episode 129: Art, Education, & Artificial Intelligence

Tim Needles

Like it or not Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is already deeply ingrained in our everyday lives. It’s an exciting but hotly debated topic in the world of art and education. In this episode, the Creativity Department is joined by returning guest Tim Needles to talk about the disruption A.I. is causing. Laura, Matt, and Tim tackle questions like “Is A.I. generated art actually art?” and “Does A.I. remove process from creativity?” Explore ways of educating students about responsible use of this technology and discover how to use it as a tool to inspire artmaking. With A.I. changing every day and no end in sight, it doesn’t have to be avoided, it could be embraced as a hi-tech tool.

Listen Now | Episode 129
Episode 128: Surviving the End of the School Year
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Episode 128: Surviving the End of the School Year

Raine Valentine, Candido Crespo, and Joe Boatfield

The Creativity Crew is back! With the end of the school year fast approaching, it can be a stressful time. Candido Crespo, Raine Valentine, and Joe Boatfield join Matt in this episode to discuss surviving the end of this school year and preparing for next year. They’re facing a multitude of challenges that a lot of art educators face this time of year, like changing classrooms, making plans to stay creative over the summer, and keeping students motivated during standardized testing. Discover solutions you can try, like giving students the opportunity to take on projects they’ve been asking for all year and are passionate about. Listen in to hear all their ideas!

Listen Now | Episode 128
Episode 127: Focusing on Educator SEL
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Episode 127: Focusing on Educator SEL

Matt & Laura Grundler

How often do you assess how you’re doing?  It’s true when “they” say your tank must be full to take care of other’s needs. But how do you prioritize yourself with so many demands? Social Emotional Learning (SEL) can be hard to integrate into a curriculum but that means you need to focus on it even more for yourself. The Creativity Department addresses this in Episode 127. Listen in as they continue the conversation about SEL from the educator’s point of view. Specifically, hear what taking care of your needs looks like inside and outside the classroom, discover tips on organizing and prioritizing yourself over the summer, and learn how you can support your peers in their SEL work.

Listen Now | Episode 127
Episode 126: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Social-Emotional Learning Part 2
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Episode 126: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Social-Emotional Learning Part 2

Meg Hickey & Kristie Farr

Very rarely do students feel safe enough to open up and share how they’re feeling in the classroom. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential to a student’s development, but it can be challenging to introduce into a classroom setting. Dive deeper into this topic during part two of the Connected Arts Network (CAN) SEL episode. In this episode, the Creativity Department continues the conversation about Social-Emotional Learning with two new CAN members. Arts Educators Meg Hickey & Kristie Farr weigh into the conversation about SEL from the Music and Theatre perspectives. Hear the different techniques they use to incorporate SEL into their classrooms. Listen in to learn how they create supportive learning communities where students thrive.

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Episode 125: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Social-Emotional Learning Part 1
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Episode 125: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Social-Emotional Learning Part 1

Cristin Carole and Heather De Koning Foley

Broadly speaking, social-emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which students develop and apply crucial life skills such as confidence, emotion management, decision-making, and friendship. In the third series of Connected Arts Networks (CAN) conversations, we take a deep dive into SEL. As a partnership between The National Art Education Association (NAEA), Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects, the goal of this network is to build a sustainable model of professional learning. In this episode, the Creativity Department is joined by Arts Educators Cristin Carole and Heather De Koning Foley for an informative discussion about how SEL has amplified student voice in their classrooms. Hear how they are creating supportive learning communities where students thrive.

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Episode 124: Renewing Your Creative Practice
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Episode 124: Renewing Your Creative Practice

Emily Fox King and James Rees

Nurturing your own creativity can be challenging, especially when you are charged with cultivating it in the minds of students and keeping them engaged in meaningful creating. No one understands that more than James Rees and Emily Fox King. James and Emily are professional artists. James is also a researcher and retired art educator. Both join The Creativity Department to discuss taking care of your creative practice as an art educator. Both bring their unique perspectives to this conversation sharing their experiences dealing with creative risk and being a professional artist, overcoming creative blocks, and more. Listen in to hear strategies you can use in and out of the art room.

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Episode 123: All Things Art
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Episode 123: All Things Art

Kris Bakke

Art materials come in all shapes and sizes. As educators and/or artists ourselves, there’s always a reason we use the materials we do. Quality and price are a few ways to make choices about them, but there are so many other things to consider. In this episode, Kris Bakke joins the Creativity Department again. This time, the discussion is about all things related to art materials. Now with Royal & Langnickel Classroom (a.k.a. Royal Brush) as their Art Education Manager, Kris has new ideas about materials for the art room. From what is essential for teaching students to properly caring for supplies, listen in to learn new takes on the age-old question, “Why do we use this kind, what’s the difference?”

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Episode 122: Unpacking NAEA 2023
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Episode 122: Unpacking NAEA 2023

Orlando Graves Bolaños

The NAEA 2023 Convention has officially wrapped! Enjoy this episode highlighting some of the best parts of this exciting event! The Creativity Department and Orlando Graves Bolaños (@SubversiveArts), Co-coordinator for the convention, examine some of the amazing details from NAEA 2023! Hear about sessions they attended, what inspired them, and their takeaways from San Antonio, Texas, as they dive into their personal experience from the largest convention in years. After the last few years of lockdown, social distancing, and uncertainty from COVID, “the conference really hit home; it was a moment to be inspired both professionally and personally.” Listen in to hear their insights!

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Episode 121: Supporting Pre-Service Art Teachers
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Episode 121: Supporting Pre-Service Art Teachers

Dr. David Moya

Do you have pre-service teachers in your art room? How do you support them? This episode dives into just that topic with Dr. David Moya. A former student of Laura’s and now professor at University of Houston-Clear Lake, Dr. Moya instructs and mentors pre-service art teachers every day. He joins the conversation this week to shed light on how he supports his students in their training and in the art rooms they work. Learn his methods, like how he adds a personal touch by communicating with his students outside the classroom and keeps track of what they’re doing with their own students. Listen in to hear how you can make your own pre-service art educators feel supported!

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Episode 120: Literacy in the Elementary Art Room
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Episode 120: Literacy in the Elementary Art Room

Meera Ramanathan

How do you capture students that don’t feel successful in art because they “can’t draw”? Elementary art educator Meera Ramanathan uses literacy. “Art isn’t just about creating,” she says. “Literacy is another way to help students feel empowered.” Meera joins The Creativity Department for an episode about using literacy to help students connect their art to their own life. Through responding and presenting students articulate what they know, how they feel, and what they think. Hear about this, how she differentiates her lessons for different age ranges, and other ways she weaves life skills, art, and literacy into her curriculum seamlessly.

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Episode 119: The Art of Thinking & Questioning
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Episode 119: The Art of Thinking & Questioning

Christine Miller

How often do you consider how you think? It’s not usually something that’s brought up, but metacognition (thinking about thinking) can have many benefits for you and your students. Fiber artist and retired Art Educator Christine Miller joins The Creativity Department in this episode to talk about supporting students through the process of building skills around thinking. Discover ways to guide students to better understand how they think, so they do it on a deeper, more meaningful level. Christine shares how she developed her practice, the hurdles her students overcame, and the long-term effects she witnessed from implementing metacognitive techniques. Listen in to hear more!

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Episode 118 – Coffee with Karl: The Importance of Art History
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Episode 118 – Coffee with Karl: The Importance of Art History

Karl Cole

There is no doubt History is an important aspect of education. Art History is no different. There are many ways art teachers use it in their practice, inspiring discussion when kicking off a lesson or as a daily warmup with the students for example. To dive deeper into this topic The Creativity Department turned to Davis’s Art Historian and Image Curator for another Coffee with Karl episode. In this episode, they discuss just how important art history is in today’s classrooms. Dive into the relevance of art history and how it is used as a tool to shine a light on underrepresented artists, movements, and cultures in the world. Hear how you can use Karl’s expertise to easily incorporate art history into your program!

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Episode 117: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Part 2
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Episode 117: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Part 2

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Gayle Nicholls-Ali, and Lindsey Baur

The work of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) is challenging. It requires deep care, concern, and attention, without which it’s possible the important work being done won’t flourish. Considering these notions is essential to creating programs that support students at their individual levels. In the second part of the Connected Arts Networks (CAN) ED&I episode, The Creativity Department and co-host Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz continue the discussion with two new guests from CAN. Educators Gayle Nicholls-Ali and Lindsey Baur weigh into the crucial conversation around ED&I from the Visual Arts & Media and Dance perspectives. Listen in to hear how Gayle and Lindsey create diverse and inclusive environments for all learners, honor and encourage student voice and choice, illustrate different (and similar) approaches to art through experiences with artists of diverse cultures, and much more!

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Episode 116: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Part 1
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Episode 116: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Part 1

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Bridget Shepard, and Michael Gordon

Explore Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) in the second series of episodes brought to you by the Connected Arts Networks (CAN). As a partnership between The National Art Education Association (NAEA), Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects, the goal of this network is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students. In this episode, the Creativity Department and Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz are joined by educators Bridget Shepard and Michael Gordon for an important and informative discussion about fostering environments that support ED&I for learners. Hear how these educators are creating transformative discomfort in a solution-bound and caring way while consistently maintaining safe spaces for learners to celebrate their differences.

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Episode 115: Preparing & Promoting for YOUTH ART MONTH
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Episode 115: Preparing & Promoting for YOUTH ART MONTH

Kris Bakke

In 1961, March was established as Youth Art Month to bring attention to Art Education and recognize it as a core factor in a complete curriculum. To this day, its goal remains the same, direct attention to the value of art education for divergent and critical thinking and expand art programs in schools. In recent years, art educators have used Youth Art Month to advocate for their programs with great success! In this episode, Kris Bakke, Vice President of the Council for Art Education, joins the podcast for a discussion about participating, preparing, and getting the most out of YAM. Listen in to learn effective methods for celebrating and advocating for your art program and the benefits that come from it!

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Episode 114: ALL Our Favorite Art Room Things
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Episode 114: ALL Our Favorite Art Room Things

Candido Crespo, Joe Boatfield, and Raine Valentine

Who doesn’t love to talk about their favorite things? Art educators, students, artists, people in general, EVERYONE has preferences. In this episode, The Creativity Crew is back! Art educators Raine Valentine, Candido Crespo, and Joe Boatfield join The Creativity Department for a discussion about their most-loved items to use in the art room and to engage students. Get the inside scoop on their most recommended classroom-tested art materials, equipment, art lessons, inspirational artists, technology, and more. There’s bound to be something new to take away as you dive into this conversation covering what works best and why.

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Episode 113: Recognizing the Space Between Teaching and Learning
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Episode 113: Recognizing the Space Between Teaching and Learning

Jason Blair

More and more it seems like we are caught in the net of focusing on teaching and learning—delivering info on something you know well and moving down a prescribed path. What about the space in between where relationships, wonder, imagination, and curiosity live. It’s a challenge to connect with your students on deeper levels, many see school just as a place to sit and digest facts, but you can be the change in their academic career! Returning guest Jason Blair joins The Creativity Department to talk about bridging the gap between teaching and learning by creating meaningful opportunities for students to build empathy, creative confidence, and a sense of community in the art room.

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Episode 112: Using Manipulatives to Close Learning Gaps
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Episode 112: Using Manipulatives to Close Learning Gaps

Ruth Byrne

In Math, there is a concept called “Concrete—Representational—Abstract Progression of Learning.” When students learn numbers, they count real objects (concrete), then pictures of objects (representational), and then use symbols like “3” (abstract). In Art, we often jump right to representational or abstract concepts. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with art educator Ruth Byrne about how interacting with concrete objects can lead students to better results representing and abstracting in their art. Hear how Ruth uses Froebel’s methods to encourage inquiry and help students focus on the joy of the creative process instead of the product.

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Episode 111: Creative Practice, Self-Care, & Mindfulness
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Episode 111: Creative Practice, Self-Care, & Mindfulness

Jane Dalton and James Rees

Mindfulness can enhance creativity and creative problem-solving, qualities essential to the art room. Do you practice mindfulness yourself or with your students? With the hectic school year in full swing, it can be hard to slow down and take a minute or two to recenter, but there is plenty of data to support the benefits of doing just that. In this episode, Jane Dalton and James Rees, both educators and artists, join the Creativity Department to talk about using mindfulness in the art room. Exercises that only take two minutes can help you and your students regenerate and refocus on the tasks at hand. Listen in to the episode to learn how mindfulness can support creative practice and help your students!

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Episode 110: Intersections of Technology & Creativity
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Episode 110: Intersections of Technology & Creativity

Misty Kluesner

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of resources to integrate technology into the art room, but which ones are best for students? Misty Kluesner is here to help! As a Creativity & Design Learning Experience Designer, she develops curricula and strategies to help art educators integrate technology into their programs to enhance creativity and innovation. In this episode, discover the ideas and tools Misty uses to help teachers move outside the standard parameters of technology in the classroom. Ever thought about students creating a video essay instead of a written one? Listen in to hear more on how you can seamlessly integrate technology into your art room with Misty’s advice!

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Episode 109 – Coffee with Karl: Being an Art Historian and Curator
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Episode 109 – Coffee with Karl: Being an Art Historian and Curator

Karl Cole

Have your students asked why studying art history is important? It helps us make sense of the past and connect it to the present, exposes us to cultural diversity, and enhances observation skills. Just spend a few minutes with an Art Historian and this becomes clear. But where do you find an Art Historian? Luckily, Davis’s very own Curator of Images Karl Cole is an Art Historian! We’re excited to introduce a new series featuring Karl. In this episode, The Creativity Department and Karl discuss his unique career as Curator and Art Historian for Davis. Hear about what led him to art education and gather information you can use to introduce this interesting occupation to students.

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Episode 108: Designing Hot Wheels
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Episode 108: Designing Hot Wheels

Bryan Benedict

Did you have Hot Wheels as a kid? Do your children or students collect them? How cool is it that someone’s job is to design them? That’s what Bryan Benedict thought as a kid and now he’s the Design Lead for Hot Wheels and Matchbox Diecast for Mattel! After working with big-name car companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and GM, Bryan joined Mattel to work with different franchises to make both fantastical and real-life cars in toy form. In this episode, he discusses his career path with The Creativity Department. Listen in to hear about the unique opportunities he’s had to work with celebrities and the steps students can take to start a career as a designer.

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Episode 107: A Black Male Perspective in Art Education
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Episode 107: A Black Male Perspective in Art Education

Bill Rembert

“Research has shown that having teachers and school staff of color can help students of color succeed, but nationally only 7% of teachers are Black, and only 2% are Black men (07/2022).” Art Educator Bill Rembert invites us to consider an important question—how many Black male teachers have you had? Statistically speaking, the odds of you answering “not many or none” are high. In this episode, Bill joins The Creativity Department for a conversation about this lack of Black male (and male overall) representation in art education. He shares his personal experiences as they discuss the need for male mentorship within schools and ways of advocating for programs that would fill those gaps.

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Episode 106: Drawing Dream Cars in Reality
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Episode 106: Drawing Dream Cars in Reality

Daryl Thompson

Do you have students who are passionate about art, technology, and design? Are they interested in careers that utilize these elements? Then this episode is for you (and them)! The Creativity Department is joined by artist Daryl Thompson. From children’s game animator to creative director for the Houston Rockets, Daryl has always been surrounded by creativity. Now he combines his love of drawing and cars to make highly detailed artwork as an automotive illustrator and is collaborating with the Toyota Dream Car USA Contest to help bring children’s imagination to life! Listen in as Daryl shares his story and provides a plethora of resources for you.

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Episode 105: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Professional Learning Communities Part 2
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Episode 105: Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Professional Learning Communities Part 2

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Amber Arnold, Tina Barone

Finding or starting your own Professional Learning Community (PLC) presents many questions. Where do you start, who do you invite, how do you share resources, why is it important? Considering these questions is essential to choosing or creating a supportive PLC. In the second part of the Connected Arts Networks (CAN) PLC episode, The Creativity Department and co-host Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz continue the discussion with two new guests from CAN. They are joined by Amber Arnold, Fine Arts Instructional Coach from Georgia, and Tina Barone, Theater Educator from New York. Listen in to hear their perspectives on creating a PLC, the difficulties they faced, how it benefitted them and how it impacted their teaching.

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Episode 104: Introducing Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Professional Learning Communities Part 1
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Episode 104: Introducing Connected Arts Networks (CAN) – Professional Learning Communities Part 1

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Kim Hoj, Jared Cassedy

The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association, National Association for Music Education, National Dance Education Organization, and NYC Department of Education’s Office of Arts and Special Projects has launched a nationwide initiative to create virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The goal of the Connected Arts Networks (CAN) is to build a sustainable model of professional learning to help teachers better serve students. We’re excited to bring you an eight-part series in collaboration with NAEA where The Creativity Department will be joined by Oral Historian Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz. Together they will dive deeply into topics such as ED&I, SEL, and Leadership with CAN teachers and leaders! Enjoy this first conversation with Kim Hoj, Dance and Career Technical Education Teacher, and Jared Cassedy, Performing Arts Coordinator and Conductor of the Lexington High School Wind Ensemble about the importance of PLCs.

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Episode 103 - Art of Design: Planning for Creativity
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Episode 103 - Art of Design: Planning for Creativity

Rebecca Hare

How do you promote creative risk taking in the art room? What are the challenges around designing for creativity and making space for it? Have you taken creative risks in your career that were beneficial? Explore these questions with Rebecca Hare, co-author of The Space: A Guide for Educators and Adobe’s Education Community Manager. Rebecca joins The Creativity Department in this episode to discuss making space for creativity and risk taking in the art room. Listen in to the conversation as Rebecca, Laura, and Matt share their personal stories about creative risk taking. Learn what planning for creativity means and how it helps empower students and inspire educators.

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Episode 102: Incorporating STEM in the Art Room
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Episode 102: Incorporating STEM in the Art Room

Carole Drummond-Johnson

Integrating STEM themes into your lessons could be the key to immersing students in art! It’s our goal to reach all learners, and STEAM is a sure-fire way to appeal to students that may not be excited about art otherwise. This week our guest host is elementary educator Carole Drummond-Johnson. She states, “if we are truly about the business of teaching 21-century skills, shouldn’t art & design be integrated with science, technology, engineering and math?” Starting STEAM-focused lessons and projects with elementary students opens them up to new and exciting ways of seeing, thinking about, and using art right from the start. Consider your thoughts on these ideas as you listen in.

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Episode 101: 100th Episode Celebration! - Part 2
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Episode 101: 100th Episode Celebration! - Part 2

Tim Needles

A lot has happened since Matt and Laura started podcasting 8 years ago. In this episode, they come full circle! Their first podcast guest has returned—author and educator Tim Needles (@TimNeedles)! In the second part of the 100th episode celebration, Laura, Matt, and Tim reflect on how much has changed in Art Education over the past 8 years. Hear about everything from STEM to STEAM shifts and the focus on social-emotional learning to technology integration in the art room and unconventional arts careers! Listen in to join the celebration and discover the importance of having an educator support system and all the benefits a PLN for art educators can offer.

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Episode 100: 100th Episode Celebration! - Part 1
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Episode 100: 100th Episode Celebration! - Part 1

Matt and Laura Grundler

100 topics covered, 100 guests interviewed, 100 opinions shared … 100 episodes of ideas and inspiration created. WOW! 100 doesn’t seem like a large number in the grand scale of all things, but it is a lot of guests and content pertaining to art education! And it only scratches the surface. In this episode, we are celebrating #K12ArtChat’s 100th episode and the 8-year anniversary of the Grundler’s podcast! They reflect on the amazing guests and topics of the past 2 years, revisit their favorite happy teacher moments, and set the stage for what to expect in the next 100 episodes.

Before you listen in take a second and read a personal message from The Creativity Department - Celebrate with Us: 8 years of #K12ArtChat

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Episode 99: Bringing Fun into the Classroom
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Episode 99: Bringing Fun into the Classroom

Candido Crespo, Joe Boatfield, and Raine Valentine

Keeping students engaged and on task can be just as challenging as planning for the new school year. If you find yourself missing fun or stuck on how to keep your learners engaged in the lessons, the Creativity Crew might have a solution for you! Raine Valentine, Joe Boatfield, and Candido Crespo have experience with a variety of age groups. In this episode, they share their ideas and experiences. Hear their take on how to make learning authentic, spontaneous, and fun for kids of any grade. From simply sitting on the floor and getting to know students one on one, to delivering a lesson through a cutout of the Mona Lisa, listen in to get creative and unique inspiration!

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Episode 98: Creativity & Project-Based Learning
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Episode 98: Creativity & Project-Based Learning

Dan Ryder

“When students make connections, transform knowledge, and articulate the reasons behind their creative choices, learning becomes sticky, meaningful, and authentic.” How can you nurture collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking to make learning meaningful? Dan Ryder, author of Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom, does it with project-based learning and critical creativity. Listen in to this episode and learn how using this approach has helped Dan’s students not only develop their creative expression to demonstrate content knowledge and critical thinking but also build relationships and strengthen empathy.

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Episode 97: Using Creativity to Drive SEL
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Episode 97: Using Creativity to Drive SEL

Dr. Jaime Dombrowski

Creativity and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) go hand in hand. Art has been used to convey messages, themes, ideas, and emotions throughout history—even crossing language barriers. But it isn’t always clear how we can hardwire it into our lessons. In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Dr. Jaime Dombrowski to talk about that exact topic. Author of Power Up: Gamification Tools for Social and Emotional Learning, Dr. Dombrowski discusses using art to promote inclusivity and emotional well-being. Listen in for expert experience on how students can use art to promote empathy, communicate who they are and what they value, and build meaningful relationships.

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Episode 96: Collaboration Between Music & Art
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Episode 96: Collaboration Between Music & Art

Jonathan Seligman

How can you creatively showcase art and another discipline? What are the benefits of collaborating between different disciplines? Can you overcome struggles that can happen when collaborating between disciplines? In this episode, The Creativity Department discusses these questions and more with long-time Music Educator, Jonathan Seligman. Dive into the similarities between Art and Music curriculum, the challenges both face with advocacy, and creative ways the two can support one another to promote the importance arts hold in educating today’s students. Listen in and be inspired with ways to showcase both art and music without one overpowering the other.

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Episode 95: Infusing Creative Thinking Skills into the Art Room
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Episode 95: Infusing Creative Thinking Skills into the Art Room

Dr. Cyndi Burnett

There are two perspectives on creativity. Through the lens of art, it speaks to expressing yourself in meaningful ways. However, there is also a scientific side of creativity that focuses on improvement. Integrating these two perspectives is what The Creativity Department and Dr. Cyndi Burnett, Director of Possibilities for Creativity and Education, discuss in this episode! Listen in as they explore everything from the relationship between creativity and the arts, to modeling creative behaviors to students and how creative thinking in the arts transfers to other disciplines. Learn what a deliberate approach to creativity looks like and how that scientific perspective parallels the artist’s process of creativity.

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Episode 94: Neurodivergent Thinking in the Art Room
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Episode 94: Neurodivergent Thinking in the Art Room

Matt and Laura Grundler

The one certainty in education is students learn differently. Information is not always received or processed the same way. For some students, this is due to neurodivergence. What does it mean to be neurodivergent? It is when a brain processes, learns, and/or behaves differently from what is considered “typical.” The Creativity Department discusses that in this episode! Both Laura and Matt have been diagnosed with ADHD and have firsthand experience learning to live with the challenges it creates. Listen in as they talk about the different ways they learn, the difficulties they overcame while in school, strategies they use to help their own children, and how all of this is reflected in their teaching.

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Episode 93 - Culture & Climate: Creating a Positive Impact On ALL Learners
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Episode 93 - Culture & Climate: Creating a Positive Impact On ALL Learners

Dr. Janice Wyatt Ross

While often used interchangeably, a school’s culture and climate are in fact different. They influence and drive one another for sure, but climate reflects the attitude of the school, and culture show’s its personality. Positive and healthy culture and climate are the strongest evidence of effective and meaningful learning environments. In this episode, Dr. Janice Wyatt Ross, Program Director of the Success Academy in Lexington Kentucky, shares her strategies for building environments that welcome students, provide a positive impact on their engagement and equity, and foster pride and ownership. Listen in for inspiration on how to foster a climate and culture that is both welcoming and nurturing.

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Episode 92: Classrooms to Support All Students
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Episode 92: Classrooms to Support All Students

Joe Boatfield, Candido Crespo, Raine Valentine

An art room’s structure can be just as important as the curriculum! Engaging students with the space and materials that surround them. Using your classroom’s layout to your advantage can have a significant impact on students’ time in your art room. The Creativity Crew returns in this week’s episode to talk about classroom structure with Matt and Laura. They share their experiences with classroom layout, material display, and storage. During the discussion, they also dive into how much freedom they allow students to have with the materials during class. Listen in to discover ideas to support all students and engage them in new ways with what they’re learning.

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Episode 91: Teaching Narrative, Idea, & Inquiry
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Episode 91: Teaching Narrative, Idea, & Inquiry

Connie Jimenez Zammett

How do you inspire students to dive deeper into the thinking around what they create? Every artwork tells a story; and narrative, point of view, language, perspective, etc. support and strengthen the ideas inspiring those stories. On the flip side of that coin, can you simultaneously teach students to make meaningful art about ideas and inquiry while teaching skills? Connie Jimenez Zammett says, “YES! Every skill can be connected to an idea, a connotation, or a suggestion.” As a high school AP art educator, she teaches students at an important time of learning and inspires them to weave that learning into their art. Listen in to hear how Connie does this and how you can benefit from her experiences!

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Episode 90: Visual Storytelling Inside the Classroom
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Episode 90: Visual Storytelling Inside the Classroom

Matt Dombrowski

A picture is worth a thousand words. The more we can share and showcase that the stronger a student’s voice becomes. This is what makes visual storytelling so important. It enhances student learning and promotes academic ownership, in and out of the art room. In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Matt Dombrowski, Creative Director of Limbitless Solutions, a nonprofit organization providing bionic limbs, training video games, and all sorts of cool inclusive art-based projects for people with disabilities. Listen in to discover strategies to implement more visual storytelling into your art room!

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Episode 89: Starting the School Year & Making Connections
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Episode 89: Starting the School Year & Making Connections

Alyssa Navapanich

The beginning of the school year is a fresh start! It’s a time to renew with a fresh group of students. How do you prepare for the new school year? What challenges do you face with new groups of students? In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Alyssa Navapanich—CAEA’s 2020 Elementary Art Teacher of the year and the 2021 NAEA Pacific Region Elementary Art Teacher of the Year! Dive into this idea-filled discussion where they share tips and tricks for a successful start of the school year. You’ll also get insight into the difficulties they’ve faced in the past few years with online and hybrid learning. Listen in to find out if you can utilize these strategies!

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Episode 88: K12ArtChat Live with Momo Pixel
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Episode 88: K12ArtChat Live with Momo Pixel

What do you get when you mix fierce creative confidence, pure originality, unapologetic dismissal of arbitrary rules, and a love of all things colorful, joyful, and inspirational? You get Momo Pixel, an award-winning multidisciplinary artist and game designer! From the popular interactive annual exhibition called Momoland, to the viral sensation that is Hair Nah, The Creativity Department dives into Momo’s pixel-filled world. Discover the career path she followed to get to where she is today and come away with inspiring ideas and information to share with students. Listen in and learn how Momo uses her bright pixel-art aesthetic and knack for honesty, to address social issues, create joy, and uplift the culture.

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Episode 87: Support for Arts Ed – Where to Find It?
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Episode 87: Support for Arts Ed – Where to Find It?

Mary Jane Coker & Shelbye Reese of Alabama Art Education Association

How do you find support for art education in your district? Funding is always good, but what about emotional and mental support? Those are just as important! It’s easy to feel like you’re in a bubble of your own art world, but you’re not alone. Art Educators across the country have the same struggle. That’s why Laura and Matt brought in Alabama Art Education President MaryJane Coker and Social Media Chair Shelbye Reese to talk about where and who they find support from. Whether that support is a teacher of different subjects or administration in their school district, they cover it all in this advocacy heavy episode!

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Episode 86: The Challenges of Making Your Own Art
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Episode 86: The Challenges of Making Your Own Art

Raine Valentine, Candido Crespo, Joe Boatfield

Separating the career of an Art Educator and the personal life of an artist is more challenging than it sounds. In this episode, the Creativity Department dives into the nuance of existing in these two worlds. During the discussion, topics such as social media presence, displaying personal art in the classroom room, parent-teacher communication, and more are covered! Listen in as we introduce the Creativity Crew, a small panel of past guests—Candido Crespo, Raine Valentine, and Joe Boatfield—who will regularly join Matt and Laura to talk about hot topics (like this one) that emerge in art education. Discover how you can benefit from their experience.

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Episode 85: Career Connections in Retirement
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Episode 85: Career Connections in Retirement

James Rees

How do you envision staying connected to the Art Education community after leaving full-time teaching? In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by returning guest and newly retired educator James Rees. James has over 30 years of experience in the art room, but this year decided it was time to explore new avenues! Listen to this informative conversation to get his perspective on the state of art education, how it has changed over the last 30 years, and to hear his experiences as an art educator. Discover what staying connected looks like in retirement and get some ideas to use when goal planning your own next steps.

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Episode 84: Creating a Culture of Belonging through Curricular Choices
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Episode 84: Creating a Culture of Belonging through Curricular Choices

Marilyn Stewart

Our curricular choices matter. Not only can they promote a vibrant art program, but they are also an important component in supporting student voice and choice. In this episode, Davis author Marilyn Stewart joins The Creativity Department. Dive into this discussion about using diverse artists and artwork with studio explorations and in-depth investigations to generate a culture of belonging for students in the art room and support artistic behavior. Marilyn shares details from her 50 years of experience writing curriculum and preparing educators for the art room. Discover the important lessons she’s learned and what inspired the core of her teaching philosophy.

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Episode 83: Reflecting on the Teacher and Administration Relationship
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Episode 83: Reflecting on the Teacher and Administration Relationship

Don Masse

It’s no secret that art teachers can feel isolated in their school communities. It’s important to continuously consider what support you need from your district and administrators! In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Don Masse, Visual And Performing Arts Resource Teacher for San Diego Unified School District. During the conversation, they dive into the importance of visibility and discuss how art teachers like yourself can advocate for their programs as well as strategies to get administration on board with the great ideas you have. Listen in for inspiration on how to nurture this important relationship!

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Episode 82: The 21/22 Year in Review
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Episode 82: The 21/22 Year in Review

Laura and Matt Grundler

As the school year comes to a close across the country, The Creativity Department reflects on this year’s guests and the biggest lessons taken away from them. Listen in for a recap of another whirlwind year and hear highlights that include interviews with the author of Wreck This Journal, Medical Illustrator at Harvard University Dorothy Fatunmbi, the founders of Zentangle, and working artists such as Erik Abel. There have been discussions about equity, diversity, and inclusion with NAEA Leadership and episodes to support mental health and emotional wellbeing. The Grundlers have covered miles of ground this year, enjoy this episode and then check out the others over the summer.

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Episode 81: Do Art & Science Really Work Together?
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Episode 81: Do Art & Science Really Work Together?

Dorothy Fatunmbi

Do you have students who are passionate about art and science? Are they interested in pursuing a career that utilizes both? Then this episode is for you (and them)! The Creativity Department is joined by professional illustrator Dorothy Fatunmbi. Dorothy is a medical illustrator in the Office of External Education at Harvard Medical School. Hear her journey from wanting to be a veterinarian, to drawing incredibly detailed illustrations that doctors refer to in preparation for surgery. Listen in as Dorothy shares her inspiring story and provides a plethora of resources for you to dive into and share with aspiring students exploring ways of getting a jump start on a STEAM career.

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Episode 80: Does Being an Artist and a Teacher Make Sense?
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Episode 80: Does Being an Artist and a Teacher Make Sense?

Rebecca Potts Aguirre

At some point, every art teacher thinks to themselves, “Am I an artist first or a teacher first?”. We all have a different philosophy on this. Do teaching and artmaking intersect for you? In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Rebecca Potts Aguirre—host of the Teaching Artist Podcast! How do you balance being an art educator and a working artist? Does helping students create their art drain creativity or does it inspire you to make your own art? Do you create art alongside your students? Listen in to see how Rebecca and the Grundlers balance the two.

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Episode 79: Empowering Women Artists & Art Educators
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Episode 79: Empowering Women Artists & Art Educators

Natalie Chanel, Tiffany Lin, and Jen Holsinger-Raybourn

Results from a recent survey of 18 permanent U.S. museum collections showed those collections contain 87% male artists. This clearly illustrates the need for a wider representation of women artists. In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by art educators Natalie Chanel, Tiffany Lin, and Jen Holsinger-Raybourn! Learn how they shine a light on female artists in their classes, empower women educators around them, and tackle topics like pay transparency and how to advocate for it. Listen in to hear how they ensure people of other cultures are represented throughout the year as well as how they continue to pursue their art outside the classroom.

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Episode 78: Teacher Appreciation & Mental Health
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Episode 78: Teacher Appreciation & Mental Health

Raine Valentine, Candido Crespo, Joseph Boatfield

Teaching in the month of May is challenging, so much goes on. This makes Teacher Appreciation Week and acknowledging Mental Health Awareness month that much more meaningful. We’ve been thinking about how immensely important these topics have become over the past two years and wondered what everyone in the field is feeling around them. So, this week is reversed! In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Candido Crespo, Joseph Boatfield, and Raine Valentine to develop questions for the next K12ArtChat Twitter Chat about the meaning of self-care, teacher appreciation, and dealing with the difficulties of the past few years.

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Episode 77: Zentangle & Mental Health

Episode 77: Zentangle & Mental Health

Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts

“The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. The Zentangle creators believe that life is an art form and that each person is an artist.” In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Maria Thomas and Rick Roberts, cofounders of Zentangle®. Listen in as Rick and Maria share how Zentangle began and stories from people who credit it for providing increased focus, creativity, self-confidence, and a stronger sense of well-being. Learn how Zentangle is helping students manage stress and the scholarly study focused on the art form and its effect on mental health. Listen in to hear about all this and more!

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Episode 76: Infusing Visual Literacy in the Art Classroom
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Episode 76: Infusing Visual Literacy in the Art Classroom

Paul Kretchmer and Jennifer Holsinger-Raybourn

The NAEA position statement on Visual Literacy states it is “the ability to interpret, comprehend, appreciate, use, and create visual media in ways that advance thinking, decision-making, communicating, and learning.” Our lives center around visual literacy. These skills are necessary to interpret the world around us—ads, movies, comics, websites, and more. This is why students must have a full understanding of it. In this episode, educators Paul Kretchmer and Jennifer Holsinger-Raybourn join The Creativity Department to talk about Visual Literacy, the skills needed for it, and how we use them to learn, communicate, and navigate our everyday lives.

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Episode 75 - Gamification: It’s for the Art Room too!
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Episode 75 - Gamification: It’s for the Art Room too!

Kyle Wood

What is gamification? Google says it’s “the application of game playing elements (point scoring, etc.) to other activities.” The Creativity Department’s guest this week defines it as transforming the classroom into an exciting experience that gets students invested in their learning. Kyle Wood is an art educator and host of the Who ARTed Podcast (@WhoARTedPodcast). Faced with a scheduling change that left him no prep time and an ever-rotating roster of students, Kyle turned to gamification to manage the unexpected challenge. Hear how he uses a gaming structure to immerse students in the academic side of his art program.

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Episode 74: A Humanistic Approach to Art Education
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Episode 74: A Humanistic Approach to Art Education

Jason Blair

Jason Blair is an art educator focused on creating a personal and humanistic experience in his classroom. Like all of us, he believes “this discipline is extremely important to our world right now.” Schools focus on preparing students for college and career, but they are also developing active citizens in humanity. In this discussion, The Creativity Department speaks with Jason about the importance of slowing down to make deep connections that students need. Learn about the techniques he implements to build trust, and help students get comfortable with sharing their stories and working together. Hear how you could use these strategies in your art room!

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Episode 73: Decentering Whiteness in Art Education
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Episode 73: Decentering Whiteness in Art Education

Alisha Mernick

“Many of us enter teaching using what we ourselves learned in school. If the content was Eurocentric, that’s what is repeated. It takes an intentional examination of our teaching practices to do better.” In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with Alisha Mernick, Visual Art and Social Justice Educator, about ways to break this mold. Listen in as they discuss broadening how we look at aesthetics and how to engage students in critical analysis of identity, social justice, anti-racism, and civic engagement issues. Learn how Alisha, inaugural recipient of the NAEA Agent of Change national award, implements liberatory, critical arts pedagogy in the art classroom.

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Episode 72: Utilizing Youth Art Month to Your Benefit
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Episode 72: Utilizing Youth Art Month to Your Benefit

Holly Bess Kincaid, Jauan Brooks, Jessica Beach

March is Youth Art Month! It is the prime time to remind stakeholders of skills developed in the art classroom and that artists are an asset in society and in the workforce. What does Youth Art Month mean to you and what makes it useful to your program? In this episode, the Creativity Department dives into the benefits of Youth Art Month with members of the Virginia Art Education Association! They discuss what a useful tool it is to advocate for art programs and how beneficial it is when collaborating with students and other art educators. Listen in to hear how you can use Youth Art Month in your art room and with your students!

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Episode 71: The Art Educator’s “Why”
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Episode 71: The Art Educator’s “Why”

Fahmi Khan

Your “why” is the purpose or belief that inspires you. Over time it becomes part of who you are and grows. It matures and changes with you. What is your “why” for teaching art? What makes you passionate about what you do? In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with long-time art educator Fahmi Khan (@FahmiKhan) about art educators’ “why.” Be inspired to think about or find your own “why” during this discussion that touches on transitioning from practicing artist to art educator, becoming an art teacher and the challenges it brings, and the reasons art educators have such strong, passionate, and infectious “whys.” Read the Twitter chat from this episode.

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Episode 70: Body Image in the Media & Art Room
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Episode 70: Body Image in the Media & Art Room

Anti-Racist Art Teachers

Body image is something we all struggle with. It can be reassuring to know you’re not the only one with those feelings, especially as children. It is essential students see images they can relate to in real-world contexts across diverse social-cultural backgrounds and of all body types working together as leaders in their communities. Representation like this is powerful. In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by the Anti-Racist Art Teachers to discuss affirming positive body image in students. Listen in to learn from their personal experiences and hear ways to empower youth through celebrating differences and making them visible and valued.

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Episode 69: Helping Students Feel Safe, Seen, and Stretched through the Arts
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Episode 69: Helping Students Feel Safe, Seen, and Stretched through the Arts

Julie Hasson

Do you have a teacher you remember fondly? How did they impact your school life? Do you think you would be on a different path if they weren’t your teacher? In this engaging episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Julie Hasson about these topics! Julie is a professor at Appalachia State University and author of the book Safe, Seen, and Stretched in the Classroom: The Remarkable Ways Teachers Shape Students’ Lives. She joins Laura and Matt for a conversation about how the principles in her book can be translated to the art room!

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Episode 68: Getting the Most Out of the NAEA Convention & NYC
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Episode 68: Getting the Most Out of the NAEA Convention & NYC

Tim Needles

The NAEA national convention kicks off this week! If you’ve ever attended a conference like NAEA you understand how overwhelming it can be! To combat this, it’s a good idea to arrive knowing what you want to get out of your time there. Having a plan of action, knowing your needs, and understanding what you want most from participating is just the start. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with author, artist, and art educator Tim Needles about how to tackle conference attendance. From methods of implementing new learning to trends, takeaways, and connecting with your tribe, Tim shares expert insight into ways of getting the most out of your experience.

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Episode 67 - Black History: Going Deeper Than the Month of February
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Episode 67 - Black History: Going Deeper Than the Month of February

Ashley Washington M.ED

Incorporating diversity in curriculum is work that must be done daily to ensure classrooms reflect all cultures and communities of learners. Making the conscious effort of continuing conversations of diversity after an assigned “appreciation month” is important to ensure that students feel honored, reflected, and see themselves in states of power. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Ashley Washington M.ED., an Instructional Coach in Plano, ISD. During the conversation, they delve into the question, “If excellence is only celebrated once every 12 months, how do students know the greatness that lies within them the remainder of the year?” A curriculum filled with diversity is the first key to ensuring the fire within each student ignites.

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Episode 66: Creating Joy During Uncertain Times
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Episode 66: Creating Joy During Uncertain Times

Daniel Bryant

As educators working in uncertain times, it can be easy to miss the impact we have on students and get wrapped up in “just” covering the standards. While the standards are important what good are they if we don’t know the student and miss connecting with them? In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with elementary art educator Daniel Bryant about the importance of joy in the classroom and connecting with students on a personal level. From individual greetings at the door to rap battles about contemporary artists and impromptu performances to end a design lesson, Daniel Bryant ensures each class is an experience for his students. Listen in to hear how he makes his art room a creative, joyful, and unique place to be!

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Episode 65: The Importance of “The Arts” in Your Life
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Episode 65: The Importance of “The Arts” in Your Life

Mekka Don

Creativity comes in all forms, fine art and performing art are both art! In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by rapper Mekka Don! From the football field of Ohio State College to lawyer at a top firm in New York City and then MTV and CBS, Mekka Don has pushed boundaries and sparked conversations about non-conventional ways to approach entrepreneurship, mentorship, and race relations. Listen in to hear Mekka Don’s inspirational story as he talks about the struggles he faced, his support system, and influences that helped him create his dream!

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Episode 64: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Work in the Art Classroom
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Episode 64: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Work in the Art Classroom

Ray Yang

While the work we do around the topic of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion is some of the toughest work we do as educators, it is deeply important and continuous. We must remember that this work isn’t done by any one person, these issues won’t be solved by ourselves. We must build alliances, be curious, and stay open. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks to an important ally we all share. Ray Yang is the NAEA Director of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion and Special Initiatives. Ray offers tips to help facilitate conversations about ED&I with students in the art room, including ways to navigate when the conversation gets tough. They discuss why ED&I seems to be “an art education thing” and share valuable insight into what NAEA is doing to support art educators.

Access all NAEA ED&I resources on that section of their website.

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Episode 63 - Remembering We Are All Connected: Creativity through Indigenous Teaching
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Episode 63 - Remembering We Are All Connected: Creativity through Indigenous Teaching

Raine Valentine

“Self-expression is what life is all about. To grow and learn, we must express ourselves. It helps us process our experiences.” Self-expression inspires others (students) to do the same, which in turn allows them to tap into those questioning places and find out who they are. In this episode, Art educator and artist Raine Valentine joins the Creativity Department. During the conversation, Raine discusses her Chippewa heritage and how it inspires her. Learn how indigenous philosophies have informed her creativity and support her belief in self-expression and how it creates a connection between us.

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Episode 62: What is an NFT anyway? A New Lens for Creativity in the Classroom
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Episode 62: What is an NFT anyway? A New Lens for Creativity in the Classroom

Michael Cohen

We are in a time with emerging technology where the digital world is poised to make a seismic shift. If you are looking to provide unique and interesting connections between art and everything that is “more than art” in education investigate NFTs. What is an NFT you ask? At the most basic level, NFTs are digital assets that can be owned and tracked. But how is this relevant to education? In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with educator, author, and consultant Michael Cohen, The Tech Rabbi. Listen in to learn what NFTs are and how they can be an effective tool in engaging learner curiosity and sustained investigation. The power of NFTs is in creating the Art and using it to mentor students in storytelling, marketing, and developing community.

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Episode 61: Student Curating & Engaging Them in Other Art Fields
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Episode 61: Student Curating & Engaging Them in Other Art Fields

James Rees

Involving students in the production process of exhibiting their artwork is a meaningful way to illustrate one of the many career options available to students in the arts. It is also a great way to show what students are learning in your program, provide them with critical thinking opportunities, and make your program more visible. Advocacy outside of the classroom is important and one of the best resources for that could be down the street at your local art gallery or museum. Enjoy this informative conversation with returning guest, James Rees, artist, researcher, and teacher. Hear about student curation, partnering with local museums and galleries, and the benefits this has for students both in school and after graduation—even if they aren’t planning on a career in the arts.

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Episode 60: A Little This or That to Wrap Up 2021

Episode 60: A Little This or That to Wrap Up 2021

Laura and Matt Grundler

A new year calls for a little reflection, a lot of planning, and of course celebration. To kick off 2022 The Creativity Department looks back on the challenges and successes of the last year and discusses plans for starting the new one on the right foot. Listen in as they share some giggles, thoughts on the coming year, and a little “This or That” from teachers in the field. Happy New Year!

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Episode 59: Art of Business
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Episode 59: Art of Business

Erik Abel

From branding and target market to pricing and style, there’s a lot to consider when you sell your work commercially. How do you answer questions around these topics for students if you don’t have solid answers for yourself? In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with professional artist and designer Erik Abel. Working from Southern Oregon, Abel’s pieces have been featured in galleries across the country and abroad while his commercial work has attracted clients such as REI and Patagonia. Listen in to learn how this successful artist found his way to the world of commercial art and stays true to his own artistic passions as he navigates the business of Art.

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Episode 58: Engaging in a Creative Community
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Episode 58: Engaging in a Creative Community

Candido Crespo

Our personal communities have gotten us through many challenges over the last two years. As educators, artists, and art advocates our creative communities have played as important a part in our lives. Not only have they supplied motivation, constructive criticism, encouragement, and a consistent check on reality, but they have also provided support, acceptance, and a space to rest. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Candido Crespo, Artist, Art Educator, Podcast Host, and creative community champion. Listen in and hear all the benefits a creative community provides and why it’s so important to be involved in one. Your voice matters, share it.

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Episode 57 - Get Published: The Best Advocacy Tool!
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Episode 57 - Get Published: The Best Advocacy Tool!

Nancy Walkup and Frank Juarez

Getting published may be the best thing you do for your career. In addition to advocating for your art program, you are sharing your ideas with thousands of art educators throughout the world! When you are published you demonstrate your professionalism. You are instantly recognized as an author and become part of art education history. This week The Creativity Department speaks with Nancy Walkup, Editor in Chief, and Frank Juarez, Contributing Editor, of SchoolArts magazine. Learn about how easy it can be to get published, why it is so important, and all the beneficial things it can lead to (invitations to present, books, etc.).

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Episode 56: Follow the Money in Art
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Episode 56: Follow the Money in Art

Kelly Crow

Even Rembrandt and Picasso were obsessed with the price and market reception of their art. The two are ever intertwined. Museum donors and curators follow auctions and note who’s selling! These days young artists are breaking out in the market first, then leveraging that clout to get shows. In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Kelly Crow about introducing the ins and outs of the business side of art. We shouldn’t feel wary about mentioning money when it comes to teaching art. Money reveals what we value as a culture. We owe it to students to immerse them in all aspects of art—creating, promoting, critiquing, selling, and buying art.

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Episode 55: Partnerships Towards Creating Change
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Episode 55: Partnerships Towards Creating Change

Jeannine Flores

In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Jeannine Flores, Vice-Chair of Create CA. The mission of Create CA is to “advocate for high-quality arts education for all students by providing policy expertise and by mobilizing a statewide network of advocates and allied partners.” As they state, “arts education is a crucial part of a federally mandated well-rounded curriculum. It’s essential that all students receive a robust education to become 21st-century employees and problem solvers.” Listen in to this informative conversation about building vibrant and visible local alliances that spark partnerships and spread art advocacy. Learn how Create CA is working to ensure every student receives a complete and creative education.

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Episode 54 - Wreck this Journal: As Educator Self-Care
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Episode 54 - Wreck this Journal: As Educator Self-Care

Keri Smith and Carrie Baughcum

The Creativity Department is joined by Keri Smith, author of Wreck This Journal, and Carrie Baughcum, author of My Pencil Made Me Do It! Both books have been used by teachers and students across the country. While My Pencil Made Me Do It focuses on using sketch noting in the classroom to reset mindsets, enhance thinking, and improve retention, recall, and comprehension, Wreck This Journal delves into using journaling for self-care and engaging fully in the creative process. Hear the authors’ perspectives on turning simple journals into unique personal artworks. Matt and Laura share their experiences with both books and how they use journals as educator self-care.

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Episode 53: Reigniting the Joy of Teaching
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Episode 53: Reigniting the Joy of Teaching

Laura and Matt Grundler

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there’s been so much talk about self-care and positivity. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by reminders to stay happy and take care. We all thought this year was going to be easier, but it hasn’t been. So, how do we stay realistic and authentic about our feelings AND acknowledge the joy? It can be done, but it takes focus and intention. To quote one of our K12Art Chat community members, “Don’t try to do it all. Find one thing each day that you can do with joy and success. Find something positive about different situations. What you feed grows.” In this episode, we celebrate joy and ways to recognize it, remember it, and tap into it! Use this link to read the Twitter chat from this episode.

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Episode 52: ED&I - An Informative Conversation with NAEA Leadership - Part 2
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Episode 52: ED&I - An Informative Conversation with NAEA Leadership - Part 2

Wanda Knight, Ray Yang, James Haywood Rolling Jr., and Mario Rossero

In this episode, The Creativity Department continues its conversation with NAEA Leadership about the important work being done in support of equity, diversity, and inclusion. This meaningful conversation, driven by questions and topics sent in for discussion from art educators in the field, continues to explore how we must “promote diverse voices and viewpoints that inform professional praxis for social change toward imagining and shaping a more equitable future.”

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Episode 51: ED&I - An Informative Conversation with NAEA Leadership - Part 1
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Episode 51: ED&I - An Informative Conversation with NAEA Leadership - Part 1

Wanda Knight, Ray Yang, James Haywood Rolling Jr., and Mario Rossero

In their ED&I position statement, the National Art Education Association (NAEA) states they are “dedicated to promoting diverse voices and viewpoints that inform professional praxis for social change toward imagining and shaping a more equitable future.” In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with NAEA Leadership about the important work being done in support of equity, diversity, and inclusion. This meaningful conversation, driven by questions and topics sent in for discussion from art educators in the field, dives into the detail we all must deeply consider when thinking through the work to be done in our lives and classrooms. From thoughtful insight to support and resources, this discussion is packed with strategies you can put into use today.

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Episode 50: Fighting for Dignity in Education
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Episode 50: Fighting for Dignity in Education

Keisha Casiano

Keisha Casiano states, “A student is not defined by their learning ability. A learning disability represents one area of weakness, but there are many more areas of strengths.” Keisha is an elementary art teacher in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the guest for this conversation with The Creativity Department. During the discussion, she shares her inspirational story about her learning disabilities. Learn how she uses her experience and understanding to teach her students about mindset and to be proud of who they are. You’ll discover resources and strategies for advocacy and building relationships with your students as she shares how her struggle with reading and writing led her to discover her passion for art.

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Episode 49: Meaningful Practice - Embedded Professional Learning
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Episode 49: Meaningful Practice - Embedded Professional Learning

Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt

“Teaching is a practice that we’re constantly honing as we learn and grow. But one of the things we aren’t doing enough is watching other teachers teach. Observing what colleagues do in their classrooms can be a huge benefit to both your practice and your students’ learning.” When PD is embedded in the day—for example during learning walks or during staff meetings—there will be natural connections made that will ultimately support students. In this episode, The Creativity Department talks with Dr. Dorothy VanderJagt of iFireUp about embedded professional learning. Dive into the importance of developing a culture of trust among colleagues to ensure a safe space exists for meaningful professional learning that is built on this trust and the ability to safely cross-examine and collaborate.

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Episode 48: Balancing Cultural Relevance with Social Engagement through Practice & Pedagogy
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Episode 48: Balancing Cultural Relevance with Social Engagement through Practice & Pedagogy

Orlando Bolaños

“Knowing the culture of our students, their stories and heritage is an important aspect of connecting and building relationships, but also a way to help students create art with meaning to their lives. Students’ lives and stories are relevant to their learning!” In this episode, Orlando Bolaños speaks with the Creativity department about Social Engagement Practice, how our art rooms are mirroring the diversity of our students, and how Culturally Relevant Pedagogy can be used to achieve teaching goals. Discover how curatorial practices and a student’s own identity can be used to meaningfully support students, develop strong relationships with them, and advocate for their growth as a whole person.

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Episode 47: Diversity, Identity, & Multi-Language Learners
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Episode 47: Diversity, Identity, & Multi-Language Learners

Sandra Munoz and Esmerelda Fernandez

Identity is ever-changing and fluent, it’s what makes us human. It’s made up of elements you can and cannot see. Culture, race, religion, experience, and beliefs are all factors that build a person’s identity. With student populations becoming more and more diverse every day how do we recognize and support the vast array of identities present in our school communities? Dive into this episode for more on this topic! The Creativity Department speaks with Sandra Munoz and Esmerelda Fernandez, bilingual art educators from Plano, Texas. Hear their experiences with ELs, the communities they come from, and how the art room can help acknowledge and honor the diversity of all cultures and help students find their personal identities.

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Episode 46: Helping Students Connect Self, Community, and World
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Episode 46: Helping Students Connect Self, Community, and World

Dr. Desiree Alexander

If you’ve been teaching for longer than a week you know each class has its own collective identity. What works for first period may not work for third period. Each student brings their own pieces of who they are to the class with different perspectives, opinions, and experiences. As educators, it is our job to create spaces where students feel safe to share their individuality and become part of the class community. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with educator and consultant Dr. Desiree Alexander about how to connect students to each other and their lives to what we do in schools. During the conversation learn ways to promote the sharing of students’ individual identities and why collective culture is important. Discover methods to ensure a class is inclusive and can handle social-emotional stressors from the world. Teaching our students about these things automatically validates their identities and encourages them to broaden their perspectives.

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Episode 45: Supporting & Engaging You at the National Level
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Episode 45: Supporting & Engaging You at the National Level

Tiffany Beltz and Devon Calvert

Before the start of the much-needed summer break, The Creativity Department spoke with NAEA Elementary Division leaders Tiffany Beltz and Devon Calvert about ways to support Elementary Art Educators. During the conversation, Tiffany and Devon share how being involved with your national and local associations are some of the best ways to grow in your career. Discover the importance of engagement and collaboration with other educators. The community gained through your state and national organizations is essential. Listen in to hear about the benefits of having an entire community of educators ready to share ideas, inspire creativity, and collaborate with across your state and the country.

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Episode 44: Exploring Cultural Continuity: Informal & Formal Art Education Practice
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Episode 44: Exploring Cultural Continuity: Informal & Formal Art Education Practice

Dr. Heidi C. Powell

Cultural continuity is how people use the arts to maintain personal, community, or national identity over time with global art cultures. In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with Dr. Heidi C. Powell, recipient of the FAEA Higher Education Art Educator of the Year Award. During the conversation, Dr. Powell delves into her research on cultural continuity and what it means to hold true to traditions and heritage in a contemporary way. During the discussion, Dr. Powell examines her own Native American (Lenni Lenape) and Norwegian heritage and traditions. She explains how we all create national and community identity through art making practice and what art practices help us maintain those connections. Discover how cultural continuity creates embodied learning for students and promotes personal culture with value, breeds efficacy and confidence, and nurtures ways of being that can’t be taught.

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Episode 43: Always, All Ways: Multimodal & Collaborative Learning
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Episode 43: Always, All Ways: Multimodal & Collaborative Learning

Sean Justice and Andrea Kantrowitz

Andrea Kantrowitz, this week’s guest, shared a quote from a fourth-grade student that sums up this episode: “I thought art was only about making pictures, but now I see it’s really about social studies, history and math, and how everything is connected.” From Kantrowitz: “I think the more you enable children to make these connections for themselves, the more it becomes their knowledge, and they are empowered by that understanding of the world.” Think about how you create truly in-depth learning and connections for students. In this week’s episode, the Creativity Department talks to artists-turned teachers Sean Justice and Andrea Kantrowitz about multimodal and collaborative learning. Listen in and learn how always using all ways of learning with students gives them the chance to apply all their understandings to address questions and solve challenges.

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Episode 42: Storyboarding - Planning Your Story
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Episode 42: Storyboarding - Planning Your Story

Manuel Herrera

Storyboarding is for more than filmmaking and telling stories. It makes thinking visual! It illustrates your thought process and assists in the organization and development of ideas. Over the years, it has evolved from pencil sketches on paper with hand-drawn boxes, to notecards and sticky notes, to digital solutions online. This week’s K12ArtChat episode focuses on the many uses and benefits of using visual-thinking strategies, sketchnoting, and storyboarding to develop and fully immerse in the creative process. The Creativity Department speaks with Manuel Herrera, Coordinator of Learning Services for the Affton School District in St. Louis, MO. Manuel is an educator, a speaker, and an illustrator who specializes in sketchnoting, visual thinking, and design thinking. Listen in for ideas on how to implement his strategies with your students.

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Episode 41: Digital Tools for Bringing Students Together
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Episode 41: Digital Tools for Bringing Students Together

Mike Call

The summer is winding down sadly, and the new school year is looming or has just started. Some of the country is returning to in-person learning, but hybrid classrooms are still a reality for many places. There’s no denying there was a lot of learning last year, and some great tools and programs emerged. As you face what this school year holds, take a few minutes to hear about platforms that can make life and communication easier. The Creativity Department speaks with educator Mike Call (@MikeCallAngelo) about how digital tools like Padlet and Flipgrid have become mechanisms we rely on for classroom management, communication, and bringing students together.

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Episode 40: Drawing Your Way to Understanding
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Episode 40: Drawing Your Way to Understanding

Chris Gadbury

Sketch noting, visual journaling, using drawing for deeper understanding, creating stories to introduce global issues to little kids—learn about all these topics in this episode. The Creativity Department discusses using creativity to process large problems and develop meaning with author and educator Chris Gadbury. From his elementary art room in Hong Kong to the pages of his children’s books and the TEDxYouth@Jingshan stage, Chris Gadbury uses drawing and a specialist approach to understand and problem solve global challenges with students all over the world. Listen in to learn about the work Chris does with students and teachers promoting student agency and creativity while tackling issues facing the world today.

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Episode 39: Making a More Vibrant & Peaceful Community
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Episode 39: Making a More Vibrant & Peaceful Community

29 Pieces and The American Love Project

“What happens when people in 50 states combine lessons of love with powerful visuals to create and share art?” Karen Blessen, founder of 29 Pieces and creator of The American Love Project says, “You’re about to find out.” In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Karen and Judy Stone-Nunneley, Visual Arts Coordinator for Grand Prairie ISD in Texas. Tune in to learn about The American Love Project, a nationwide public art project designed to illustrate the power of art to transform communities. Art has the power to change the world by inspiring compassion and resilience. Discover how this project works to heal, awaken, educate, and create positive social change. And how you, your school, and your community can participate.

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Episode 38: Beautiful Stuff
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Episode 38: Beautiful Stuff

Cathy Topal

If you currently teach or have ever taught at the early childhood level, this episode is for you! The Creativity Department speaks with author and educator Cathy Topal about early childhood art education and the Reggio Emilia approach, a constructivist approach to teaching with an emphasis on self-directed, experiential learning in relationship-driven environments. Cathy discovered the Reggio approach early in her career and during this conversation shares the story of how it became her life’s work. Discover her strategies for guiding explorations of art materials, building community, approaching design with young children, and what she defines as an open-ended lesson. Listen in for inspiration that can be used with students across all grades.

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Episode 37: Teaching Gender Inclusivity
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Episode 37: Teaching Gender Inclusivity

Hall Rockefeller

“Let’s play a game. Name five female artists... and one can’t be Georgia O’Keeffe.” This question drives the work of our guest this week, Hall Rockefeller. Hall is an art historian and the founder of Less Than Half, an online platform created to proactively address the lack of information that exists about female artists. During the conversation, The Creativity Department explores themes such as supporting female and non-binary students as artists, how to teach about intersectionality through art, and avoiding stereotypes. Enjoy this episode filled with insight and information about the importance of uplifting under-represented voices. When we honor, appreciate, and learn from the creative spirit of all people we move closer and closer to equality.

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Episode 36: Shape Your Holiday
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Episode 36: Shape Your Holiday

Kurt Klynen

Summer Break isn’t exactly a “holiday,” but it should be after the 2020/21 school year! The Creativity Department is on vacation this week, so we’re bringing you a summer holiday episode. Filled with simple, doable nuggets of advice to keep you moving forward and learning, this episode is meant to provide inspiration for the second half of 2021. As a Learning Experience Designer, Kurt Klynen believes it’s good to be inspired by people and, in turn, to do the same. In this episode, recorded earlier this year, The Creativity Department talks with Kurt about ways creativity can be used to shape experiences, inspire the work you do, and get us through anything.

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Episode 35: Survival, Reflection, and Moving Forward
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Episode 35: Survival, Reflection, and Moving Forward

Laura and Matt Grundler

During this year of COVID, it was important to know when to disconnect and step away. We needed to make conscious efforts to hide the phones and devices and turn off the computer. Now it is the end of the hardest year ever, and it’s time for us all to take a breath and stop. That’s right, we said it—it’s time to stop. We’ve heard “take care of yourself” and read about the importance of “self-care” so often it’s become the education equivalent of corporate babble speak. So in this episode, Laura and Matt talk just a little about what they did this year to take care of themselves and share suggestions teachers like you offered up during the Twitter chat on June 10th. Most importantly, they encourage you to do everything you can to shut it all off and enjoy some downtime!

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Episode 34: Teaching and Pride
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Episode 34: Teaching and Pride

Joseph Boatfield and Kevin Hsieh

During the June 17th Twitter chat, Joseph Boatfield and returning guest Kevin Hsieh facilitated a conversation about LGBTQ+ inclusiveness in the art room. They posed the question, “Do you have LGBTQ+ students in your classroom?” The answer is yes, there have always been LGBTQ+ students. The chat covered inquiries about stereotypes, how to navigate the topic with administration, and how to show support for students. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks candidly with Kevin and Joseph to get their own perspective on the questions they asked, as educators and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Listen in for powerful insight and discover exceptional resources to help you build relationships with and safe environments for all your students.

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Episode 33: Content Creation & The Arts
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Episode 33: Content Creation & The Arts

Craig Yen

Because students live in a digital world, they must learn how to create content responsibly. Before they share their thoughts with the universe, it is important to teach them how to do it correctly and with purpose. This week, the Creativity Department is joined by Craig Yen. Craig is an elementary classroom teacher who infuses art into everything he does. He understands the importance of creativity, creating, and making sure students have a voice and outlet in his classroom. As everyone has traversed this last year, he made sure his students had even more art to help them navigate the constant changes. Listen to this idea-filled conversation for information, advice, and resources on engaging students in the process of creating content around topics important to them.

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Episode 32: Exploring Queer Identities in the Art Room
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Episode 32: Exploring Queer Identities in the Art Room

Carlos Cruz and Tara Rousseau

Have you heard statements like “it seems the LGBTQ+ student population is growing”? So have we. The thing is these students have always existed! What is growing is bravery, awareness, safety, and the vocabulary with which students can express their lived reality. The art classroom is a special place where students can feel safe, seen, and included. To keep that statement true, it’s important to constantly learn, grow, and be comfortable with being uncomfortable. In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with Carlos Cruz and Tara Rousseau from the NAEA LGBTQ+ Interest Group. During the conversation, they offer inspiration, ideas, and advice on ways to break through the discomfort, connect with students, and help them thrive. Discover readily available resources that will explain LGBTQ+ issues and help you understand what students need to be successful.

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Episode 31: Contemporary Asian Artists’ Work & Social Justice
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Episode 31: Contemporary Asian Artists’ Work & Social Justice

Dr. Ryan Shin and Dr. Kevin Hsieh

Recent waves of discrimination and prejudice due to the pandemic have created an even greater need for education and resources in support of Asian culture. But how does an educator who isn’t sure where to begin respectfully and honorably incorporate Asian art, culture, and artifacts into their curriculum? In this week’s conversation, the Creativity Department speaks with Dr. Ryan Shin and Dr. Kevin Hsieh about ways in which this can be achieved. Ryan and Kevin both teach Art Education at the university level and serve on the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Asian Art and Culture Interest Group (AACIG). Because of the tension and turmoil being experienced, in this episode, Ryan and Kevin address Asian culture, the importance of educating students on Social Justice and diversity, and resources to help you create successful lessons to cover these important topics in your classes.

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Episode 30: Creative Writing to Increase Emotional Intelligence
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Episode 30: Creative Writing to Increase Emotional Intelligence

Adam Sáenz

Creativity is directly linked to emotion; it fuels inspiration and the creative process. Creativity and art provide a format to enter emotion, experience emotion, and express it in a way that is not hurtful to anyone. The past year and a half have been tough on everyone, but art and creative expression have eased the anxiety many of us are facing. In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks to veteran psychologist and author Dr. Adam Sáenz. Adam Sáenz specializes in creative writing to expand emotional intelligence. During the conversation, you will hear his thoughts on how creativity can be used to increase emotional intelligence and address mental health.

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Episode 29: Social Media, Identity, & Civic Duty in the Classroom
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Episode 29: Social Media, Identity, & Civic Duty in the Classroom

Flávia Bastos and James Rees

Educators empower students to transform the world. From digital citizenship and democratic dialogue to addressing controversial topics, an educator’s role is to act as a facilitator for students to find and develop their voices. What students have to say is meaningful, they have a vision to share. The critical part of this is helping them understand their responsibility to think critically about their choices when sharing that vision, so their voice is heard as intended. During this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with the research team behind the Who Is American Today project, Flávia Bastos and James Rees. Discover what Critical Digital Citizenship looks like, what role it plays in student’s lives, and how art education prepares students to examine their identity and become critical digital citizens.

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Episode 27: Pains & Gains of Remote & Hybrid Learning
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Episode 27: Pains & Gains of Remote & Hybrid Learning

Carl Hooker

This year has been a remote learning whirlwind filled with struggle and doubt. But has there been success too? As we begin to slowly transition back to in-person learning, it’s time for a conversation with educator and consultant Carl Hooker. The Creativity Dept. and Carl discuss learnings and dare we say advances achieved this year. From student-driven learning to thoughtful technology integration Carl’s insight is a driving force for change in the classroom. How can we ensure there is opportunity for interspace learning and keep the advantages discovered over this year? Enjoy this episode filled with ideas.

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Episode 26: Public Art and Student Collaboration
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Episode 26: Public Art and Student Collaboration

Leah Smith and Michael Townsend

The Tape Art movement originated in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1989 in the form of large-scale, collaborative drawings created out of tape in public spaces. In the years since then, Tape Art has opened the world of innovation and collaboration to thousands of students. From brainstorming to critical thinking and problem solving, Collaborative Tape Art has countless benefits! In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with Leah Smith and Michael Townsend of the original Tape Art Crew. Listen in and learn about the importance of experimentation, thinking big, working together, and taking risks for students of all abilities across all grades.

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Episode 25: The Perceptions of Digital Arts
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Episode 25: The Perceptions of Digital Arts

Kasmira Mohanty

Digital art IS art. Why does it seem like it is considered lesser than traditional art? We don’t have to abandon traditional art-making to include digital techniques in our practice. The two can meld into one space and enrich students’ experience at the same time. But the perceptions of digital art can be hard to overcome and hurdles such as lack of training, fear of technology, perceived value, labeling, and fear of “failing” all make the idea of including digital techniques daunting. In this episode, the Creativity Department speaks with Kasmira Mohanty, Digital Artist and Art Educator, about how to get past the perception of digital art and why it is important.

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Episode 24: Critical Creativity
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Episode 24: Critical Creativity

Dan Ryder

Critical creativity is the idea that the act of creating is inherently critical thinking and requires higher-order thinking. Creativity is going to change the world! Those who understand this know that making meaningful opportunities for it in all areas of learning is imperative. This week’s guest isn’t an art educator. Dan Ryder comes from an English background, is an expert in project-based learning, and infuses creativity into the work he does with students a different way. He connects everything and uses creative expression to deepen understanding. Listen in for a different perspective on the importance of creativity as Laura and Matt dig into how Dan always finds time for building experiences that go deeper and allow for expansion.

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Episode 23: Createquity - A Fair & Just Art Classroom
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Episode 23: Createquity - A Fair & Just Art Classroom

James Wells

The arts offer equity in a different way than any other class, through creativity and the process of making. Focusing on the fact that an artist is anyone who communicates ideas well unlocks equity and gives students the opportunity to be openly creative. Allowing students to bring their authentic selves to the classroom, dig into their identity and culture, and discover who they are is essential. In this week’s episode, The Creativity Department speaks with James Wells, Innovative Teaching and Learning Manager at Crayola, about the topic of equity and the importance diversity and inclusion have in creating it.

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Episode 22: Adaptive Art - Deconstructing Disability in the Art Room
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Episode 22: Adaptive Art - Deconstructing Disability in the Art Room

Bette Naughton

Reaching students with physical or developmental differences can be challenging, but the art room is a space where they can go to feel valued for who they are and express themselves. How can you work through a student’s ability? By focusing on what they can do instead of what they cannot to ensure success in art making. In this episode, the Creativity Department discusses adaptive art with author and educator Bette Naughton. Learn how to focus on the potential of all your students and think with an adaptive mindset. Discover available resources to create a network in your school or district, and develop strategies to remove roadblocks impeding student learning and creativity.

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Episode 21: The Arts Are The Catalyst We Need After The Crisis
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Episode 21: The Arts Are The Catalyst We Need After The Crisis

James Haywood Rolling Jr.

After a year filled with crisis, it is time to revive ourselves. We know the arts are far more important to students (and the community as a whole) than is acknowledged. However, despite being consistently under-valued, there is no denying the arts are the catalyst we need to start fresh and re-energize. In this episode, the Creativity Departments speaks with NAEA President James Haywood Rolling Jr. about the importance of recognizing the arts as the power needed to create social change, build resilience, rehab our minds and spirits, break down systems that hurt us, and inspire the champions around us.

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Episode 20: Making Social Justice Action Visible at Your School
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Episode 20: Making Social Justice Action Visible at Your School

Barbara Libby-Steinmann and Anna Rochester

Social Justice is a commitment to challenge cultural, social, and economic inequality. Social Justice impacts everyone. Learning about all races, religions, and identities helps students and their communities embrace differences and be more inclusive. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Barbara Libby-Steinmann and Anna Rochester about why making Social Justice Action visible in your school and community is vitally important. Discover how the need to connect and understand and one idea sparked school and community-wide action to help students explore their concepts of identity, build empathy, and understand Social Justice in non-confrontational and enriching ways.

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Episode 19: Culturally Connecting & Celebrating
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Episode 19: Culturally Connecting & Celebrating

Crocodile River Music

Connecting students to a culture through art is a powerful way of valuing the history and heritage of a culture. “It’s important to learn about art traditions in their own right and not in comparison to other traditions. Diversity in art helps students see varied approaches to how people engage in the world and solve problems.” In this episode of K12ArtChat, The Creativity Department speaks with Crocodile River Music about culturally connecting. As visiting artists, Crocodile River creates experiences for students that provide a chance to understand African culture and traditions through art and music. Listen in as they explain what “NOT being a tourist of art” means and how important it is to understand the hard work and history behind making art.

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Episode 18: Engaging Students in a Virtual or Hybrid Classroom
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Episode 18: Engaging Students in a Virtual or Hybrid Classroom

Tricia Fuglestad

Engaging students in a virtual or hybrid classroom takes imagination. It’s hard right now, be as kind to yourselves as you are to your students and consider goals for the year from a different angle. You make a difference in your students’ lives simply by connecting with them and making sure they are seen and heard.

In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Tricia Fuglestad. Tricia shares great ideas and tips she uses to keep her students engaged as well as encouragement for everyone out there. Remember, you’re not lowering expectations, you’re creating less stressful and more achievable ways of working together.

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Episode 17: Building Relationships with ALL of Our Students
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Episode 17: Building Relationships with ALL of Our Students

Anti-Racist Art Teachers

The Anti-Racist Art Teachers work towards removing biases, stereotypes, and false narratives in art education. Having an anti-racist curriculum “isn’t achieved with a checklist,” it requires attention all year long. In this episode, The Creativity Department interviews Abby Birhanu, Francesca Levy, and Paula Liz from the Anti-Racist Art Teachers group of educators. Listen in and discover information that will support how to build an anti-racist classroom environment in a way that is responsible and student centered.

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Episode 16: Building EQ – Emotional Intelligence through Visual Storytelling
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Episode 16: Building EQ – Emotional Intelligence through Visual Storytelling

Al Thomas

Students (and teachers, administration, parents, all of us) are struggling to process what is happening in the world these days. How can visual storytelling and creativity in general help? In this episode, The Creativity Department interviews Al Thomas, educator, principal, and visual storyteller. Listen in to the discussion about how creativity in the classroom provides opportunities for conversation and can help students process emotions and develop their own EQ. Through visual storytelling students can slow the world down, process emotion, and engage fully in a moment.

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Episode 15: Creating Diversity through Character Development
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Episode 15: Creating Diversity through Character Development

David Gorden

Art is storytelling. Creating authentic, honest, and real characters takes research, patience, and a whole lot of being careful. This week, The Creativity Department speaks with sequential artist and author David Gorden. In this episode, they discuss the importance of asking “why” questions during the process of character development to avoid stereotypes, and the value of understanding the “rules of art” before you try to bend them.

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Episode 14: Discussing Art with Students
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Episode 14: Discussing Art with Students

Trevor Bryan

Generally speaking, we all struggle with open-ended discussions. More than ever, we are afraid to be wrong. This week, The Creativity Department speaks with Trevor Bryan (@trevorabryan), author of The Art of Comprehension. Learn new techniques and strategies you can implement to engage students and help them open up, connect to art and the world, and have meaningful discussions in the process.

Read the Twitter Chat discussion.

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Episode 13: AP & IB Art Topics
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Episode 13: AP & IB Art Topics

Connie Jimenez Zammett

Investigation, experimentation, and communication are skills used by all artists and designers. Developing these skills is the focus of AP & IB Art programs. This week, high school art educator Connie Jimenez Zammett (@conniedraws) discusses AP & IB Art with Laura and Matt. While demanding, these programs challenge students to ask questions and inquire deeply about their process, empowering them to be independent thinkers.

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Episode 12: Graphic Novels and Visual Narratives
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Episode 12: Graphic Novels and Visual Narratives

Michael Hernandez

During this episode, Michael Hernandez (educator, speaker, and author) comments “students are hungry to do something that is relevant, meaningful, and that has purpose.” Listen in to the conversation with Michael as the Creativity Department digs into how graphic novels (a.k.a. sequential art) can help students do just that. Graphic novels have the potential to empower students to tell their stories and help them engage with important questions about life, experience, and art.

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Episode 11: Student Empowerment
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Episode 11: Student Empowerment

Kelly Young and Karen Caswell

The difference between engaged and empowered students boils down to what you do for them versus what they do for themselves. In today’s world of constant distraction, students must be intrinsically motivated to buy into their learning. In this episode, The Creativity Department speaks with Kelly Young (@teachthisorthat) and Karen Caswell (@kcasw1) about shifting mindset beyond engagement and empowering students to be excited about using what they learn in ways that make sense to them—to OWN their learning.

Read the Twitter Chat discussion.

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Episode 10: C4 - Cultivating Creative & Civic Capacities
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Episode 10: C4 - Cultivating Creative & Civic Capacities

Jason Blair

Empathic curiosity, radical imagination, design thinking…these skills are essential for developing well-rounded students prepared to live in the world. In this episode, The Creativity Department delves into these ideas with Jason Blair as they discuss his C4 research project with Columbus Museum of Art and Harvard’s Project Zero.

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Episode 9: Reflection, Intention, & Goal Setting
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Episode 9: Reflection, Intention, & Goal Setting

Matt and Laura Grundler

A special Happy New Year episode from Matt and Laura. Listen in as they chat about their goals for 2021, setting goals as a practice, and the importance of incorporating reflection and intention when crafting goals for yourself.

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Episode 8: The Future of Makerspaces
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Episode 8: The Future of Makerspaces

Chris Sweeney

Wondering what exactly a makerspace is? Listen in as the Creativity Department interviews Chris Sweeney, Art/Makerspace Teacher and Artist in Philadelphia. Find out the “what, why, and how” of creating a makerspace as they examine using this concept in any art program.

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Episode 7: Connecting through Mentoring
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Episode 7: Connecting through Mentoring

Matt Neylon

Today it’s more important than ever to develop a strong support network (your ART Family). In this episode, The Creativity Department is joined by Matt Neylon, Director of Visual and Performing Arts at Mount Vernon School, to discuss the importance of having people in your network with different talents, specific strengths, and diverse opinions and points of view.

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Episode 6: Create Art in AR
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Episode 6: Create Art in AR

Jaime Donally

AR - Augmented Reality (not Arkansas) can easily be included in today’s classroom. Matt and Laura speak with Jaime Donally, author and Instructional Technology Consultant, about practical ways of adding AR and VR to the tools you use with your students. Discover apps, programs, and ideas for using this exciting technology easily and for FREE.

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Episode 5: Gratitude
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Episode 5: Gratitude

Matt and Laura Grundler

A special Thanksgiving episode from Matt and Laura. Listen in as they chat about ideas for using gratitude with students and teams, share things to be thankful for in 2020, and relay a message of gratitude to all of you listening in each week.

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Episode 4: Leadership and Clarity
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Episode 4: Leadership and Clarity

Andrew Surloff

Hear an administrative perspective of education in the time of COVID. Laura and Matt speak with Andrew Surloff, Assistant Superintendent of Quaker Valley School District in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Listen in to get an admin’s take on the importance of communication, working collaboratively with teachers, and navigating the different classroom models necessary during COVID.

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Episode 3: Creating Safe Zones for ALL Students
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Episode 3: Creating Safe Zones for ALL Students

Paul Kretchmer

This week, team Grundler is joined by Paul Kretchmer, Visual Arts Instructional Coordinator for Austin ISD, in Austin, TX. Listen in for information and inspiration about how to create safe spaces for all students in the classroom. Discover a host of resources for crafting environments that are safe, inclusive, joyful, and predictable for our students, virtually and in-person.

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Episode 2: Teaching Art in 2020
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Episode 2: Teaching Art in 2020

Frank Juarez

In this episode, Matt and Laura speak with Frank Juarez, head of the art department at Sheboygan North High School in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Learn about Frank’s experience as art educator, artist, contributing editor of SchoolArts magazine, and founder of four projects focused on contemporary art and art education (The Midwest Artist Studios, 365 Artists 365 Days Project, Artdose Magazine, and FRANK & Company art e-newsletter). His accomplishments also include winning National Art Educator of the Year, founding Sheboygan Visual Artists, opening Frank Juarez Gallery, and Artdose Magazine.

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Episode 1: Introducing K12ArtChat the podcast
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Episode 1: Introducing K12ArtChat the podcast

Kristi Oliver

The Creativity Department is joined by Kristi Oliver, Professional Development Manager for Davis Publications. Enjoy the conversation about our new partnership, the importance of art education, and the many resources available from Davis Publications.

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