Join us for the 2021 COCAedu Autumn Institute!

The 2021 COCAedu Autumn Institute is a one-day, in-person professional development opportunity for educators on Saturday, October 16. Facilitators lead educators through learning experiences that provide concrete strategies and best practices for successfully integrating the arts into the classroom.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Brittany Woods Middle School
8125 Groby Rd, University City, MO 63130

Registration Fee | $250

Registration Information:

Registration is now open. To register, participants select either ONE full day workshop or TWO half day workshops (one AM option and one PM option).

Registration fee includes:

  • Participation in “in-person” workshops on October 16
  • Three (3) hours of classroom support
  • Breakfast and lunch provided (Please note dietary restrictions during registration.)

Register Online

New This Year:

Classroom support beyond the Autumn Institute workshops

Participants receive classroom support from COCAedu teaching artists to help implement a strategy from the Autumn Institute. The classroom support may be live, virtual, or a combination.

Classroom support can be in the form of:

  1. Demonstration teaching by teaching artist
  2. Observation of the classroom teacher/feedback from the teaching artist
  3. Facilitated lesson planning with teaching artist

Classroom support details:

  • Dates will be scheduled between November 1, 2021 and May 27, 2022 at the mutual discretion of the classroom teacher and teaching artist (scheduling will be facilitated by COCAedu).

CHOOSE YOUR SESSIONS:

Participants may register for either ONE full day workshop or TWO half day workshops (one AM option and one PM option).

FULL DAY WORKSHOPS

Studio Habits of Mind and Arts Integration Through Studio Stations (5 hours)

Facilitators: Abby Crawford & Susan Kopp

Studio Thinking is a framework designed by practitioners at Project Zero (the research arm of Harvard’s School of Education). Out of the Studio Thinking framework comes the Studio Habits of Mind, a set of eight dispositions that an artist uses.  Participants will examine how the framework is used inside and outside of schools in curriculum planning, teaching, and assessment across arts and non-arts disciplines.  Participants will then be introduced to a model to integrate the arts into a unit of study and explore deepening student connection to the material through the joy of creativity and the power of choice.

Objectives:

  • Define 8 Studio Habits of Mind
  • Explore research behind the development of the Studio Habits of Mind framework
  • Develop strategies for using the Studio Habits of Mind as a bridge between the arts and any classroom content
  • Learn how to leverage Studio Habits of Mind in crafting and executing a Studio Station experience for students
  • Examine the language of Purposeful Conversation to aid creative collaboration

Register for session

Acting Right: Drama as a Classroom Management Strategy (5 hours)

Facilitator: Kassie Misiewicz/STL classroom support: Alicia Like

Participants explore the foundational elements of acting such as concentration, cooperation, and collaboration and create a structured process which can become the basis for effective classroom management every day. This engaging step-by-step approach empowers students to take ownership of and be responsible for their own behavior. Participants learn how to help students build the skills necessary to establish a sense of self control, accountability, and team building in the classroom.

Objectives:

  • Develop a drama-based classroom management strategy using:
    • The Actor’s Toolbox
    • Concentration Circles
    • Cooperation Challenges
    • One Minute Challenges

Register for session

Reading Art Across the Curriculum: Observe, Infer, Inquire (5 hours)

Facilitator: Jamin Carter/ STL Teaching Artist support: Roxane McWilliams

Visual art is a text that students of all reading abilities can access. This workshop introduces the language of visual art so that teachers feel confident looking, thinking, and talking about art with their students. Join us to learn about resources for building a library of images that can be used to efficiently build background knowledge, teach content, generate points of inquiry for research, and assess understandings in social studies, science, and reading.

Objectives:

  • Observe art, talk about art, interpret art and inquire about art
  • Learn how to facilitate Pass the Painting in the classroom
  • Learn how to guide students in making observations/descriptions of artwork and then evidence-based inferences and inquiry
  • Assess understanding of content through reading, describing and interpreting art as visual text

Register for session

Image Control (5 hours)

Facilitator: Cheeraz Gormon

Description: Advertising is a powerful tool. Just as artists use the power of words and images to affect an audience, advertisers use art for commerce. Participants in this workshop explore the effects of advertising on people while building visual and media literacy.

Objectives:

  • Define advertising
  • Increase understanding of how advertising affects individuals
  • Examine perception of self and others and the effect of those perceptions on relating to self and others
  • Analyze images
  • Image and explore empowering images

Register for session


AM HALF DAY WORKSHOPS

Let’s WRAP about it! (2.5 hours)

Facilitator: Jason Vasser-Elong

This session offers insight and practical activities for teachers to get students writing, reading, analyzing, and processing existing curricula. To stimulate learning, this workshop integrates creative writing prompts with visual observation. Participants can expect to have modelled student centered, arts-based lesson plans, designed to scaffold existing knowledge with new concepts.

Objectives:

  • Learn practical activities that incorporate creative writing into existing curricula
  • Learn strategies that stimulate existing knowledge
  • Learn Show Me Standards to anchor the objectives used

Register for session


The Active Voice (2.5 hours)

Facilitator: Pacia Elaine Anderson

Spoken word poetry is an artform that fuses the written and the spoken word in an energetic exchange between the presenter and the listener. This exchange is the conduit for a broad expanse of communication styles such as voice, physicality, and emotion. In this workshop, participants learn the basics of spoken word, how to use its mechanics in the classroom to expand their communication skills, and develop innovative resources to assist in creating a dynamic, participatory learning environment.

Objectives:

  • Learn about the art and history of spoken word poetry
  • Explore the technical aspects of spoken word to connect students to a variety of concepts across a range of subject matter
  • Examine the use of dynamism to develop a sender/receiver exchange that fosters a co-creative learning experience
  • Design a personal toolkit of ideas, activities, and strategies for classroom application

Register for session


PM HALF DAY WORKSHOPS

Sonic Imagination (3 hours)

Facilitator: Syrhea Conaway

In the workshop, participants take an exploratory approach in investigating where sound comes from, with imaginative, psychological, and branding elements that enable participants to think in a new and expanded way.

Objectives:

  • Understand the basic physics of sound
  • Identify sound cues
  • Explore the use of sound in branding
  • Explore the effects of sound on human beings

Register for session

Write On! Using Theatre Games, Scene Writing, and Classroom Performance to Strengthen Your Students’ ELA Skills and Engagement (3 hours)

Facilitator: Janet Brown

Learn to use simple theatre games in the classroom to inspire your students to engage in writing, reading, and speaking. Develop your comfort level with the process of coaching students in finding relevant topics, converting these to dramatic scenes, revising them, and performing them collaboratively in a classroom setting. (Teachers of upper elementary and middle school ELA are the primary groups for whom the workshop is designed).

 Objectives:

  • Learn simple theatre improvisation exercises to use as a means of developing and performing dialogue and situations to communicate a story
  • Learn strategies to coach students in finding relevant topics and developing these topics as written narratives
  • Learn strategies to coach students in converting their stories to scenes, revising them in rehearsal, and performing them collaboratively in a classroom setting

Register for session

MEET YOUR FACILITATORS:

Pacia Anderson

Pacia Elaine Anderson

Pacia Elaine Anderson is a St. Louis-based written, spoken and visual Word Artist whose work meets at the intersection of arts-learning and community development, with a focus on youth advocacy and the personal reclamation of the cultural traditions and customs of the African Diaspora. Pacia collaborates as a teaching artist, creative consultant, and community development and engagement strategist with numerous organizations and institutions, both locally and nationally. She is a graduate of the Community Arts Training Institute, an Urban Bushwomen SLI alumnae, New Leaders Council alumae, a 2021 Launch Code Moonshot Award finalist, and was recently named as the 2020-2021 STL Visionary Awards’ Community Impact Artist.

Janet Brown

Janet Brown

Janet Brown has devoted her career to arts education and the integration of the performing arts with ELA and other core subjects. Janet holds a BS in Secondary Education (ELA) and an MA and PhD in Speech and Drama from University of MO-Columbia. She has teaching experience at all levels from University of Hartford, where she chaired the Theatre Arts Department for six years, to Nerinx Hall High School, Brittany Woods Middle School, and residencies for elementary and middle school students in Hartford CT and in St. Louis. Janet is an experienced presenter of professional development in arts integration for classroom teachers, having offered week-long Summer Teacher Institutes for four years in partnership with the Hartford Stage Company. She also offered arts integration summer workshops for teachers through the Connecticut Department of Education.  Janet also has a background in educational administration and curriculum development, for the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, a magnet school where she was planning director and then artistic director, for COCA where she was one of the first directors of education and for Dance St. Louis, where she developed arts integration curriculum with visiting professional dancers as director of education. She is the author of two books on theatre criticism and several plays, for children and adults. Most recently, Janet has been teaching in-school arts integration residencies for COCA, and volunteering for Ready Readers.

Jamin Carter

Jamin Carter

Jamin is an educator, activist, artist, and minister who calls Memphis, TN his home. He holds a BFA in sculpture and painting and a MAT in visual art education. He has a decade and a half of experience in education. As a public school teacher he has worked in several diverse, Title One classrooms ranging from elementary art to high school studio art and AP art history.  As a national Kennedy Center teaching artist and arts integration consultant with Focus 5, Jamin leads visual art and drama-based workshops in schools, museums, and arts centers across the country and collaborates with other consultants on new and existing workshops.  As an artist, Jamin works in a variety of mediums, such as acrylics, mix media and sculpture. Working out of his studio in Memphis, he participates in exhibitions, facilitates panel discussions, and occasionally curates shows. Jamin spends his life with his wife Becky and three children-Benjamin, Malea and Xavier, in the midtown area of the city where they garden, take walks, host neighborhood events, and are usually building or fixing something.

Syrhea Conaway

Syrhea Conaway

Syrhea Conaway is a multi-instrumentalist and music instructor who lives and works in St. Louis. Writing, arranging, and performing music since age 10, Conaway has earned several medals in District, and State competitions as well as performing in Carnegie Hall with the National Youth Chorus at the age of 18. She has since twice performed for TEDx Gateway Arch in 2014 and 2017, given musical speeches for the Arts and Education Council, and opened for many national artist such as, Asobi Seksu, Future Islands, and Paul Rucker (cellist/artist). Conaway has also collaborated with world renown ensemble Alarm Will Sound for a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall in 2015, and participated as a member of New Music Circles’ St. Louis Ensemble collaboration led by LA electronic musician John Weise in the fall of 2017. She has most recently produced live sound design for the Peabody Award Winning Podcast “To the Best of Our Knowledge” that aired on 220 NPR station in June of 2017. Currently she has presented workshops in local schools, libraries and community centers, as well as for COCA ‘s Summer Institute which aims to bring art integration to school curriculum.

Abby Crawford

Abby Crawford

Abby Crawford is the Director of Education at COCA. Before joining COCA in 2016, Abby worked as a classroom teacher, program manager, and designer of teacher preparation and learning experiences in St. Louis, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Houston. Most recently, she worked with Teach For America St. Louis, launching a regional training institute for all incoming St. Louis corps members. Abby holds a BA in Political Science and Communication Studies from Texas Christian University and an MAT from Webster University.

 

Cheeraz Gorman

Cheeraz Gormon

Cheeraz Gormon is a writer, storyteller and public speaker who creates poetry, essays, photography, film, music and advertising. As a poet, Cheeraz has opened for Dr. Cornel West, Dr. Dennis Kimbro and MacArthur Fellow Dr. Deborah Willis. She is a two-time TEDxGatewayArch presenter and her poetry has been featured in Ebony Magazine and Huffington Post. Her first collection of poetry, “In The Midst of Loving,” was released in 2015. In 2016, Cheeraz was selected as an apexart International Arts Fellow, in 2018 she was named St. Louis Visionary Award Outstanding Working Artist and in 2019 was awarded the prestigious St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Artist Fellow in literary arts. In tandem with her work as an artist, Cheeraz is a certified adult Mental Health First Aid instructor and member of the STL Community Health Workers Coalition. Following the tragic loss of her brother, John Gormon Jr., Cheeraz founded Sibling Support Network, an organization dedicated to assisting people who have lost siblings to violent crime. For this work, she was featured in TIME magazine’s 2018 “Guns in America” issue. She is currently the Community Strategist for Counterpublic, a triennial art exhibition held by The Luminary Arts in St. Louis, MO and a freelance creative director in advertising. cheerazgormon.com

Susan Kopp

Susan Kopp

Susan Elaine Kopp is a professional actor, director, and teaching artist in St.  Louis. She works primarily as an instructor at COCA, teaching acting classes to students of various ages and levels.  Additionally, she teaches Arts Integrated Residencies for COCA, including the STEAM program. As an actor, Susan has appeared numerous times with Metro Theater Company, and originated the role of Jacket in their world premiere of Wesley Middleton’s play, Unsorted. Susan has also performed with Act Inc., West End Players Guild, New Line Theater, and Solid Lines Productions. She has also directed a variety of musicals for young performers, including Seussical, Willy Wonka, Jr., The Jungle Book, and Frozen. Susan is also a musician and songwriter. She has composed numerous songs for her trio Bell Weather, and original music for productions of Great Falls, Equivocation and Titus Andronicus. Susan is the proud wife of theatre artist Tom Kopp, and mother to Jesse and Shane, and stepdaughter Amaya.

Alicia Like

Alicia Like

Alicia Like is a teaching artist with St. Louis’ COCA – Center of Creative Arts, empowering children and youth to express themselves, be creative and be the stars they are truly meant to be. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Like is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. As a performer, she has performed with various regional theatre companies. Recently, Like is the host of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s on-demand videos series SLSO SoundLab, discussing how music can be heard, felt and seen.

Even through the pandemic, Like has found ways to take what she has learned on the stage to classrooms, assisting teachers to meet academic goals through creating, expression and play.

Roxane McWilliams

Roxane McWilliams

Roxane McWilliams is a teaching artist, actor and musician. Over her 25-year career as an educator, she has taught wide array of learning levels, ranging from preschool through high school in both public and private school settings. Roxane began her teaching career as a music and art specialist in a Montessori early learning environment and then moved to the public school setting as a middle school speech and drama teacher. In 2008, she shifted from the traditional classroom to become a teaching artist with Metro Theater Company and COCAedu. Through these arts organizations, Roxane has taught numerous arts integrated classroom residencies in schools as well as facilitating professional development for teachers throughout the St. Louis metro area. In addition to her work as a teaching artist, Roxane is an arts education consultant for the Missouri Arts Council. Through the Missouri Arts Council, Roxane travels all over the state of Missouri, coaching teachers as they develop and incorporate arts integration strategies into their classrooms. Roxane received her B.F.A. in acting from the University of Connecticut and her M.Ed. in curriculum design from the University of Missouri St Louis. Roxane is an Orff-Schulwerk certified teacher in music and holds her Missouri teacher’s certificate in the area of Speech and Theater.

Kassie Misiewicz

Kassie Misiewicz

Kassie Misiewicz (Artistic Director & Founder of Trike Theatre) is a professional theatre for youth director and educator. Kassie earned her MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University and a BA in Theatre from University of Notre Dame. Before starting Trike Theatre (Northwest Arkansas’ professional theatre for youth and families) in 2008, Kassie was the co-founder and first artistic director of TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, AR, Director of Education Outreach at Seattle Children’s Theatre and Associate Artistic Director at First Stage Children’s Theatre in Milwaukee. Currently, she is a national arts integration consultant with Focus5 and a national teaching artist with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Kassie loves to travel with her husband and two teenagers and have spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen.

Jason Vasser-Elong

Jason Vasser-Elong

Jason Vasser-Elong is a writer who earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UM-St. Louis) after studying cultural anthropology and presenting his ethnographic research Rhyme and Reason: Poetics as Societal Dialogue. His peer reviewed essay “Treading the Atlantic” appears in the special edition of the Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies and was presented at the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies conference as an introduction to the keynote lecture on post-colonial memory.  He has poems forthcoming in Sapiens Magazine and New Square literary journal. Jason’s debut collection of poetry Shrimp (2Leaf Press, 2018), analyses identity in a post-colonial context. His poetry and visual art are featured in the St. Louis American “Black St. Louis artists explore generations of racial trauma and how joy heals” by Andrea Y. Henderson. And as in his essay, published in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch “From kente cloth to shrimp: symbols tell powerful stories.” jvasserelong.com

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Health & Safety Procedures

Masks are to be worn by all facilitators and participants. COCA will continue to monitor public health data and make decisions based on the latest public health recommendations.

Questions?

Have questions or need to talk through costs? Contact Janelle Velten, COCAedu Program Manager – Arts Integration Specialist, at jvelten@cocastl.org or 314.561.4889.

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