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Culturally Responsive Creative Youth Development

Nicole Amri, Program Director, SAY Sí | San Antonio, TX

SAY Sí ignites the creative power of young people as forces of positive change. We value artists, empower marginalized communities* and advance culture. As a multidisciplinary artist, Nicole explores human rights issues with a focus on interpersonal relationships and societal conditions. She currently serves on  city-wide collective impact initiatives in San Antonio, TX: SA2020 and Excel Beyond the Bell SA. Nationally, Nicole serves on the ALAANA Network and National Advisory Committee to the Creative Youth Development National Partnership.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and the Arts

Emily Read Daniels, M.Ed., MBA, NCC, Founder, HERE this NOW, Trauma Informed and Trauma Responsive Consulting | NH

When educators learn about the devastating impact of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), childhood trauma, and toxic stress on a child’s developing body, brain, and behavior, they often remark, “Well..what do I do now?”  Today, becoming “trauma-informed” is about initiating and sustaining systems change.  It begins with acknowledging that the current functioning of public service (i.e. education, health care, mental health, etc.) compounds survival reactions rather than mitigates them. Becoming a “trauma-informed” system requires intentional actions (reflected in organizational processes) that generate psychological safety and autonomic nervous system regulation. Emily shares how deep engagement with the Arts can be a positive tool in creating a trauma responsive system. 


Their Names are Mine, Race, Education, and the Arts

Rajnii Eddins, Spoken Word Artist and Educator | Burlington, VT

Hailing from Seattle Washington, Rajnii Eddins has been performing poetry and engaging diverse audiences for more than 20 years. First, as the youngest member of the African American Writers Alliance at 11 years old, then, as a polished youth performer at the Seattle Center, in bookshops, cafes, festivals, colleges and galleries. Rajnii is adept in engaging authentic youth voice from elementary to high school by utilizing creative expression and call and response to inspire young people to create their own pieces as well further their love for wordplay and literacy.


Empowering Young Women through Performance

Arts in Reach | Seacoast NH 

Arts In Reach (AIR)' s mission is to empower teenage girls through inclusive, creative community. Since 1997 AIR has offered cost free arts and mentoring programs with transportation assistance to at-risk teens in the greater seacoast area. AIR offers programs in the performing, visual, and literary arts that balance high quality artistic instruction with personal development and community building. This workshop is led by AIR teen participants, AIR's Program Director,  Rebecca Romanoski, and AIR's Program Manager Cara Cabral. 


Social Location Space
Structural Oppression and Intersectional Vulnerability

Pittsfield Youth Voice in it Together (PYViiT): Pittsfield Listens | NH 

An interactive exhibit of an installation of images for a dynamic learning space about power, structural location, and social transformation.  This space invites participants to explore  together about effective approaches to learning and dialoguing about structural oppression, intersectionality, and vulnerability. It seeks to raise awareness of these complex issues and help change the structures that create inequality by bringing to light those systems of oppression that we have normalized and made invisible.



Theatrical Movement Experience & Discussion

Amanda Whitworth, Tributary Dance; Director of Dance, Plymouth State University | NH; Robin Marcotte, Actor and Dance educator; Plymouth State University | NH; Bobby Kelly, MD, MPH, Family Physician | NH

Inspired by Neil Bousfield's wordless novel of woodcut images, Shadows is a portrayal of a poor couple, working opposite shifts in the same factory, as they struggle through addiction and family crisis to find hope.  They see that every decision is a choice, but finding the strength to break the cycle is the hardest choice of all.  With its visceral, acrobatic movement and compelling story of strength, desire and loss, this one-act straddles the worlds of dance and theatre.


Creating Dynamic School and Community Partnerships

David Dik, Executive Director, Young Audiences | New York, NY

Established in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) is the nation's largest arts-in-education learning network, serving more than 5 million children and youth each year in more than 7,000 schools and community centers across the country.  The YA Network is comprised of 30 diverse affiliates, each dedicated to delivering arts-integrated programming and impacting arts-in-education policies and practices at the local level. YA advocates for the YA Network and the arts-in-education field at the national level, culminating with an annual advocacy campaign National Young Audiences Week (YA Week), each spring. YA connects exceptional teaching artists with classroom teachers to provide in-depth arts residencies that raise academic and artistic achievement, while enhancing and developing learning skills that translate across curriculums.

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Creative & Critical Communities of Practice

Dr. Laura Reeder, Artist; Educator, Boston University, Massachusetts College of Art

How can we form both creative AND critical communities that support arts education when we have so many needs to meet? This two-part workshop will provide opportunities for arts educators, teaching artists, community leaders, and administrators alike to identify resources for strengthening creative and artistic educational communities for learners while addressing critical issues such as racism, immigration, ability, gender identity, poverty, and other inequities in our work. 

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