Arts Schools Network’s Annual Conference in Twin Cities, MN Showcases Inclusion in the Arts

Arts Schools Network’s Annual Conference in Twin Cities, MN Showcases Inclusion in the Arts

IDYLLWILD, CA, NOVEMBER 13, 2017 – Nearly 300 leaders in arts education met in the Twin Cities, MN, October 23-27, 2017 for the Arts Schools Network’s (ASN) Annual Conference. Attendees represented arts schools, programs, and organizations from across the United States and Canada.

Conference sessions and events were hosted by University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program and the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance and the Twin Cities’ dynamic arts venues, including the Guthrie Theater, MacPhail Center for Music, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, and Huss Center for the Performing Arts. A range of exciting programs conceived and conducted by local schools and Arts District institutions exemplified the conference theme, “Inclusion in the Arts: Access & Equity.”

Attendees of ASN’s 37th annual gathering also enjoyed a reception hosted by Augsburg University’s Music Department, a reception and student performance at the University of Minnesota, a presentation of ASN Awards and Exemplary School designations, and exceptional opportunities to share experiences and expertise.

Highlights included an inspiring opening keynote address, “Strange Fruit: Being Courageous and Creating Hope in Arts Programming and Casting” by Russell Joel Brown, Director of Theater at School for Arts Infused Learning in Evans, GA, as well as sessions on integration of abilities, issues for new and emerging schools, trends in established schools, and thought leadership. Ben Cameron, Jerome Foundation President, gave a moving closing address. Participants were also inspired by visits to St. Olaf College, Perpich Center for Arts Education, PiM Arts High School, and Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists.

Melissa Brookes, Interim Executive Director for Arts Schools Network, said, “It was amazing to see educators and leaders from across the country converge in such a cultural and artistically inspiring city. They gathered to learn from one another, engage in high level discussions, and bring change back to their own communities. We are grateful to our hosts at the University of Minnesota for hosting this year’s conference, and to all of the institutions and arts venues that entertained and inspired our members.”

In addition to University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program and the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, sponsors for this year’s conference included
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Foundation; Webster University; HGA Architects + Engineers; NYU Tish School of the Arts; Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program; New Hampshire Institute of Art; Denver School of the Arts; Augsburg University; Guthrie Theater; St. Paul Academy and Summit School; MacCalaster College, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center; MacPhail Center for Music; Perpich Center for Arts Education; PiM Arts High School; Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts; and St. Olaf College.

Plans are already in progress for the 2018 ASN Annual Conference at Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) in Santa Ana, California, October 23-26. The theme will be “Arts in Motion.”

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About Arts Schools Network
Arts Schools Network, a non-profit association founded in 1981, is dedicated to providing leaders in arts schools with quality resources, support, and networking opportunities. For more information, visit artsschoolsnetwork.org

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