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Arts Education and the New Normal: Addressing Student Trauma Post-COVID

Date: Mar 07, 2022


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On Tuesday, February 15, TDF presented its third annual State of the Arts Panel. This year’s discussion explored arts education as a tool for recovery post-COVID-19, an urgent topic given the challenges students continue to face as the pandemic subsides. TDF Executive Director, Victoria Bailey, and Director of TDF Education Programs, Ginger Bartkoski Meagher, served as moderators for this Zoom conversation, which featured the following distinguished panelists.

Courtney J. Boddie serves as Vice President, Education & School Engagement at New 42, overseeing all programs related to school communities, including the New Victory school partnership program, teacher professional development training in the performing arts, and an innovative approach in the professional development of more than 50 New Victory Teaching Artists. Ms. Boddie has expanded the theatre’s scope of work in such programs as Victory Dance, which provides free dance and dance education to NYC summer schools; Create, a theatre-based teacher professional development track for the city’s pre-K expansion; and GIVE, a brand-new initiative to address equitable student engagement in inclusion classrooms.

Noelle Ghoussaini is a theatre-maker, ritual artist and cultural organizer. She creates expansive and genre-defying theatre and ritual experiences to reimagine liberation and nurture creativity and sacred connection. Her work can be experienced in public spaces, theatres, schools, parks, detention centers and healing venues throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East.

Dr. Jennifer Katona serves as President and Founder of 3 Looms Creative Education Consulting, a firm dedicated to providing professional development and mentorship in arts education. She is also the Co-Director of Immersive Arts Integration, an arts-based approach to school improvement. Dr. Katona is the former Visual and Performing Arts Senior Manager for the Norwalk Public Schools, as well as Director and Founder of the Graduate Program in Educational Theatre at the City College of New York (CCNY), where she oversaw the certification of pre- and in-service theatre teachers and training of noncertified theatre educators.

Helio Sepulveda-Zornosa has been a high school teacher in New York City for 12 years. He emigrated from Colombia when he was a teenager. His academic journey includes degrees in applied linguistics and applied theatre. His professional certifications include teaching English to students of other languages, Spanish, special education and theatre. His practice combines his passion for the performing arts and language. In his classroom, music, theatre and dance work together as a vehicle for his students to expand their linguistic repertoire. Every year, he also facilitates a creative process in which students come together to craft and perform an original play. Helio also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Linguistics Department of CUNY Queens College, guiding pre-service teachers in their student-teaching experience and reflecting on methods of language acquisition. For more than eight years, he has collaborated with TDF on multiple projects, introducing hundreds of immigrant students from underserved communities to the magic of live performances in New York City.

Megan J. Minturn is a dancer, choreographer and educator who teaches dance at Brooklyn International High School. She studied dance in Omaha, New York, Senegal and Cuba. Her company, MJM Dance, has performed at the 92nd Street Y, Dance New Amsterdam, Dixon Place, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, WHITE Wave Dance, the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Miami University of Ohio and Grounds For Sculpture, and recently produced its first evening-length, sold-out concert at the Mark Morris Dance Center. Megan has taught and written curricula with Dance Theatre of Harlem, the School at Peridance, African Culture Connection, Little Red Schoolhouse and Columbia University's Action Arts Camp.

If you weren't able to join us for this fascinating discussion, you can watch a recording below.

Our State of the Arts Panel is an annual event for TDF Champions exploring timely topics. Last year's discussion focused on Technology and the Performing Arts. In 2020, the conversation centered on the Future of Accessibility in the Performing Arts.

TDF's 2022 State of the Arts Panel was generously sponsored by our official airline partner, Southwest Airlines. Thank you to everyone who joined us.



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