2019 COCAedu Summer Institute for Arts Integration for Teachers

July 22–24, 2019

Join us for the 2019 COCAedu Summer Institute for Arts Integration for Teachers, July 22–24 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.

Presented by:

2019 Highlights Include: 

    • Arts Integration learning experiences with Kennedy Center teaching artists
    • One BRAND NEW intensive workshop (7.5 hours)
    • Two BRAND NEW 2.5 hour workshops
    • NEW partnership with ADL presenting Beauty and Bias

Registration fee
The cost for participation in the Summer Institute is only $250. Current COCAedu partners and COCA teaching artists may contact Janelle Velten at jvelten@cocastl.org or 314.561.4889 to inquire about additional discounts.

Three easy steps to Register for the 2019 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 jvelten@cocastl.org 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: Begin an Arts Integrated Journey

Explore foundational strategies and approaches for creating an arts integrated classroom.

Facilitated by: Kassie Misiewicz, Susan Kopp, Emily Kohring & Alice Bloch

  • Acting Right: Drama as a Classroom Management Strategy AND Living Pictures (7.5 hours)
  • How to DO IT! Planning an Arts Integrated Unit of Study (2.5 hours)
  • Transforming Classroom Culture Through the Arts (2.5 hours)
  • Dancing the Cosmos: Understanding Our Solar System Through Dance (2.5 hours)

Register for Toolkit 1

Toolkit 2: STEAM

Explore intersections in science, technology, engineering, arts and math

Facilitated by: Jamin Carter, Roxane McWilliams, ADL & Aaron Holdmeyer

  • Think Like a Scientist: Developing Science Practices Through Visual Art (7.5 hours)
  • Scoring the Story Using Music to Evoke Mood, Accentuate Imagery and Create Meaning (2.5 hours)
  • iPad for the Classroom (3 hours)
  • NEW Beauty and Bias (2 hours)

Register for Toolkit 2

Toolkit 3: Keeping it Fresh

BRAND NEW workshops to expand the toolkit of current practitioners of arts integration AND, back by popular demand, Studio Habits of Mind!

Facilitated by: Roxane McWilliams, Syrhea Conaway, Jason Vasser-Elong & Abby Crawford

  • NEW Creative Flow: Increasing Reading and Writing Fluency through the Arts (7.5 hours)
  • NEW Sonic Imagination (2.5 hours)
  • NEW Let’s W.R.A.P! Write, Read, Analyze and Process (2.5 hours)
  • Studio Habits of Mind (2.5 hours)

Register for Toolkit 3

Toolkit 4: Social Justice

Explore arts integrated practices to build a socially just classroom

Facilitated by Jamin Carter, Cheeraz Gormon, Susan Kopp & ADL

  • Reading Art Across the Curriculum: Observe, Infer, Inquire (7.5 hours)
  • Image Control (2.5 hours)
  • NEW Observation, Inference, and the Power of Purposeful Conversation (2.5 hours)
  • NEW Beauty and Bias (2 hours)

Register for Toolkit 4

Schedule of Events:

Monday, July 22
8:15AM-9:45AM: Workshop Session 1
10:00AM-12:30PM: Workshop Session 2
12:3PM-1:30PM: Lunch
1:30PM-4:00PM: Workshop Session 3

Tuesday, July 23
9:00AM-11:30AM: Workshop Session 1
11:30AM-1:00PM Lunch
1:00pm-3:30PM: Workshop Session 2

Wednesday, July 24
9:00AM-11:30AM: Workshop Session 1
11:30AM-12:30PM Lunch
12:30-3:00PM: Workshop Session 2

Meet Your Facilitators:

Alice Bloch


ALICE BLOCH, 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 an educator, artist, activist and minister who calls Memphis, TH his home. He holds a BFA in sculpture and painting and a MAT in visual art education.  As an educator he has had many years of experience working as a public school teacher in several diverse, Title One classrooms ranging from elementary art to high school studio art and AP art history. Additionally he has served as a mentoring coach for elementary and middle school art educators across his school district. As a national 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 oil painting, sculpture and mixed media. Working out of his studio in Memphis he participates in exhibitions, volunteers as a consultant for public art works, facilitates panel discussions and occasionally curates shows. Jamin spends his life with his wife Becky, son Benjamin and daughter Malea in the midtown area of the city where they garden, take walks, host neighborhood events and are usually building or fixing something.

Abby Crawford

Abby Crawford is the Director of Education. 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.

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

  Cheeraz Gormon is a visual storyteller, poet, author, and award-winning advertising copywriter, two-time TEDxGatewayArch speaker, 2019 St. Louis Regional Arts Commission Artist Fellow, 2017-2019 Storytelling Fellow at InPower Institute, 2016 apexart International Arts Fellow, 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.

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

  Roxane McWilliams is a teaching artist, actor and musician. Over her 20-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

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.

Jason N. Vasser-Elong

Jason N. Vasser-Elong is a poet and essayist that was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri but has maternal ancestral roots in Cameroon, Central Africa. In 2014 the Cameroon Royal Council gave the name Elong (Eh-long) to him, and after embracing it, he added that name to reflect his family’s legacy. He earned a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from the University of Missouri – St. Louis after studying cultural anthropology and presenting his ethnographic research Rhyme and Reason: Poetics as Societal Dialogue. The author of shrimp (2Leaf Press), his debut collection of poetry, also has an essay“Treading the Atlantic” in the special edition of the Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies – Netherlandic Migrations: Narratives from North America. Among other publications, Jason’s work can also be found in Black Lives Have Always Mattered (2 Leaf Press, 2017), edited by Abiodun Oyewole, Crossing the Divide: From the poets of Saint Louis (Vagabond, 2016), and Unveiling Visions: The Alchemy of The Black Imagination (2016), among others. Jason is a lover of the visual and performing arts having served as the curator for Context II, an art exhibition at the Foundry Art Center in St. Charles, Missouri, that ran from August –September of 2017 and the Global Cultures exhibit in Manchester, which ran from May 14th – June 6th. Jason currently works in community arts at the Missouri Arts Council.


Anti-Defamation League

The ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. ADL is a global leader in exposing extremism and delivering anti-bias education, and is a leading organization in training law enforcement.



Presenting Sponsor:



With Additional Support Provided by:

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 1.32.09 PM


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

Hosted by:

30 District Stacked 032317 white30web