Sessions & Presentations

All Sessions & Presentations will be held on Thursday, March 26, at NOPSI Hotel.
Confirmed sessions and presenters as of February 21, listed below.


Click here for Lead Presenter bios.
Detailed agenda to follow.


Workshop Sessions A
10:15 am – 11:30 am


A1. Prints to Prose: Using Creating, Presenting, Responding, & Connecting to Enhance Reading, Writing, Speaking, & Listening

Deb Hansen, Education Associate for Visual & Performing Arts (retired), Delaware Department of Education

Research shows that young children are especially engaged in the author / writing process when they are engaged in the art making / illustrating processes of image creation. This session will utilize the media of printmaking to investigate both processes as young children explore the work of master artist / illustrators Eric Carle and Leo Lionni. Participants will explore how the artistic processes of Creating, Presenting, Responding, and Connecting – from the National Arts Standards – naturally provide learning opportunities for students to Read, Write, Speak, and Listen.

Based on the notable work of Beth Olshanky, from the University of New Hampshire’s Center for the Advancement of Arts-Based Literacy, this interactive session will provide participants with standards-aligned curriculum, instruction, and printmaking-specific pedagogy to develop a portfolio of prints which will become resources for collaging images. Along this visually creative journey, participants will develop strategies to facilitates student responses – individually and with their peers – to create story lines to connect their work.


A2. The Interplay between Research and Program Design: Early Childhood Professional Learning and Coaching (Pt. 1)

Helen Barahal, Executive Director, Teaching and Learning, Division of Early Childhood Education, NYC Department of Education
Nancy Morgan, Chief Programs Officer, Third Street Music School Settlement  
Darleen Garner, Director, Office of Arts & Special Projects, NYC Department of Education
Samantha Kearney, Manager of Professional Learning, Division of Early Childhood, NYC Department of Education
Lauren Bloom, Assistant Director, Third Street Partners
Judith Foster, Administrative Manager, Studio In A School  
Christopher Totten, Administrative Director of Education, The New Victory Theater
Sam Gold, Teaching Artist, The New Victory Theater
John-Mario Sevilla, Director, Harkness Dance Center – 92nd Street Y  
Erin Lally, Dance Artist, Harkness Dance Center – 92nd Street Y

The New York City Department of Education and its early childhood partners (92nd Street Y’s Dance Education Laboratory, The New Victory Theater, Studio In A School, and Third Street Music School Settlement) will share lessons learned about research and its impact on professional learning for early childhood teachers and site leaders. Over the course of three years, this collaboration of partners has provided early childhood professional learning called Create, utilizing research to inform the professional learning model and the delivery of coaching to Pre-K sites. Teams will discuss the research impact on teaching artist practice, organization capacity, and in shaping quality professional learning. Workshop participants will engage in early childhood learning activities modeled by partner organizations.


A3. More than a Feeling: Music, Art, and Social Emotional Learning

Sheila Womble, Executive Director, Arts for Learning Miami
Dia Carter Webb, Senior Program Director, Arts for Learning Miami
Jennifer Puig, Teaching Artist, Arts for Learning Miami

Through a recent partnership with Easter Seals South Florida’s Head Start Classrooms, Arts for Learning Miami piloted a two-year early learning music program to evaluate the effects of the arts and music on the social emotional development of children ages 3 to 5. Often children in Head Start programs are our community’s most vulnerable children, and educators and administrators seek resources to help their young students develop strong social emotional skills. Children eligible for Head Start are from families with incomes below the poverty guidelines, from families receiving public assistance, from families experiencing homelessness, or are in foster care.

In this workshop session, participants will learn hands-on activities used during the pilot program to support social emotional learning, such as impulse control, empathy, working together, and expressing feelings appropriately. Presenters will share and discuss the program’s gradual release design, partners, preliminary evaluation results, and plan for expansion to scale to reach all 348 Head Start classrooms in Miami.

A4. Teaching Artist Credential Professional Learning Webinars

The Teaching Artist Credential (TAC) Professional Development Committee is proud to announce the launch of the first round of professional development webinars that will be accessible to all teaching artists in the YA network! Join this session to: 1) Learn about the professional development opportunities available to YA affilaites; 2) Preview webinar content that has been designed by six Young Audiences National Credentialed Teaching Artists, in addition to an Education Equity webinar created by Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant Jillian Hubbard; and 3) Create an action plan for dissemination of nationally standardized and vetted PD to teaching artists in your community.


Panel Discussion
11:45 am – 1:45 pm

Practice, Policy, & Advocacy as it Informs Early Childhood Teaching & Learning

Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President, Education, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
Dr. Denese Shervington, Founder/CEO, Institute for Women & Ethnic Studies
Lynn Tuttle, Director of Policy, Research, & Professional Development, National Association for Music Education


Workshop Sessions B
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm


B1. Connecting STEAM Thinking and The Arts in Kindergarten Classrooms

Timothy Bellavia, Assistant Professor,  Touro College, Graduate School of Education 
Roslyn Haber, Assistant Professor, Touro College, Graduate School of Education
Susan Courey, Program Chair, Early Childhood General and Special Education, Touro College, Graduate School of Education
Ja’nese Brooks-Galathe, Curriculum Specialist / Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Louisiana

Will Bowling, Arts Integration Coordinator, Young Audiences of Louisiana

Description coming soon.


B2. The Interplay between Research and Program Design: Early Childhood Professional Learning and Coaching (Pt. 2)

Helen Barahal, Executive Director, Teaching and Learning, Division of Early Childhood Education, NYC Department of Education
Nancy Morgan, Chief Programs Officer, Third Street Music School Settlement  
Darleen Garner, Director, Office of Arts & Special Projects, NYC Department of Education
Samantha Kearney, Manager of Professional Learning, Division of Early Childhood, NYC Department of Education
Lauren Bloom, Assistant Director, Third Street Partners
Judith Foster, Administrative Manager, Studio In A School  
Christopher Totten, Administrative Director of Education, The New Victory Theater
Sam Gold, Teaching Artist, The New Victory Theater
John-Mario Sevilla, Director, Harkness Dance Center – 92nd Street Y  
Erin Lally, Dance Artist, Harkness Dance Center – 92nd Street Y


B3. Using Arts Integration for Centers in Early Childhood Classrooms

Todd Shaffer, Curriculum Specialist / Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Louisiana
Renee Benson, Arts Integration Coordinator / Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Louisiana

In this session, participants will learn techniques for integrating the arts into early childhood classroom during center time. The nature of content curricula is often scripted and fast-paced, making integrating the arts overwhelming at times. Center time – when multiple topic-grouped, independent learning areas are set up around the classroom – is the perfect time to bring the arts into the classroom curriculum, providing opportunities for effective, individualized intervention and student-centered learning. During center time, students are encouraged in work in the center that meets their interest and educational needs.

This session will discuss and demonstrate various arts-integrated experiences that work well in the center environment and address arts, math, and English Language Arts (ELA) standards. Examples include connecting math and early drawing skills, ELA and sculpture, and fine motor skill work. Participants will engage in a full visual arts and math center session, and they will walk away with several ideas and one completed plan for a center activity.

B4. Equitable Access: Community-Based Arts for Early Learners

Jenny James, Director of Education and Programs, Young Audiences of Louisiana
Chris Sheard, Teaching Artist, Young Audience of Louisiana
Cathy Christ, Assistant Director – DC / MD / VA, Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through
The Arts

Erika Villarreal Bunce, Director of Programs, Living Arts
Sicily McRaven, Detroit Wolf Trap Program Manager, Living Arts
Karilu Alarcon Forshee, Teaching Artist, Living Arts

Three affiliates of Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts will present about innovate community-based family programs. Young Audiences of Louisiana (Louisiana Wolf Trap), Living Arts (Detroit Wolf Trap), and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts (DC / MD / VA Wolf Trap) will share unique approaches to providing equitable access to community-based arts-learning services. Participants will learn about engaging children and caregivers in public spaces ranging from museums to libraries to community centers and will be encouraged to consider how these approaches might be adapted for their own communities. Wolf Trap Teaching Artists will provide hands-on learning by sharing easily replicable, developmentally appropriate, and culturally informed experiences for families in their programs.

In this session, participants will learn effective, fun, and easy-to-use arts tools for families with children ages 0-6, with emphasis on alignment to developmental stages, early literacy curriculum, and culturally informed Spanish-bilingual best practices that incorporate both the parent and child as learners. Participants will also explore programmatic structures in funding, development, staffing, training, and evaluation that sustain and grow early learning programs occurring in out-of-school places. Further, participants will learn about building effective relationships with community partners to ensure equitable access to public institutions, as well as arts and education experiences for families.


B5. Emerging Leaders Institute – Strategic Project Presentations

 Scott Sikkema, Education Director, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
Mark Diaz, Associate Director of Education, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education

Participants in the 2019 Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) will present the strategic projects they developed over the course of their participation in the year-long ELI program. This session will be facilitated by ELI program managers Scott Sikkema and Mark Diaz of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education.


Workshop Sessions C
3:45 pm – 5:00 pm


C1. Expanding Horizons Through Music

Gail Zarren, Program Director, Expanded Arts Access and Healing Arts for Kids, Young Audiences of Massachusetts
Liz Buchanan, Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Massachusetts

Inspired by a national call to reduce achievement gaps in early childhood education, and with research-generated knowledge that music can stimulate joy, engagement, learning, and social emotional development, Young Audiences of Massachusetts developed Expanding Horizons Through Music (EHTM) in partnership with Horizon for Children in Boston. EHTM is an arts integration program using music to teach foundational literacy and social emotional learning, and to foster self-regulation in preschool children experience poverty and homelessness. The EHTM trauma-informed flexible curriculum modem includes: yearlong weekly classroom music sessions for students; teacher professional development for integrating music in regular literacy instruction; and parental engagement through workshops, family events, and resource materials to empower families to reinforce learning though music beyond the classroom.

Participants will learn use of a Logic Model for program design and development; elements for successful partnerships; songs and music activities that support EHTM learning objectives of rhyming, counting, patterns / syllables, and self-regulation; and outcomes / challenges experienced.


C2. Panel Discussion: YA-Credentialed Teaching Artists

Carrie Ayvar, Teaching Artist, Arts for Learning Miami
Molly Johnson, Teaching Artist, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania
Quynn Johnson, Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Maryland

YA-Credentialed teaching artists discuss their respective practices and illuminate the rigor of the work that qualified them to earn the National Residency Teaching Artist Credential


C3. Using Evaluation for Early Childhood Program Improvement

Jenny James, Director of Education and Programs, Young Audiences of Louisiana
Dr. Yvette Clinton, Principal Investigator, ICF

Evaluation is a powerful tool for program improvement. In this session, presenters will share how Young Audiences of Louisiana (YALA) has leveraged the relationship with stakeholders including school leaders, teachers, and teaching artists, to gather and analyze data for the purposes of better meeting young children’s education needs through program improvement. Presenters will share how lessons learned form the evaluation results of the Arts Integrated Professional Development (AIPD) for Kindergarten and First Grade teachers and their students led to the improvement of the AIPD model and to the development of a comprehensive whole-school arts integration model that supports teachers of early learners (e.g., Pre-K) as well as older students.

This interactive session will be a mixture of examples and information sharing from presenters; whole group and small group discussion among audience members; and opportunities for participants to adapt and apply YALA’s approaches to using evaluation findings for improvement to their own early childhood programs. Participants will gain access to sample evaluation tools that are adaptable to their own work; learn how to evaluate and document changes in school and teaching environments; and generate ideas about how they might use evaluation to make positive changes to their programs.


C4. Dance Hacks for Busy Classroom Teachers

Cynthia Pepper, Teaching Artist, Young Audiences of Northern California

Dance Hacks for Busy Classroom Teachers will be an active movement session where participants will learn a sampling of cultural dances and math activities. These dance challenges have been developed to be skill-appropriate for young learners.

We will start by learning two cultural dances that can be easily modified for age groups, including younger students ages 3-7. These dances may include: The Virginia Reel (Scotland), Wade in the Water (United States), KUKU (West Africa), Los Machetes (Mexico), Bluge (India), or N’gun Atik (Israel). The dances touch on a variety of important kinetic skills, exploring movement and pattern ideas while introducing young learners to concepts in geometry. Participants will walk away with samples of easy-to-share movement activities that enhance mathematics introductions and open up classrooms to the wonderful world of cultural dance.

C5. Emerging Leaders Institute – Strategic Project Presentations

 Scott Sikkema, Education Director, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
Mark Diaz, Associate Director of Education, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education

Participants in the 2019 Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) will present the strategic projects they developed over the course of their participation in the year-long ELI program. This session will be facilitated by ELI program managers Scott Sikkema and Mark Diaz of Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education.


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