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Teacher Feature: Eliza Blaker School 55 Visual Art Teacher, Heather Boelke

Heather Boelke
Art Teacher (PK-6)
Eliza Blaker School 55

Heather Boelke, Art Teacher at Eliza Blaker School 55 was selected to attend the Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference in June 2017 on behalf of Any Given Child Indy. Mrs. Boelke will be attending the conference from June 26 – 28 in Arlington, Virginia.

When asked why she is excited for the opportunity to attend the Arts Integration Conference, Mrs. Boelke said, “The arts are an asset for engaging students in curriculum and encouraging success.  I am incredibly thankful that our community recognizes the intrinsic value of the arts in education! The Kennedy Center’s Arts Integration Conference is an incredible opportunity to learn new tools and techniques, which will assist our making gains in student achievement.”

About Mrs. Boelke

Heather (O’Cull) Boelke was born and raised in Westfield, Indiana.  As the daughter of engineer and entrepreneur Larry O’Cull and master seamstress Anna O’Cull, she developed a passion for creating at a very young age and remained heavily invested in visual and performing arts throughout her youth. She graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2012, with a BS in Visual Art Education and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship. With an innovative mindset and broad exposure to STEAM, her unique perspective stood out amongst her collegiate peers.

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Two IPS Teachers Selected to Attend Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference in June 2017

IPS teachers participate in Arts Integration Workshop in January 2017 led by Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, Stuart Stotts

In early February, two teachers from Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) were selected to attend the upcoming Kennedy Center Arts Integration Conference from June 26 – 28, 2017 in Arlington, Virginia. This is the second year that Any Given Child Indy will send two IPS teachers to a conference at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Rooted in the Kennedy Center’s 30 years of experience in professional learning for teachers, the conference will unpack the Kennedy Center’s definition of arts integration and will provide many strategies that can make arts integration a part of every teacher’s approach to teaching. Click here to read the Kennedy Center’s definition of arts integration.

The selected teachers are Amber Price, teacher at Edison School of the Arts School 47, and Heather Boelke, teacher at Eliza Blaker School 55. Both Ms. Price and Ms. Boelke attended the Arts Integration Professional Development workshop provided by Kennedy Center teaching artist Stuart Stotts in January 2017, and are thrilled to continue their arts integration training at the Kennedy Center conference in June.

Stayed tuned to the website to learn more about Ms. Price and Ms. Boelke, and to hear what they most look forward to learning at the June conference.

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Workshop Reflection from Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, Stuart Stotts

Arts Integration is a key concept for communities involved in the Any Given Child initiative. It is a way to meaningfully link the arts and curriculum, strengthening learning in both areas. In an arts integrated approach, students create art that demonstrates what they know through creative expression. They also receive specific training in the art form. Teachers learn, too, as they provide ongoing arts integrated instruction. 

I recently came to Indianapolis to lead three workshops to train teachers, arts administrators and teaching artists on the core ideas involved. All three groups participated enthusiastically in a model lesson followed by an exploration of the implications of arts integration for creativity, higher order thinking, and collaborative learning. I was delighted by the level of interest in this approach, and I hope that the workshops will provide a solid foundation for moving forward for students, teachers, and the community at-large.

About the Author
Stuart Stotts is a songwriter, storyteller, and author from Madison, Wisconsin. He has worked as a full-time performer since 1986 and gives more than 200 shows a year for kids, families, and adults around the Midwest, and sometimes farther. Mr. Stotts is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops for teachers, parents, and librarians. He has worked extensively as an artist-in-residence in elementary, middle, and high schools. He has also released several award-winning recordings and is the author of The Bookcase Ghost: A Collection of Wisconsin Ghost StoriesBooks in a Box: Lutie Stearns and the Traveling Libraries of WisconsinCurly Lambeau and the Green Packers, and most recently We Shall Overcome: A Song that Changed the World.

 

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RECAP: Arts Integration Conference at the Kennedy Center, June 27-29

By Robin Houdek, arts educator

At the end of June, I attended The Kennedy Center’s Arts Integration Conference, Exploring an Approach to Teaching. It was by far one of the most inspiring and informative conferences I have ever attended. Before going, I didn’t know what to expect. What exactly is arts integration and how is different from arts as curriculum? Would it be useful for me in my classroom practice or was the purpose for me to bring back most of what I learned to share with colleagues?  

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