Name: susan wolf
Job/Role/Title: teaching artist, arts coach, visual artist, printmaker
Organization/Affiliation/School: previously Kala art institute, currently arts coach at Jefferson Elementary School
District or City/County: San Leandro
Email: swolfprojects [at] gmail
Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you do? I am a parent of a recent graduate from BHS class of 2012. I am a visual and performing artist. I am a teaching artist.
How did you find out about this process? I am on the acoe mailing list. I attended the first mapping event. I enjoyed seeing the momentum and the structure that was in place to organize the comments and ideas being solicited. I am interested in learning the ways people and ideas can make connections with hopes that it will result in forward momentum.
What inspired you to get engaged? I am always thinking about how things work or… don’t work. I am ready to advocate for dramatic improvements in the current state of education.
What do you think of the conversations? I like seeing conversations being reported from meetings attended by the… ‘deciders’ for lack of a better term. This transparency is important to see.
How would you answer the framing question: How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone? Invite the opinions from many different vantage points. Conduct interviews. Build an archive of individual stories to know who the community is. Utilize teaching artists as a catalyst, as documentarians, as interviewers.
Hailing from the Chicago area a Bay Area implant since the early 80’s teaching artist Susan Wolf has worked at various East Bay school sites through Kala Art Institute’s artists-in-schools program. As an Arts Coach at Jefferson Elementary School, Ms. Wolf matches her interest in process with her curiosity for what it means to understand. Her growing familiarity with digital media tools supports the value of making learning visible while engaging with a community of teachers interested in the practice of integrating arts.
As a performing artist her work explores the membrane of and the dialogue between her public and private personas. Wearing a mask or costumes of concealment her performances document her curious perspective of being there while being elsewhere.
As a visual artist her work makes connections with curious archaic texts and original artifacts connected to disciplines and inherent systems of biology, mathematics and mapmaking to inform a more personal re-contextualization of forms using printmaking, collage and mixed media techniques.
|Date of conversation||Thursday, May 10, 2012|
|Conversation Participants||District Planning Oversight Committee: Molly Barnes- Superintendent for Sunol Glen School District, Steve Hanke – Superintendent for Dublin School District, Cindy Cathy- Superintendent for San Leandro School District, Suzanne McCulloch- Arts Learning Manager Berkeley School District, Phil Rydeen- Arts Learning Manager Oakland School District,
Louise Music- Arts Learning Coordinator ACOE, Unique Holland- Communications Director ACOE, Carolyn Carr- Program Manager Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership
|What is our vision?
• Implementation of Common Core in connection with arts integration to support teacher professional practice for every child’s success
• Successful kids at the center that are deeply engaged, thinking like scientists/mathematicians/historians, expressing themselves artistically, communicating clearly in spoken and written word
• Visual and performing arts will be key elements in ensuring that every student in Alameda County is college and career ready
To ensure that every student in Alameda County participates in visual and performing arts. VAPA as an integration into student learning across the curriculum and as a compliment to understanding artistry.
|Where are we now? Share key takeaways|
|Superintendent Hanke provided an overview for the meeting as Chair of the District Planning Oversight Committee:It is important to approach this work from a systems change approach and model. We cannot afford to being jumping from one project or approach to the next. We need a common conversation about where we are going in public education, strategies for sharing knowledge, working in coordination rather than a scattering of models or networks, and consistency over time.
Unique reported on March 9 Integrated Learning Tour
The work of arts learning demonstration schools using the Studio Habits of Mind to describe what is core in the arts – and common to other content areas, is a strong foundation for common core state standards implementation. Studio Habits are the verbs of the arts – just as ELA and Math common core standards represent the verbs of ELA and Math.
|Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways|
|Where do we want to go and why?
• Implementation of Common Core State Standards throughout the county to ensure success 21st century for our kids
• Involve partners and work coherently and in coordination
• Create systemic change, not just individual schools or networks
• Sustain the effort across years and implement the necessary cultural change
• Make it simple and build knowledge, get key people involved
• Determine what we need to be loose about and what we need to be tight about – while we need coordination and clarity of direction, there is also a need for autonomy in order to respond to diverse communities and needs
• Deepen the quality of arts instruction and learning
• Deepen the quality of teaching and learning in all content areas
• Develop integration skills that do now water down arts or disciplinary content knowledge, but rather leverage, deepen and apply disciplinary knowledge in new and novel contextsThe role of the District Planning Oversight Committee is to guide the change
|How Should we get there? Share key takeaways|
|How will we get there?
• Roll out a new template
• Create a shared vision
• Name core values and goals for students
• Identify a small number of initiatives
• Set the stage for particular goals with indicators and measures that will show demonstrate progress
• Create a score card to measure what has been put in the plan
• Build the plan collaboratively and measure on a regular basis.Concepts around core values.
o Arts integration is a viable strategy.
o VAPA is essential for student success.
o Promote cc readiness.
o Arts make us whole.
Backwards Planning What Does Education look like in 2016
o Student learning
|District Planning Oversight Committee Special Planning Meeting Wednesday, June 27 at Mills College• Refine vision, mission and goals
• Identify core values
• Identify a few key initiatives
• Flesh out how those would flexibly play out in Dublin, Oakland, Sunol Glen, San Leandro and Berkeley
ACOE will schedule a meeting with District Planning Oversight Committee
The District Planning Oversight Committee will meet with these organizations in late July to create a plan for working in coordination to prepare for performance assessments aligned to common core state standards and deeper instruction on a county-wide scale.
Present to Council of Superintendents August 2012 and prepare a county-wide proposal to CDE.
|Date of conversation||Saturday, May 19, 2012|
|Thanks to all of the teacher leaders who attended:
Arts Learning Leaders: Ruben Aurelio, Principal, Jefferson school, Rosette Costello, Principal, Peralta School, Marilyn Koral, Principal, James Lick MS, Louise Music, ACOE, Tana Johnson, ACOE, Dr. Julia Marshall, SFSU, Miriam Spilman, Jefferson, Susan Wolf, Jefferson Teaching Artist and Coach, Diane Wang, Jefferson, Judi Burle, Jefferson, Ana Guzman, Jefferson, David Patusco, Jefferson, Heidi Cregge, OSA, Ann Wettrich, MOCHA, Susan Deming, Washington School, Kathy Graddy, ACOE, Suzette Hackett, Carolyn Carr, ACOE, Sara Stillman, Emery, Alane Paul Castro, Washington School, Amy Rosenbaum, Petaluma, Pamela Chang, Peralta PTA, Wendi Bushehry, Trena Noval, Peralta and CCA, Pamela Lucker, Peralta, Marie Stewart, Peralta, Lynn Zamarra, Le Conte, Awele, Theater Artist, Felicia, Skyline College and Tana Johnson, ACOE.
|Ruben Aurelio, Principal, Jefferson School welcomed participants in Jefferson’s library, awash with hundreds of colorful prints from the school’s ‘Print-A-Thon’ (led by artists Miriam Spilman and Susan Wolf, every Jefferson student created a print.) Louise Music set the context by explaining the goals of Mapping Our Future strategic plan, modeled after Margaret J. Wheatley’s book TURNING TO ONE ANOTHER: SIMPLE CONVERSATIONS TO RESTORE HOPE TO THE FUTURE, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.; February 2009. Tana Johnson set the group to work in a café-style brainstorms to inform the questions: What supports do teachers need? What is our vision for teacher voice/teacher leadership? How will we spread our news? How will we engage families and communities to ensure all children/families belong? What does pedagogy look like in this new world? How might our schedule change to accommodate deeper learning contexts?|
|Where are we now? Share key takeaways||We are in a climate of shrinking resources and higher demands; teachers are being asked to do more with less. We wanted to ask: what do we envision and what do we need to do to do to change the culture of our schools in order to deepen the learning for every child? How can our collective voices help transform this culture of scarcity and want into a culture of abundance, clarity, and vision? After the cafés took place, Awele helped groups present their discussion topic in theater, movement, visual arts,|
|Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways|
|What supports do teachers need?
Time / common prep time (mandatory) / time to collaborate / time to function as inspired professionals
Get out of assembly line model of education
Current, high quality materials, resources and technology
Strong community partnerships
Opportunities for PD, staff development that is relevant to the students – not district mandated, and PD with teaching artists
Beauty, light, windows
Sharing resources across schools, districts
Revamp teacher evaluation system/teacher-generated standards
Less students in the classroom to be able to give them the support that they need
Each teacher giving themselves permission to take a risk, stretch and explore a new paradigm that is unfamiliar
Counselors/nurses to deal with student health needs
Space for art supplies / place to submit reciepts
What is our vision for teacher voice/teacher leadership? How will we spread our news?
How will we engage families and communities to ensure all children/families belong?
|How Should we get there? Share key takeaways|
|Name our collective assets…How can we connect the dots?
Share resources to bring in teaching artists
Create a Hub for Arts Education with dedicated resources—an office, books, resources, etc.
Create online hub for Arts Education events, PD, student exhibitions, etc.
Artists and art teachers are valued and part of all decisions
Fund stable budgets / less grants
Create and use political power to get stable funding
Equitable allocation of $$
Paradigm shift—horizontal, not vertical, let creativity rise to the top
What do we want need in order to do high quality assessment?
What does pedagogy look like in this new world?
How might our schedule change to accommodate deeper learning contexts?
|Next Steps?||Create an advocacy campaign where students, teachers, and parents create short YouTube videos to talk about importance of funding programs
Have this conversation with parents at schools
Attend the “Inventing Our Future” Summer Institute to connect with a larger network of educators and providers
The Arts Learning Leaders will meet again in Fall 2012 and look forward to sharing new work as well as progress on today’s conversation.
Following up on my last post, I thought post some of the notes from the May meeting of the Alliance’s Teaching and Learning Oversight Committee.
Meeting Participants: Julia Marshall, San Francisco State; Ann Wettrich, CCA/MOCHA; Jochelle Perena, Luna Dance Institute (sitting in for Nancy Ng); Rica Anderson, Cal Performances; Belinda Taylor, Teaching Artists Organized/TAO (sitting in for Sabrina Klein); Carolyn Carr, ACOE/Alliance.
Mapping the Next Ten Years
TOPIC: New organizing theories and strategies
Ann described the current phase of the strategic planning process that the Alliance is currently leading. The big idea is to seed strategic conversations in a variety of educational settings with the goals of o Distributing leadership
o Building a platform or a root system to help new leaders to emerge o Shifting from “us and them” to “we”.
o Moving toward a regional scale.
o Summarizing and synthesizing the information
One of the strategies behind the Mapping the Next Ten Years is inspired by Meg Wheatley’s writing on organizational practice that make links to ideas coming out of new science. For example, chaos theory provides new lenses on how change happens via non-linear trajectories–communities of practice, communication across networks and the processes of emergence. . Wheatley helps to identify and mine new science metaphors and patterns to shift our thinking and can influence how we approach our work in transforming public education in and through the arts.
Ann discussed the value of the arts as a disciplinary practice and way of thinking that we should not lose site of in our work. She described a CCA graduate class she is co-teaching with Trena Noval: Teaching as Creative Practice where students engage CCA as a learning lab to understand teaching from an artists point of view. She told the story a student who was signed up for a course entitled “Chasing the Wild Bee” who was uncertain whether to remain in the class, questioning its relevance (to her practice as a photo major). The instructor, an artist who collaborates with bees, discussed with her the generative possibilities of uncertainty—not being able to specifically say how the course would inform her work but affirming that it would. The student decided to continue in the class and later report that it transformed her entire approach to creative practice.
Ann asked: How are we going to make meaning from these experiences and conversations? She suggests that we need to make “buckets” [organized categories] to be able to easily access important information and emerging ideas. We need synthesizing strategies. For example, we can see in the dialogue is that there are hubs of collaborators working together on specific projects. It might make sense to map these hubs to better understanding the landscape and where to locate oneself within it. She also imagined a cartoonist following art education practitioners and advocates around, observing and telling comic tales about our work in the field, adding new perspectives with a sense of humor and play.
Jochelle expressed her interest in bringing the conversation process back to the team at Luna to convene a dialogue with colleagues there.
TOPIC: Role of the arts and the practice of inquiry.
There was a lively discussion about the role of the arts in society. Research supports this notion that art is the only way to reach all children. It inherently is experiential and project based like the education in Venezuela. El Sistema is a model of teaching that supports music for every child, every day.
Another example is the Edible Schoolyard that Alice Waters created at a Berkeley school. The project gets kids out of the passive sitting roles in the classroom and gets them collaborating as placemakers. Some teaching kills the active pursuit of ideas. The arts can open opportunities for exploration, research and discovery.
Julia talked about cross-disciplinary conversations, place making, recursiveness, and how what Fritzof Capra wrote about 40 years ago is cycling back through. We are seeing incremental growth. She recommends Sarah Smitherman’s essay Chaos and Complexity Theories: Wholes and Holes in in Chaos, Complexity, Curriculum and Culture (Eds: Doll, Jr., Fleener, Trueit, and St. Julien).
The conversation turned to interdisciplinary teaching practices. Julia referred to the TfU framework’s “Dimensions of Understanding” that posit disciplinary knowledge, purposes, methods and forms as ways of knowing and provide a common language framework for transdisciplinary teaching and learning. She mentioned the work Howard Gardner, Victoria Boix-Mansilla on rethinking interdisciplinarity. Julia is interested in adding practitioners and aesthetics to the dimensions.
TOPIC: Integrated Learning Specialist Program/ILSP
Carolyn reported on ILSP and how Summer Intensive Course A is already full. The committee recommends that ideally the courses be taken in sequential order as Course A is foundational and puts
everyone on the same page for Course B and C. However, the committee understands there are logistical challenges that may make this difficult.
TOPIC: Regional Summer Institute
Carolyn shared a sampling of titles of proposals and names of presenters to inform the group and generate excitement about the event. Recommendations were made for plenary speakers: Julia recommends inviting The Bee Collective from the East. Lois knows them. Rica recommends Gary Golden, Kennedy Center, a futurist who talks about how to predict trends. Ann recommended Kevin Bayuk—from the SF Permaculture Institute.
“Almost everything I do is a collaboration.”
Rica raised a question about collaboration. Cal Performances is embarking on a project with a “yet-to-be found” afterschool organizations to bring teaching artists to site and visit artists in an afterschool program with the musical program, El Sistema, from Venezuela. Destiny Arts or Out of Site (Beth Rubenstein) were suggested as possible afterschool connections. Rica then asked: How do you pick your partners? How do you maintain and sustain partnerships? Ideas flowed:
o What are you each getting out of it?
o What are you each putting in to it?
o What are your agreements?
o What are your roles and responsibilities?
o Remember, you are creating something together and need to co own it. o What are rules, shared agreements, both/and thinking?
o Expand open-ended process.
o Who’s going to facilitate?
o Who is going to create and hold the vision?
o Rotate that role.
o Mine the group and learn the assets
o Start with central core people.
o Apply teaching artist practices:
o Break down barriers,
o Use frameworks as common language tools.
o Goals and aims have to match.
o Both partners need to be flexible.
o What are our criteria?
o This is a shared project, Again, whose project is this?
o Ownership is crucial. Do you want the partner to take over?
NEXT MEETING: Fall 2012
Name: Jennyann Carthern
Job/Role/Title: Business Owner and Teaching Artist
Organization/Affiliation/School: Paint Is Thicker Than Water
District or City/County: Solano
Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you do? My name is Jennyann Carthern, and I’m an Artist in love with Illustration, Teaching, and Creative Entrepreneurship. I’m been a Teaching Artist for over 10 years instructing youth of all ages in Arts and Theater, in After School Programs and Non-Profits throughout Solano County and the Bay Area. I attended the Academy of Art, and Graduated with a BFA in Illustration from The California College of the Arts.
As an Artist, I own and operate a company called Paint Is Thicker Than Water, that is an expression of love which courses through the veins of many artists and the power creativity has over us. It is my call to action to serve artists who are at their wits’ end. I provide workshops, in person and online in art education and creative entrepreneurship. I also provide creative entrepreneur curriculum for after school programs, with a goal to end the trend of the starving artist, and give students the tools and confidence to really make a life and a living for themselves in the arts. I also teach Art and Theater part time for The Place 2 Be After Three at three middle schools throughout the city of Fairfield.
My students are my best teachers, and in a world that thinks artists are crazy. I value their success. That starts in promoting art education, and giving them the right tools to create successful ventures that can eventually give back to the arts.
How did you find out about this process? I found out about the Arts Alliance in an email invite, and I was thrilled to sign on, and help in the conversation.
What inspired you to get engaged? My inspiration started within my own Educational Journey and my love for Arts, Community, and Learning. As a child, I was labeled with a learning disability; I had the familiar IEPs, and the explanation that I was different, because It took me longer than others to learn information. Today I know better. Today I’ve discovered that I’m a right brainer that requires different, more creative tools for learning. Tools that my school environment hadn’t caught on to. I loved my teachers, but they just weren’t in sync with my creative mind. Using post its, markers, and things that move, I’ve become a lifetime learner. I am different! As are the many students in public schools that don’t meet policy guidelines. Their different because they doodle instead of highlight, and question instead of understand.
Learning isn’t a one stage process, but for some reason, Schools are still teaching in this one stage, of testing, sitting, and filling out worksheets. I’m inspired because, I think that it’s time to create more stages, and Art Education has the power to do that.
What do you think of the conversations so far? The conversations so far, are impressive, and I can sense an energy building that will result in change. We must keep talking, because students need us, and we need to be their voice in education. They know what they want. However they aren’t always heard because of the decisions we make for them. How much power we truly have is astounding!
Everyone that is involved in the conversation is creating inspiring ideas, that I’d like to see more teachers, principles, and after school organizations take action on. I’d like to see them more involved in the conversation.
How would you answer the framing question: How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone? We can collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone by changing the perception of the starving artist. I still, truly think this is very important because we live in word of mouth society. One that often believes that the only value of art is how good it looks on a wall.
Art is intrinsic, its value is in thinking, creating, organizing, expressing and imagining new ideas, concepts, and things into existence. However public school education isn’t noticing the change that is surrounding us and students are going to graduate into a world they weren’t expecting. Where test scores don’t matter, and awards are going to the creative ones, who can think different, imagine, and express messages that skip a heartbeat.
In one of my articles Making Room for Collaboration I said. “The starving Artist only exists, because we haven’t created a picture that works for them or their trade. We leave those students with a D.I.Y. approach to education. So, we must change that perception, and present a new picture that Teachers can model, with value already attached to it. Giving students more options and choices to make for their creative futures.”
I still believe that, and I still think this is how we can transform public education through the arts, to create a better future for everyone.
by Carl Anthony
Can the arts help transform urban places facing tough problems of homelessness, drugs, prostitution, and criminal activity in its tourist district, building greater human dignity for vulnerable populations, a sense of welcome and safety for tourists, and a viable commercial district for shoppers and business people in the heart of one of its most visible public spaces? If any city district can accomplish such a miracle, the mid Market Street area of San Francisco may be the place to watch. The challenge, unsuccessfully addressed. has been facing this district, cheek by jowl with the city’s civic center for decades. Under the leadership of the San Francisco Arts Commission, this time it might be different. The Commission has launched an ambitious program, including art in empty storefront windows, a design competition for kiosks along the street, to be installed early next year, and The Mid-Market Art Project, Storied Sites: Architecture, Politics & People, a series of art interventions, along Market Street, taking place now from late April to early May 2012. Check it out. www.midmarketartproject.org.”
Carl Anthony, Breakthrough Communities, www.breakthroughcommunities.info