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2018 Registration is Now Open!

Summer Institute 2018

Presented by:

2018 COCAedu Summer Institute for Arts Integration for Teachers

July 23–25, 2018

Save the date for the 2018 COCAedu Summer Institute for Arts Integration for Teachers, July 23–25 at the School District of University City Administrative Office.

Teaching artists and facilitators from across the country lead teachers through three days of learning experiences that provide concrete strategies for the classroom.

2018 Highlights Include: 

    • An in depth exploration of the Studio Habits of Mind with Jillian Hogan- author of the new book Studio Thinking for Elementary Schools
    • Arts Integration learning experiences with Kennedy Center teaching artists
    • Two brand new pilot workshops
    • COCAedu Cohort of teachers sharing their action research findings from the 2017–2018 school year


Three easy steps to Register for the 2018 Summer Institute!

1. Read about each of the 4 toolkits and determine which one is the best fit for you

2. Register for the Summer Institute by choosing a toolkit below

3. Book a hotel and transportation if necessary


Contact Janelle Velten, COCAedu Program Manager – Arts Integration Specialist, at or 314.561.4889

Choose Your Toolkit:

Each registered educator will select one of the following tracts, incorporating a diverse set of sessions and facilitators.

Session Descriptions

Toolkit 1: Engage and Persist - Beginning an Arts Integrated Journey

Explore foundational strategies and approaches for creating an arts integrated classroom.  Facilitated by: Kassie Misiewicz, Emily Kohring, Susan Kopp, Jillian Hogan & Julie Toole

  • Acting Right: Drama as a Classroom Management Strategy AND Living Pictures (7.5 hours)
  • Transforming Classroom Culture Through the Arts (2.5 hours)
  • How to DO IT! Planning an Arts Integrated Unit of Study (2.5 hours)
  • Studio Habits of Mind (2.5 hours)

Register for Toolkit 1

Toolkit 2: Developing Craft

Explore concrete strategies that span the curriculum.

Facilitated by: Jamin Carter, Cheeraz Gormon, Susan Kopp & Aaron Holdmeyer

  • Reading Art Across the Curriculum: Observe, Infer, Inquire (7.5 hours)
  • Image Control (2.5 hours)
  • How to DO IT! Planning an Arts Integrated Unit of Study  (2.5 hours)
  • iPad for the Classroom (2.5 hours)

Register for Toolkit 2

Toolkit 3: Express

Create works that convey an idea, a feeling or personal meaning.

Facilitated by: Kassie Misiewicz, Alice Bloch, Roxane McWilliams & Emily Kohring

  • Acting Right: Drama as a Classroom Management Strategy AND Living Pictures (7.5 hours)
  • Dancing the Cosmos: Understanding Our Solar System through Dance (2.5 hours)
  • Scoring the Story: Using Music to Evoke Mood, Accentuate Imagery and Create Meaning (2.5 hours)
  • Transforming Classroom Culture Through the Arts (2.5 hours)

Register for Toolkit 3

Toolkit 4: Observe - STEAM

Explore intersections of teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, arts and math through attending to visual contexts.

Facilitated by Jamin Carter, Aaron Holdmeyer, Syrhea Conaway, and Roxane McWilliams

  • Think Like a Scientist: Developing Science Practices Through Visual Art (7.5 hours)
  • iPad for the Classroom (2.5 hours)
  • Around the Clock (2.5 hours)
  • Scoring the Story: Using Music to Evoke Mood, Accentuate Imagery and Create Meaning (2.5 hours)

Register for Toolkit 4

Schedule of Events:

Monday, July 23
7am: Breakfast
8am: Defining Arts Integration (required participation for 1st time attendees)
9:35am-10:20am: Opening Plenary Studio Habits of Mind
10:25am-12:55pm: Workshops
12:55pm-1:45pm: Lunch
1:45pm-4:15pm: Workshops 

Tuesday, July 24
8am: Breakfast
9am-11:30am: Workshops
11:35am-12:55pm: Lunch (action research presentations and roundtable discussions)
1pm-3:30pm- Workshops

Wednesday, July 25
8am: Breakfast
9am-11:30am: Workshops
11:30am-12:25pm: Lunch
12:30pm-3pm: Workshops

Meet Your Facilitators:

Alice Bloch


Alice Bloch is a 2013 RAC Artists Fellow, has a doctorate in dance history from Temple University and a choreographic MA from UCLA. An Arts Integration specialist, Alice teaches STEAM, literacy, and peace-making curricula and presented the workshop, Dancing a Peaceful World at the Educators for Social Conference, and The Brain Dance at Stephens College. In 2016, she presented Abstract Dance/Abstract Art and Visual Arts and Dance: Strategies for Arts Integration in Early Childhood Classrooms at the St Louis Art Museum. A nationally renowned specialist in Isadora Duncan dance, her lecture-performances include Dancing the Supermom: Isadora Duncan as a Template for Today’s Single Working Mothers, and Isadora Duncan and the Dance of Democracy, presented at the National Dance Education Organization national conference, and the Isadora Duncan International Symposium. Recent productions include DanceLife: Celebrating 50 Years of Dancing, at COCA in 2014, and Together Again: Alice Bloch and Friends, Dance: Adrian Walker and Friends, Music, in 2015 in Christ Church Cathedral’s Shepley Series. She dances to poetry in The Watching Heart: a Journey in Peace, with Rumi scholar and poet Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz. Alice’s 2016 residency for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Arts’ Art of American Dance exhibit included the lecture/performance, Isadora and the New Woman, docent trainings, and arts integrated children’s classes. Alice is president of the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) and the Missouri Dance Organization. She was the lead dance writer for The Encyclopedia of Religion and Culture (Facts on File, forthcoming).

Jamin Carter

carter-jamin Jamin Carter is a visual artist and art educator. He holds a BFA in sculpture and painting and a Masters of Arts in Teaching in visual art education.  As an educator, he has experience teaching in K-12 classrooms and taught studio art and AP art history in a public high school. He spent five years working as an art educator in three diverse Title I schools ranging from grades K-8. Additionally, he has worked as a mentor in elementary and middle school art classrooms modeling skills and techniques that utilize arts integration as well as other unique approaches to art education.  As an artist, Jamin has worked in various mediums such as oil painting, sculpture and brush with ink. He currently has a studio in Memphis where he has exhibited work and served as a consultant for public art works with the Urban Arts Commission and Vita Brevis.

Syrhea Conaway

conaway-syrhea 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 the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) ‘s Summer Institute which aims to bring art integration to school curriculum.

Cheeraz Gormon

 Gormon.Cheeraz Cheeraz Gormon is a visual storyteller, poet, author, and award-winning advertising copywriter, two-time TEDxGatewayArch speaker, 2016 apexart International Arts Fellow, 2018 Storytelling Fellow at InPower Institute a division of Emerging Wisdom, and every bit a native daughter of St. Louis, Missouri. As a poet, Gormon has opened for scholars Cornell West, Dr. Dennis Kimbrow, MacArthur Genius educator and curator Dr. Deborah Willis, Hip-Hop impresario Russell Simmons, and has performed on stages nationally, and internationally. Her poetry has been featured on Ebony Magazine online, Huffington Post, St. Louis Public Radio, and on-air in London, England and Portland, Oregon. She is a member of St. Louis-based Screwed Arts Collective, founding committee member of the St. Louis Brick City Poetry Festival, founder and co-executive director of Sonic Arts United, a S.T.E.A.M. based nonprofit, founder and executive director of Sibling Support Network, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting people who have lost siblings to violence.

Jill Hogan

 Jill Hogan Jillian Hogan is a Ph.D. student in Developmental Psychology in the Arts & Mind Lab at Boston College. She holds an M.M. and B.M. in Music Education and Clarinet Performance from Boston Conservatory and has additional training in Montessori and Orff-Schulwerk approaches. In her research, she uses mixed methods to investigate what we learn through arts education and how those findings align with public perceptions. Her primary interest is the teaching and learning of habits of mind in visual art and music education, which is informed by teaching for six years in schools that specialize in gifted, inclusion, and autism spectrum disorder populations. She is an author of Studio Thinking for Elementary Schools.

Aaron Holdmeyer

holdmeyer-aaron Aaron Holdmeyer has been working in film and video production for nearly 10 years. After graduating from Webster University with degrees in History and Video Production, the latter with departmental honors, he has sought out documentary style projects.  His expertise in the area has allowed him to work with Emmy Award winning producers, several area nonprofits and larger production companies.  His knowledge in documentary filmmaking informs his work and artistic style in other forms of video work, particularly his ability to work in small production teams and create lasting bonds with clients. Outside of filmmaking, Aaron teaches across the St. Louis area, most notably at COCA where he works to pass on his knowledge to future generations.

Emily Kohring

kohring-emily Emily Kohring is a St. Louis based teaching artist and arts education consultant with more than two decades of experience in arts integration in the K-12 classroom. Currently she is the Executive Director of Artscope, a youth-focused community arts organization in Tower Grove Park. Before recently returning to St. Louis, she was Director of Arts Education at the Montana Arts Council, where she was a key player in the revision and adoption of Montana’s Standards for Arts and created the Montana Teacher Leaders in the Arts statewide professional learning network for K-12 educators. Prior to that, she spent nine years as Education Director and Artistic Associate at Metro Theater Company in St. Louis. While Education Director, Metro received a FOCUS St. Louis Award for “Creating High-Quality Education Opportunities” for St. Louis youth. She oversaw all of Metro’s theater programs for K-12 students and educators, including their signature program “Building Community through Drama”, honored with a Promising Practices Award from the Character Education Partnership. She taught Integrating the Arts for Elementary Educators at Maryville University. She has facilitated professional development for K-12 educators for both the Montana Arts Council and Missouri Arts Council, COCA/INTERCHANGE, the Creative Pulse program at the University of Montana, CHARACTERplus and the St. Louis Art Museum. Emily was previously a theatre instructor at Grand Center Arts Academy, a charter school for the visual and performing arts. Emily has been involved in the development of multiple new plays for young audiences as a director and dramaturg. She served on the faculty of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training Institute, a national training model to build community arts programming with underserved communities. While with the Montana Arts Council, she served as the Western Region Co-Chair for the Arts Education Working Group of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. She received her MFA in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University.

Susan Kopp

 Kopp.Susan 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.  Susan has also been teaching Creative Music for Metro’s Creative Arts Camps for the past four years, and works to develop educational programs for Solid Lines Productions.   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 Citilites. Directing credits include Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy for Coca Theatre Company, and a staged reading of Colin Healy’s new musical The Gringo under the Art Space Initiative program at COCA.  She has also directed a variety of musicals for young performers, including Seussical, Willy Wonka, Jr., and The Jungle Book.  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 and Titus Andronicus.  Susan is the proud wife of theatre artist Tom Kopp, and mother to Jesse and Shane, and stepdaughter Amaya.

Roxane McWilliams 

mcwilliams-roxane Roxane McWilliams is a teaching artist, actor and musician. Over her 20-year career as an educator, she has taught a wide array of students 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 COCA/Interchange. 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. Most recently, she served as a faculty member for both COCA’s Summer Institute in St. Louis, and the Teacher Leaders in the Arts program in Pablo, Montana. As an actor, Roxane has performed with many St. Louis theater companies, most notably, Metro Theater Company. As a musician, Roxane writes and performs music for children. She plays a variety of instruments including, piano, accordion, and ukulele. 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

misiewicz-kassie Kassie Misiewicz is a professional Theatre for Youth director and educator. She has created innovative curriculum and taught teachers and students all over the United States. She is the Executive Artistic Director and Founder of Tricycle Theatre for Youth (Trike Theatre) in Bentonville, Arkansas. Before moving to Arkansas, Kassie was the director of the Education Outreach program at the Seattle Children’s Theatre and Associate Artistic Director at First Stage Children’s Theater in Milwaukee.  She received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Theatre for Young Audiences from Arizona State University and her BA in Theatre from the University of Notre Dame. She has taught and/or directed at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Arizona State University, Walton Arts Center, Growing Stage Theatre for Young Audiences and the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.   She is a former executive board member of TYA/USA, the national service organization for Theater for Youth professionals.

Julie Toole

 Julie Tool Julie Toole teaches 1st-8th grade art at Baker Demonstration School in Wilmette, IL. She began teaching 28 years ago and spent the majority of her career in Chicago Public Schools. She is on the National Leadership Team for Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB), a child-centered studio pedagogy. She is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences and has written articles on TAB for School Arts and Arts & Education.  In addition to her teaching, she organizes and leads professional development for art educators who are interested in incorporating more voice and choice into their art programs. Her art program will be featured in the upcoming book, Studio Thinking for Elementary Schools.

Presenting Sponsor:



With Additional Support Provided by:

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Norman J. Stupp Foundation
Cardinals Cares
Boeing Employee Community Fund
Kinder Morgan
Albrecht Family Foundation
Come Together Ferguson Fund

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