ASN Annual Conference | Nov 6 - 13, 2020 | Virtual Convening


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Better Together:  Excelling in Extraordinary Times

A virtual learning conference presented by Arts Schools Network 

 At-A-Glance Schedule

Conference Day 1
Friday, November 6, 2020
Reimagining Arts Education: Adapting, Adjusting, and Achieving

Today we focus on what we know and do best: The arts, and how we are shaping them for the future.

7:00 am EST                 
Daily Communication & Student Performance Sent

12:00 pm EST             
Opening Remarks 

12:30 – 1:30 pm EST
LIVE Opening Keynote:  André De Shields
André De Shields originated the role of Hermes on Broadway in the musical Hadestown, winning the
2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical and the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical
Theater Album for his performance. 
1:45 – 2:45 pm EST     
SEEKing Insights from Arts
James Wells, Crayola
Watch Pre-Recorded Break Out Sessions (listen at your convenience):
What Do We Do in this Moment?
Cameron Knight, Professor of Theater, North Carolina School of the Arts
Rayme Cornell, Professor of Theater, Webster University
Building Community in Dance Education in the Age of COVID - Leading with Equity, Inclusion, Accountability, and Trust
Kesha McKey, Director of Dance, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA)
Cinematic Arts
Plotting the Future of Cinema: Leading and Inspiring the Fearless Filmmakers of Generation Z
Drew McClellan, Chair, Department of Cinematic Art, Los Angeles County School of the Arts
Visual Arts
Making the most of what you have; Adapting, Adjusting, and Achieving during instruction during this unique situation

Jessica L Bell, Visual Arts Instructor, Booker T. Washington School of the Visual and Performing Arts

Virtual Ensembles: How-To, Pros, and Cons
John Seaton, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts
5:00 pm EST                
LIVE Daily Knowledge Exchange

6:00 pm EST               
LIVE Coffee/Happy Hour Social Session

Conference Day 2
Monday, November 9, 2020
Maintaining Effectiveness during a Pandemic

Today we look to find new ways to adjust during a global pandemic by pivoting and reshaping old ways.

7:00 am EST                
Daily Communication & Student Performance Sent

12:00 pm EST             
LIVE Opening Remarks
12:15 pm EST             
LIVE Regional Moderated Discussions
Watch Pre-Recorded Break Out Sessions (listen at your convenience):
Leading Schools in Challenging and Uncertain Times
Dr. Michael Meeks, Consultant
Dr. Lynne Meeks, Consultant
Brad Hill, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA)
Navigating to the Opportunity Zone: Where Can Arts Schools Innovate after the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Jeff Poulin, Managing Director, Creative Generation
Dr. Dennie Palmer-Wolf, Principal Researcher, WolfBrown
Student Engagement: Learning from the past to inform present and future classrooms
Kim Wilson, Director, Arts In Basic Curriculum Project (ABC)
Carol Baker, Director of Outreach and Community Engagement, SC Governor's School for Arts & Humanities
Jennifer Thomas, Dean and Vice President of Arts and Academics, SC Governor's School for Arts & Humanities
Manifest Rises:  Columbia College Chicago's Urban Arts Festival Transitioned from Live to Digital in Six Shorts Weeks!
Kari L. Sommers, Associate Dean of Student Life, Columbia College Chicago
5:00 pm EST                
LIVE Daily Knowledge Exchange

Conference Day 3
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Dismantling the Status Quo - Issues of Equity

Today we do the work to address issues of inequity, racism, and discrimination in our schools.

7:00 am EST                
Daily Communication & Student Performance Sent

12:00 pm EST             
LIVE Opening Remarks

12:15 -1:30 pm EST   
LIVE Student Panel: Hearing the Voice of our Students
Moderated student panel discussion
Watch Pre-Recorded Break Out Sessions (listen at your convenience):
Drag Queen Story Time: What's All the Fuss?
Stuart Sanks (aka Shirley Delta Blow), The Studio School
Serving Marginalized Communities
Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, Director, Florida Center for the Partnerships for Arts Integrated Teaching
Centering Student Perspectives:  Uplifting Personal Storytelling in the Arts Classroom
Grace Hanna, Cinematic Arts Faculty, Los Angeles County High School of the Arts
Greg Grano, Cinematic Arts Faculty, Los Angeles County High School of the Arts
5:00 pm EST                
LIVE Daily Knowledge Exchange

Conference Day 4 (Leadership)
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Courageous Leadership:  A Special Day for School Leaders

Today we focus on the leaders of our schools. Providing deep-dive discussions on topics from the top.

7:00 am EST                
Daily Communication & Student Performance Sent

12:00 pm EST             
LIVE Welcome

12:15 -1:30 pm EST     
LIVE: Facilitated Conversation of School Leaders
Featuring: Marty Linsky, Facilitator/Speaker - Leadership in Times of Uncertainty
What does it mean to be in a position of senior authority in a moment of radical uncertainty?
How do you manage when the normal expectations on you to have all the answers are
exponentially intensified and you don’t have the foggiest idea of what to do? Of all the
qualities that enabled you to achieve your present success, which is now getting in the way
of addressing the challenges in front of you? Let’s try to tackle some of these questions and 
whatever else is keeping you awake at night. What adaptations have you made to deal with
the trifecta we are all experiencing: COVID, the future of race relations, and the most intense 
election season of our lives.
2:00 – 3:30 pm EST     
LIVE: Deep-Dive Break-Out Sessions (choose one/all sessions recorded and available)

Discussion 1:  Panel Discussion with College & University Deans & Presidents
Dr. Andrew T. Hsu
President, College of Charleston
Dr. Aldo Billingslea
Former Provost for Equity, Santa Clara University
Professor of Theater
Dr. Kwang-Wu Kim
President, Columbia College of the Arts
Dr. Nancy Uscher
Dean of the College of Arts and Science, University of Nevada Las Vegas
Discussion 2:  A Moderated Panel of School Leaders: 
How has the current environment changed schools and what will be changed going forward?
Lisa Sherman-Colt, Executive Director
Oakland School of the Arts, Oakland, CA
Christopher Swetckie, Principal
Howe Hall AIMS School, Goose Creek, SC
Richard Trujillo, Artistic Director
San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts, San Diego, CA
Briant Williams, Principal
Rainey McCullers School of the Arts, Columbus, GA
Moderated by: Mitzi Lizarraga, former ASN Board Member

Discussion 3:  The Four Horses of Teaching During COVID
Presenter:  Jaimee Collins, Partner, Adams & Reese, LLP
4:00 pm EST                
LIVE Social & Networking Coffee/Cocktail Hour

Conference Day 5
Friday, November 13, 2020

Creative Rejuvenation through Mindfulness, Self-Care & Deliberate Action

Today, we focus on your emotional health and well-being. Get centered, find space, and breathe.

7:00 am EST                
Daily Communication & Student Performance Sent

10:45 am EST                         
LIVE Opening Remarks

11:00 - 11:45 am  EST            
Pre-Recorded Keynote: Michelle C. Johnson
Meeting Uncertain Times with Mindfulness Practices: Michelle C. Johnson will share about the current cultural context and how we can meet these very uncertain times with mindfulness practices and techniques. 

Michelle Johnson is a social justice warrior, author, dismantling racism trainer, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner, and an intuitive healer. Michelle has a Bachelors of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Michelle published Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World in 2017; she teaches workshops in yoga studios and community spaces nationwide. She is on the faculty of Off the Mat Into the World, and she serves as the Co-Director of 18 Springs Healing Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Michelle was a Tedx speaker at Wake Forest University in 2019, and she has been interviewed on several podcasts in which she explores the premise and foundation of Skill in Action, along with creating ritual in justice spaces, our divine connection with nature and Spirit, and how we as a culture can heal.


12:15 pm - 1:15 pm EST        
LIVE: Achieving Peak Performance Through Creative Mindfulness                                                   
Edward Young III, E3 Motivates/Campuspeak 

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm EST          
LIVE:  Mindfulness, Social Emotional Learning, and the Arts
Peggy Burt, Mindful Strategies 

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm EST           
LIVE: Creative Healing: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Wellness through the Arts
Matthew Neylon, Director of Visual & Performing Arts, The Mount Vernon School
Shay Jones, Early Childhood Performing Arts Instructor, The Mount Vernon School
Brittany Maxwell, Director of Mindfulness & Dance Programs, The Mount Vernon School
Sarah Bristow, Learning Coach & Founder, Growing Grounded
4:00 - 4:30 pm EST                  
LIVE Welcome to Chicago! 
ASN 2021 Conference, Columbia College Chicago

4:30 - 4:45 pm EST                  
LIVE Closing Remarks


For more detailed information and descriptions for each session, please visit our event site

View Full Schedule



**Please note: the schedule is subject to change.