The Role of the Arts in Reopening Schools

This sharing session is a facilitated conversation on the strategies different communities are taking to maximize the role of the arts in reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilitators and participants share and listen to become stronger actors in their respective communities. Facilitators focus on developing answers to the following questions:

  • What are the issues that teachers, schools and systems face with school reopenings?
  • In what ways, if any, can the arts address each of those concerns?
  • What actions do arts education educators, leaders and administrators need to take in order to ensure that communities are maximizing the positive benefits of the arts and creative teaching in these circumstances?

Presenter Bios

Jackson Knowles has worked for 20 years at the intersections of arts, education, equity and community. At MINDPOP she collaborates with artists, teachers and school administrators to bring systems-level educational change to life. At New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, she led programs that connected the conservatory with its broader community, including a student-led food truck and theater and dance projects centered on local civil rights history. She began her career performing with Rosy Simas Danse and working at MN Citizens for the Arts and the Guthrie Theater.

Brent Hasty serves as the executive director of MINDPOP, a solutions-based organization that supports communities in the design and implementation of systemwide Creative Learning Initiatives to increase access to the arts and leverage the benefits of creative learning. Examples such as the Creative Learning Initiative in Austin, Texas, and mindALIGNED in New Jersey, represent successful and scalable models of collective impact that have increased access, participation and impact of the arts, community partnerships and creative learning across large school systems.

Deborah Lugo is the executive director of Arts Connect Houston, a citywide collective impact coalition working to ensure equity of arts education and creative learning for public school students. Through her work, Deborah facilitates strategic alignments and opportunities to expand access to arts education for students throughout the Houston ISD. Deborah, originally from Puerto Rico, holds a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Florida International University.

Access additional 2020 AEP Virtual Gathering resources here.

Author profile