Arts Conferences in Tennessee by Grantees

By Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education

Dr. Natalie Nixon leads a Design Thinking session at statewide arts conference in 2018

This time of year usually marks a swirl of activity around conference planning. A few years back, the TN Arts Commission established a biennial convening schedule by offering the Tennessee Arts & Arts Education Conference every other summer, combining the statewide conference for arts administrators with the arts education and arts integration professional development offered to teachers and artists formerly known as the Creativity in Education Institute and the Summer Intensive. The joint conference is an exciting opportunity to bring together administrators, educators and artists to learn best practices, strategies in arts management and education, lesson demonstrations, collaborative work, networking and more. This broad network of stakeholders explores an overarching theme together while applying new content to work in their communities. Last summer’s theme was Design Thinking: A Pathway to Innovation in the Arts.

Teachers attend session on TN Fine Arts Standards at statewide arts conference in 2018

While the TN Arts Commission will not be holding a statewide arts conference in the summer of 2019, we are beginning planning for the Tennessee Arts & Arts Education Conference in the summer of 2020. Look out for 2020 conference dates to mark your calendars. In the meantime, there are many organizations around Tennessee offering professional development. The following list highlights workshops and training made available by several TN Arts Commission grantees, some of which have registration open to the public while others are directed to individual school districts or specific communities.

Conference attendee participates in Design Thinking challenge

ArtsBuild offers an annual Partners in Education workshop series  in partnership with Hamilton County Department of Education and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that covers instruction techniques in arts integration.

Global Education Center offers a Summer Multicultural Arts Institute in late July/early August as well as several one-day workshops covering teaching strategies that embrace students’ cultural traditions through the arts.

Southeast Center for Education in the Arts is working with a team of arts specialists and classroom teachers from the Chattanooga region to develop STEAM-based, arts integrated units targeting the arts and literacy.

Tennessee Art Education Association is offering the East TN Regional Spring Conference in Knoxville this April and the Annual Fall State Conference October 24-26, 2019 in Nashville geared toward visual arts specialists.

Tennessee Arts Academy offers professional development for K-12 classroom teachers, administrators and specialists in music, theatre and visual art, including arts integration, during a week-long intensive each July in Nashville.

Tennessee Performing Arts Center offers a series of Arts Integration Institutes in the summer and fall of 2019 in which participants are guided through instructional approaches using specific works of art selected as ArtSmart Focus Works.