[RE]CONNECT: Seattle Arts Leadership Conference is a full-day event, hosted by Seattle University’s MFA in Arts Leadership program. Arts leaders from across the Pacific Northwest will gather for an exciting day of provocative speakers, professional development workshops, and artwork.
Our most recent conference was held on March 2, 2019 at Seattle University.
The 2019 Conference theme was Courageous Arts Leadership in Turbulent Times. Like many times in history, our world has become disjointed into us versus them, establishments of ‘other’, and confusion. This conference theme is intended to bravely and boldly call out issues and encourage change through our leadership. As Arts Leaders, it is our responsibility to act as a conduit for connecting people and ideas.
You can view the full Conference Schedule here.
The Artist Within
Alzheimer’s – the word sparks fear – conjuring the image of a diminished life - overwhelming families and communities with stigma and anxiety for the future. Yet, as access to language may falter, the imagination can soar. (Anne Basting). This session introduces the audience to surprising, exhilarating and inspiring art created by persons living with dementia. It effortlessly connects us, confounding our expectations and introducing us to a hopeful path rooted in
the simple truth that persons living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias are Still Here – living with dignity, creativity and joy.
Why Inclusion Matters and What it Looks Like: A Partnership Between Community Choirs and Homeless Service Organizations
A partnership between a community choir and a homeless service organization inherently breaks down barriers that exist between members of the homeless community and the
general population. This view is predicated on the belief, as some researchers have argued, that through singing, members of the homeless community regain their dignity. Further, singing alongside current members of a community choir reinforces this regained dignity among the homeless members as they participate in an equal, indistinct effort among other, non-homeless singers. Success in communal music-making exposes commonalities useful to both the homeless community and members of a community choir in interactions with similar populations outside of the choral environment.
Color of Kindness, Anne Beffel
Anne Beffel will present on several projects including Color of Kindness, a painting as social practice event that included conversations in response to the question “What color comes to mind when you think of kindness?” Her presentation was supported by Michigan Council for Arts & Culture Professional Development Grant administered by the Copper Country Community Arts Center.
We The People: How to Amplify Grassroots Movements for Social Change
The Amplifier team will share a 30 minutes presentation to highlight how Amplifier was founded, the process and impact of our most globally recognized campaign, We The People, in addition to what we are focused on now.
Undocumented Immigrants Speaking to Power through Community-Based Theater: Teatro Jornalero Sin Fronteras’ “El Niño Dios Viene Pal’ Norte.”
How the Arts Can Foster Educational Equity
Elizabeth Coen and John (J.C.) Ignacio
Elizabeth Coen and John (J.C.) Ignacio of the Learning Center Seattle (LCS) examine the critical role that arts professionals can play in bridging the achievement gap between socioeconomically disadvantaged students in the Pacific Northwest and their more privileged peers. Drawing from both research and experience in working at an Open Doors Youth Reengagement program they demonstrate that arts-focused pedagogy, a commitment to social justice, and the collaborative efforts of staff from different artistic disciplines are integral to successful educational programming. As part of this presentation, they also share creative strategies to empower students and foster a growth mindset.
As recent college graduates of the arts, we’ve noticed a dichotomy in our field. Everyone wants to hire and attract young people, but nobody wants to watch them lead. Ask Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Emma Gonzales. During our educational and arts careers, we’ve been told how hard it will be to find a job, let alone in our field. And we’ve seen it happen, watching former classmates stop auditioning or doing shows whether through lack of work or funds. The people who seem to be doing well are the ones who were lucky enough to obtain an internship during or after college. However, these internships are usually unpaid or lack enough resources to make the experience accessible to everyone. If the arts are supposed to bring people together and strengthen communities, then every community should be able to join the process of making art. We will be discussing ways for arts programs of all sizes to get young artists into and positions of leadership through partnerships and programs to lessen the financial blow of taking on an internship as a young artist as well as ways to inclusively bring more “young blood” to the arts. Young people want to be in the room when decisions are being made, and we need to get them there. Working in arts leadership is a privilege, but it shouldn’t be.