The Activist Teaching Artist
Join TYA/USA, in partnership with Arts in Color, in a national conversation on addressing the racism and oppression that impacts the entire TYA industry in personal, professional, and systemic ways.
How can an independent teaching artist incorporate their activism into their work in the classroom and in the community? How can embedded activism in teaching artist practice benefit both the organization and the communities they serve? Using the work of Seattle’s Arts Corps in connecting artistry and community action as inspiration, this session will explore the role of the teaching artist through the lens of activism and our current moment.
Over the course of a 11-session webinar series we will explore a variety of issues and perspectives regarding the ways artists and organizations can begin to (or further) embed antiracist practice in Theatre for Young Audiences.
In addition to the 11 webinars, participants will be provided with reading materials, resources, follow up questions to deepen their learning, and a Slack Channel for further dialogue. Join colleagues across the country in actively engaging with ways to dismantle racism and white supremacy in the TYA field, and work toward making (or sustaining) meaningful change in creating a truly equitable landscape for our artists, organizations, and our young audiences.
Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Time: 1:30 – 2:45 PM ET
Cost: Sliding Scale. Visit tyausa.org/antiracism for details.
James Miles worked as an educator in the New York City public schools for almost 20 years before joining the Seattle-based Arts Corps as Executive Director. Originally from Chicago, Miles has worked internationally as an artist and educator, who was inspired to foment change after seeing so many children that looked like him, get disregarded and treated like criminals by our educational systems. Miles is a Mayoral Appointee to the Seattle Arts Commission, and on the advisory board of SXSW EDU. His acclaimed TedXTalk focuses on his mission is to narrow achievement gaps using the arts as a tool to navigate inequitable educational systems. A former accountant, model, and actor, Miles has facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, Village Theatre, Arts Impact, Denver Center, Impact Schools, and others. Previously a professor at NYU, James taught a myriad of classes, ranging from Acting and Directing to EdTech and Special Education. A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented at SXSW EDU, NYU’s IMPACT Festival, New York Creative Tech Week, EdTechXEurope, Google Educator Bootcamp, UAEM North America, UAEM Europe, National Guild, ITAC, and provided professional development to teachers across the world. His work has been featured by Pie News, New Profit, Complex Magazine, National Guild, Seattle Times, KOMO, NPR, CBS, NBC, US Department of Education, and ASCD. He is the co-founder of LeadersDontLead.com, a leadership coaching agency. Learn more about James Miles and his work at www.freshprofessor.com
Artist-activist Greg Thornton lives in Seattle, Washington. He is a visual artist and has worked as a teaching artist for the past nine years in collaboration with Arts Corps, Seattle Public Schools, Center for Children and Youth Justice, and The Vera Project, among other local schools and organizations. Greg’s visual arts lesson plans encourage and inspire his students to engage in self-expression and allow a space for his students to tell their truth through art. Greg’s classrooms provide a safe place for students to focus on their own growth and identity in a nonjudgmental setting. In addition to being a full-time teaching artist, Greg runs a small business called Black Iconic T-Shirts, which produces t-shirts that celebrate important individuals in black culture and history by combining portraits with Hello My Name Is… tags that invite the viewer into each person’s life and accomplishments. www.blackiconictshirts.com