Young Creatives Unite: ASFA Seniors in CW, Visual Arts, and Dance Combine, Collaborate, and Experiment to CREATE!

We’re working with our colleagues in the Visual Arts and Dance departments again this year to create interdisciplinary performance pieces that combine visual, linguistic, and kinesthetic modes of creativity. It’s always a great learning experience, and the work is always just as great. This year’s theme is “Wearable Art.” Can’t wait to see what these talented folks come up with!

Slideshow: Author Sheree Renee Thomas Inspires ASFA-CW to Turn Off the Editor and Tune In to the Creative Spirit

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This past Friday, as a part of the Ron Casey Visiting Writers’ series at ASFA-CW, we were graced by the presence of Sheree Renee Thomas, who read from her latest multi-genre collection, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, and then inspired us all with a set of feeling/thinking/writing exercises that encouraged us to shed our preconceived notions of what (and how) we’re “supposed” to write. Below the break, check out a few examples what we were able to create: Continue reading

ASFA-CW/Dance/VA Collaboration Photos + Kudos!

Here’s just a fraction of the photographic evidence (click here and here for slideshows) of yet another successful year of one of the coolest interdisciplinary endeavors in the ASFA universe! Writers, dancers — and this year, visual artists! — push envelopes, take chances, and (most of all) CREATE! TOGETHER!! #FunTimes. Many thanks to ASFA-DANCE’s Teri Weksler, who’s been the driving force behind this project, and to ASFA-CW’s Kwoya Maples and ASFA-VA’s Randy Gachet, who coordinated with Teri and the students to make this such an extraordinary learning experience for everyone involved. And, as always, thanks to ASFA’s core academic teachers and administrators, who adjust on the fly and help us fit this project into an already/always chock-full daily-weekly-semesterly schedule. (You guys are the best!)

Inclusive + Arts = Education.

Okay, so here’s a quick rundown of what a professional conference is like for arts educators (really for anyone at any level of academia): there’s the milling around, the eyeing of one another (which is to say: an assessing of “the tribe” — “Is this the cohort to which I (we) belong? Are these my — Our — people?”); there’s a keynote (or several); there are probably awards and maybe a pertinent tour (or two) and definitely a fair amount of receptions; …and then there are the panels and presentations. Lots and lots of panels and presentations. (By way of an example, see the TED talk above, given by arts leader Ben Cameron, who closed out this year’s Arts Schools Network [ASN] conference in Minneapolis with a [different but equally] spirited and inspiring talk about why all the arts matter, now more than ever — and, more pointedly, how we as artists and teachers, as creators, performers, and audiences, can rise [not to but] with the extraordinary occasion of our times.)

This week, at ASN – Twin Cities, where the theme has been equity and inclusion in the arts, these very things have happened (of course) for me and for my ASFA colleagues/bosses. But, like, a lot. It’s been an eye-opener, in all the best ways. And (so, therefore) here are some of my overarching observations with these two newly opened eyes: Continue reading