Tuesday, November 2


Pre-Conference Workshop Part I:
Foundations of Equity

Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm EST

Justice in arts research, practice, and pedagogy must start with close examination of the foundations upon which arts institutions have been built. In part one of a two-part workshop series, we’ll discuss reimagining arts spaces from the ground up; the contingency of justice-oriented practice; and building foundations for liberation in art making, arts research, and arts pedagogy.


Lily Cox-Richard (she/her/LCR)

Lily Cox-Richard (she/her/LCR)

Lily Cox-Richard’s sculptures and installations take up details of cultural and material histories to explore porousness, energy exchange, and paths of resistance. LCR has been awarded an Artadia grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Michigan’s Society of Fellows, and residencies at the Core Program, Millay Colony, RAIR Philadelphia, and the MacDowell Colony. Recent solo exhibitions include Yvonne (Guatemala City), Artpace (San Antonio, TX), Diverseworks (Houston, TX), Hirschl & Adler Modern (New York), The Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX). LCR studies, forages, and practices in Tsenacomoco territory / Richmond, VA, on land that, for thousands of years, has been inhabited and cared for by Indigenous people, including the Pamunkey, Monacan, Chickahominy, and many other tribes untold and forcibly disappeared.

Nicole Killian (they/them)

Nicole Killian (they/them)

nico is an artist and design educator based in Richmond Virginia where they co-direct the graduate program in the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University. killian is invested in exploring design pedagogies that center generosity, dialogue, and making things public through performance, mediums mis-use, and text. they run a publishing initiative, nico fontana, which concerns itself with a queering of language. In 2018, they guest-edited the Walker Art Center's Soundboard platform, asking the question: How Will We Queer Design Education Without Compromise? In 2019 they were then interviewed by the AIGA's Eye On Design "What Does “Queering Design Education” Actually Look Like in Practice? killian holds degrees from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bauhaus/Hochschule Anhalt in Dessau and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Emily Sara (she/her)

An image of Emily Sara, a white femme with short neon orange-ish pink hair. She is wearing large tortoiseshell glasses, a black t-shirt, two gold necklaces and has a faint scar across her neck. She is leaning up against a light grey wall with sunlight coming in from the right side of the frame.

Emily Sara (she/her)

Emily Sara (she/her) is a disabled, interdisciplinary artist & designer working within the language of advertising and animation to discuss the American healthcare system, and the extent of social control over the disabled body. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston University in Advertising and Art History and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Emily has exhibited internationally and is the founder of the publishing initiative cripple which supports disabled artists and designers. She is also the founder of the newly minted design firm Sick and Tired that has a focus on accessible design, consulting, and hiring disabled designers. Emily is the author of the article Fighting the Art World’s Ableism published by Hyperallergic.

Wesley Taylor

Wesley Taylor

Wes Taylor is an assistant professor in the Art Foundation program and a professor of graphic design. He is a fine artist, musician, and curator as well as a co-founding partner of Emergence Media, a network of artistic producers based in Detroit, Michigan. He manages a five-person artists’ studio collective in Detroit called Talking Dolls, and has spent many years “scene building” in that city’s hip-hop community as both an emcee and graphic designer. Taylor previously taught at Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State University, and Eastern Michigan University. He earned his MFA in 2D design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and his BFA in art and design from the University of Michigan.

Courtnie N. Wolfgang (she/her/ella)

Courtnie N. Wolfgang

Courtnie Wolfgang is associate professor and graduate program director of Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, USA. Her research and pedagogy focus on liberatory intersections of post-structural, post/feminist, critical race, and queer theories with arts pedagogies, school and community teaching, and justice-oriented Arts Education practices. Her work has been published in Visual Arts Research, Studies in Art Education, the Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, and the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education among others and she recently edited a special issue of Visual Arts Research on Queering Art Education. Wolfgang received her PhD in art and visual culture education from the Ohio State University, and her MA in art education and BFA in photography from the University of Georgia.


Interlude: Healing Journey

Time: 12:15-12:30pm EST

Healing Journey is an interactive audio-visual performance depicting the process of healing past trauma or unpleasant memories by transcending oneself to celebrate rebirth and transformation.


Cecilia Suhr

Cecilia Suhr is an intermedia artist and researcher, multi-instrumentalist (violin/cello/piano/voice), painter, improviser, and author, who is working at the intersection between art, video, music performance, and interactive media. Crossing the boundaries between audience and performer, vision and sound, motion and stasis, digital and analog, seen and unseen reality, she is interested in creating meaningful human-centered interactions and experiences to share socially conscious messages and to create embodied experience. Her creative work has been exhibited and performed across the U.S. and overseas in U.K., Australia, Greece, France, Russia, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, etc., through galleries, biennials, museums, conferences, and festivals. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation, Digital Media and Learning Research Grant Award (2012). Other honors and recognitions include Honorable Mention in Mixed Media Category from New York City International Fine Art Contest held by Gateway Art Center NYC (2017), People’s Choice Award, Juried Exhibition, Pop Revolution Gallery, Mason, OH (2015), Saint Michael Special Achievement Medal, An International Juried Fine Arts Exhibition (2013), Special Recognition Award from International Abstracts Art Competition, Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery (2012). ​She holds an M.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Media Studies, and a certificate of completion in audio-visual practice from the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Humanities and Creative Arts as well as an Affiliate Professor of Art at Miami University Regionals, Ohio.


Pre-Conference Workshop Part II:
Dismantling Critique

Time: 12:45 – 2:00pm EST

In part two of the two-part workshop, we interrogate how white supremacy and colonialism have shaped our systems for feedback and assessment, and build and share new strategies and tools for feedback and critique that are rooted in accountability, transparency, reciprocity, and justice.


Lily Cox-Richard (she/her/LCR)

Lily Cox-Richard (she/her/LCR)

Lily Cox-Richard’s sculptures and installations take up details of cultural and material histories to explore porousness, energy exchange, and paths of resistance. LCR has been awarded an Artadia grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Michigan’s Society of Fellows, and residencies at the Core Program, Millay Colony, RAIR Philadelphia, and the MacDowell Colony. Recent solo exhibitions include Yvonne (Guatemala City), Artpace (San Antonio, TX), Diverseworks (Houston, TX), Hirschl & Adler Modern (New York), The Blanton Museum of Art (Austin, TX). LCR studies, forages, and practices in Tsenacomoco territory / Richmond, VA, on land that, for thousands of years, has been inhabited and cared for by Indigenous people, including the Pamunkey, Monacan, Chickahominy, and many other tribes untold and forcibly disappeared.

Nicole Killian (they/them)

Nicole Killian (they/them)

nico is an artist and design educator based in Richmond Virginia where they co-direct the graduate program in the Department of Graphic Design at Virginia Commonwealth University. killian is invested in exploring design pedagogies that center generosity, dialogue, and making things public through performance, mediums mis-use, and text. they run a publishing initiative, nico fontana, which concerns itself with a queering of language. In 2018, they guest-edited the Walker Art Center's Soundboard platform, asking the question: How Will We Queer Design Education Without Compromise? In 2019 they were then interviewed by the AIGA's Eye On Design "What Does “Queering Design Education” Actually Look Like in Practice? killian holds degrees from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bauhaus/Hochschule Anhalt in Dessau and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Emily Sara (she/her)

An image of Emily Sara, a white femme with short neon orange-ish pink hair. She is wearing large tortoiseshell glasses, a black t-shirt, two gold necklaces and has a faint scar across her neck. She is leaning up against a light grey wall with sunlight coming in from the right side of the frame.

Emily Sara (she/her)

Emily Sara (she/her) is a disabled, interdisciplinary artist & designer working within the language of advertising and animation to discuss the American healthcare system, and the extent of social control over the disabled body. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston University in Advertising and Art History and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Emily has exhibited internationally and is the founder of the publishing initiative cripple which supports disabled artists and designers. She is also the founder of the newly minted design firm Sick and Tired that has a focus on accessible design, consulting, and hiring disabled designers. Emily is the author of the article Fighting the Art World’s Ableism published by Hyperallergic.

Wesley Taylor

Wesley Taylor

Wes Taylor is an assistant professor in the Art Foundation program and a professor of graphic design. He is a fine artist, musician, and curator as well as a co-founding partner of Emergence Media, a network of artistic producers based in Detroit, Michigan. He manages a five-person artists’ studio collective in Detroit called Talking Dolls, and has spent many years “scene building” in that city’s hip-hop community as both an emcee and graphic designer. Taylor previously taught at Lawrence Technological University, Wayne State University, and Eastern Michigan University. He earned his MFA in 2D design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and his BFA in art and design from the University of Michigan.

Courtnie N. Wolfgang (she/her/ella)

Courtnie N. Wolfgang

Courtnie Wolfgang is associate professor and graduate program director of Art Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, USA. Her research and pedagogy focus on liberatory intersections of post-structural, post/feminist, critical race, and queer theories with arts pedagogies, school and community teaching, and justice-oriented Arts Education practices. Her work has been published in Visual Arts Research, Studies in Art Education, the Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, and the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education among others and she recently edited a special issue of Visual Arts Research on Queering Art Education. Wolfgang received her PhD in art and visual culture education from the Ohio State University, and her MA in art education and BFA in photography from the University of Georgia.

Wednesday, November 3


Steps Towards Change Pedagogy Panel

Rewriting the Story: Practical Strategies for an Anti-racist Classroom

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm EST

During last year’s Art for Politics’ Sake roundtable, our discussants examined the role art, research and art education can play in eradicating racism. This year, we hope to continue and build on the theoretical groundwork established in their discussion by exploring concrete examples of putting anti-racist principles into practice in the classroom. Instructors in this roundtable will discuss with the a2ru community anti-racist practices and diversity initiatives they have already implemented and those they hope to institute in their classrooms, studios and labs.


Whitney Gaskins (she/her), Moderator

Dr. Gaskins is the Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence and Community Engagement in the University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science, the only African-American female currently teaching in the faculty of the College of Engineering. Whitney earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, her Masters of Business Administration in Quantitative Analysis and her Doctorate of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering/Engineering Education. In her role as Assistant Dean, Dr. Gaskins has revamped the summer bridge program to increase student support and retention as well as developed and strengthened partnerships in with local area school districts to aid in the high school to college pathway. She serves as the Principal Investigator for both the Choose Ohio First Program (COF) and Ohio LSAMP grants. Through these grant programs the students receive competitive scholarship funding and professional development workshops which help prepare them to enter into the STEMM workforce. In 2009, she founded The Gaskins Foundation, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to educate and empower the African American community. Her foundation recently launched the Cincinnati STEMulates year round K-12 program, which is a free of charge program that will introduce more students to Math and Science. She was named the 2017 K12 Champion by the National Association of Multicultural Engineering Program Advocates (NAMEPA). In 2015, Dr. Gaskins was awarded the Janice A Lumpkin Educator of the Year Golden Torch Award. In 2019, she was recognized by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber as a Black History Maker. She was a recipient of the Dr. Terry Kershaw Faculty Excellence Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of Cincinnati for her innovative honors course Sticky Innovation (stickyinnovation.com). She was inducted in the 40 under 40 class of 2019 and was recognized as a 2021 Career Woman of Achievement.

Barbara Angeline (she/her)

Associate Chair of Dance at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Education: M.A. in Dance Education (New York University); B.A. in Dance (University of California, Irvine). Member of the EDI Dance Collective, which provides resources, workshops and practical change to progress equity, diversity and inclusion in the department. Teaching: Jazz Dance; History of Broadway Dance (course author); Broadway Dance Technique, and Intro to Dance Studies; Graduate Colloquium: Research; Pedagogy for Online Dance Education. Previous teaching: History and Performance of Musical Theater (Drew University); Musical Theatre Dance (Steinhardt School, NYU); Movement for Actors (American Academy of Dramatic Arts).

Performance credits: Broadway Backwards 5 (soloist, Lincoln Center Vivian Beaumont Theatre); 6 (Dance Captain, Longacre Theater); and 7 (Al Hirschfeld Theatre); Oakland Ballet Company (soloist); The Gypsy of the Year Awards; featured dance roles in Equity musicals; Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular; The Radio City Easter Spectacular (dance captain). Danced for/with: Woody Allen, Jerry Mitchell, Graciela Daniele, Robert Bartley, Bernadette Peters, Aretha Franklin.

Founder/artistic director of Hysterika Jazz Dance Company, which forwards African American aesthetics of jazz dance and combines vernacular and theatrical jazz dance vocabulary to address historical contexts. Choreographic works include: eat Crow, inspired by the life, era and movement of Josephine Baker; Hot Miss Lil, based on the life and music of Lil Hardin Armstrong. Current creative research/choreography explores the contributions of A(i)da Overton Walker, a black, feminist dancer, choreographer, and writer who thwarted stereotypes about black, female bodies on the stage in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.

Cathy Braasch (she/her)


Cathy Braasch is an assistant teaching professor in Penn State’s Department of Architecture and the principal of Braasch Architecture. She teaches first-year design studios and visual communications, directs the Stuckeman Summer Camp and Orientations for Incoming Students of Color. She is the project director for the Robert Reed Drawing Workshops, celebrating the pioneering Black educator and artist. Her research interests include design pedagogy and diversity, equity, and inclusion in design disciplines. Braasch Architecture’s work is comprised of commercial and residential projects emphasizing flexibility. Previously, she worked at Stoss, Stephen Yablon Architect, and Della Valle Bernheimer. She received a Master in Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Arts from Yale.

Crystal U. Davis (she/her)

Crystal U. Davis, MFA, MA, CLMA is a dancer, movement analyst, and critical race theorist. Her research explores implicit bias in dance and how privilege manifests in the body. Her work has been published in the Journal of Dance Education, Palgrave Handbook of Race and the Arts in Education, and Confronting Critical Equity and Inclusion Incidents on Campus: Lessons Learned and Emerging Practices. As an artist, her performances span from Rajathani folk dance to postmodern choreography examining incongruities between what we say, what we believe, and what we do. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance Performance and Scholarship at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she teaches anti-racist pedagogy for dance and theatre, somatics, and movement analysis.

Sara Jordenö (they/them)

Sara Jordenö is a filmmaker, visual artist and researcher whose work resides in the intersection of art, activism, visual ethnography and cinema. Born in Sweden, Jordenö is active in Europe and the US, working with film, video and installation, as well as text and drawing/animation. Their projects often engage with groups and communities facing different types of marginalization and portray strategies for survival and agency.

Jordenö directed the documentary feature film KIKI about a youth-led social movement for LGBTQ+ youth of color in NYC. It was the product of a close collaboration with community leader Twiggy Pucci Garcon and other members of the NYC Kiki scene. KIKI premiered in the US documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016 and went on to screen at more than 200 film festivals around the world, earning the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film at the Berlin International Film Festival, the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights at the Full Frame Documentary Festival and a nomination for the 2017 Film Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction award. KIKI had theatrical releases in Sweden, the US and the UK, as well as on streaming platforms.

Jordenö is the recipient of an Art Matter Award (2012). Her films and video installations have been shown internationally at venues such as Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Bildmuseet, Umeå, Malmö Konstmuseum, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Kitchen and MoMA PS1 in NYC. Their work has been commissioned by, among others, the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Printed Matter and the Fifth Berlin Biennale. Jordenö also publishes in the areas of refugee studies and human trafficking, together with their collaborator A Horning Ruf. Together they founded the interdisciplinary research platform The Fringe Field Collective.

Naliyah Kaya (she/her)

Dr. Naliyah Kaya is an Associate Professor of Sociology, spoken word poet, beader, and mixed media artist. As a poetic public sociologist, she centers her energy on the intersections of art and activism (e.g., artivism) focusing on counter narratives, the self, multiraciality—specifically mixed Middle Eastern & North African (MENA) experiences, antiracism, leadership, and ableism & accessibility. Her most recent work includes: “Existing In-Between: Embodying the Synergy of My Ancestors” in Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education: Contesting Knowledge, Honoring Voice, and Innovating Practice and “Challenging and Changing Racial Categories? Interracial Marriage and Multiracial Americans” in Race and Ethnicity: Sociology in Action due out later this year.

Dr. Kaya also organizes arts programming as a member of the Executive Committee for the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association (CMRSA) and has served as a cultural consultant, guest lecturer, and evaluator for multiple cross-cultural community-based art exhibits. She previously served as the first full-time Coordinator for Multiracial & Native American/Indigenous Student Involvement at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) where she advocated for resources & recognition on behalf of Multiracial & Indigenous students. She continues to teach TOTUS Spoken Word Experience at UMD for the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy.

Lisi Raskin (they/them)

​​Lisi Raskin’s creative and curricular practices have become laboratories where they deliberately build anti-architectural bridges between politicized subject matter, queer ontologies, abstraction, collaborative making, non-hierarchical and intersectional interventions into normative systems of power, and engaged pedagogy. These laboratories have supported the making of paintings, drawings, objects, videos, animations, and large, constructed environments that house pedagogical, performative, and socially engaged programming. Raskin is currently working on a book about engaged and inclusive pedagogy. As a member of the rock band Peebls, Raskin has loved, laughed, cooked, and eaten in the process of co-authoring an album of intersectional propaganda for children of all ages.

Raskin has exhibited internationally at institutions including Kunsthaus Graz, Casino Luxembourg, the Frankfurter Kunstverein, the Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius, PS1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center, the Blanton Museum of Art, the Center for Curatorial Studies/Hessel Museum at Bard College, and the Rubin Museum of Art. Their web projects have been published in Triple Canopy magazine, with The Dia Foundation, and on Creative Time Global Reports. They have built large-scale environments at the 11th International Istanbul Biennale, the 2nd Athens Biennale, and the 3rd Singapore Biennale. They have installed site-sensitive sound projects in the 1st Time Machine Biennale of Contemporary Art, D-O Ark Underground and the Momentum 7 Biennale of Nordic Art.

Raskin is currently an Associate Professor and Department Head of Sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design.


Mental Health

Time: 12:30-1:05pm EST



María Jose Contreras Lorenzini (she/her)

María Jose Contreras Lorenzini is a Chilean performance artist and scholar. She holds a Ph.D from Università di Bologna and is Associate Professor at the Theater School at Universidad Católica de Chile. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University.
Using a wide range of formats, from massive public interventions to intimate actions of resistance, Contreras creatively explores the relation between the body and memory. Her work presented throughout the Americas and Europe include theatre productions, site specific performances, durational performances and urban interventions. In the context of the commemoration of the state coup in Chile she convened “#quererNOver”, an urban intervention that involved 1200 people lying in the streets of Santiago to commemorate the more than 1200 detenidos desaparecidos. Some of her recent performances include: "Suelo", which took place in Plaza Italia in Santiago and affronted the relation between surveillance and human rights, and “Aquí” that consisted in the embodied marking of places where women were assassinated in the first months of the dictatorship.
She has published chapters in international volumes such as Múltiplos Olhares Sobre Processos Descoloniais nas Artes Cênicas (Brasil, 2018), Feminism and Affect in Neoliberal Times (Palgrave, 2017), Frontières & dictatures. Images, regards (L’Harmattan, 2016). She has recently served as co-editor of Women Mobilizing Memory (Columbia University Press 2019). She is one of 70 international artists featured in The Twenty-First Century Performance Reader (Routledge 2020). More info www.mariajosecontreras.com

I’ve devoted my life to investigate through the arts, create new performance pieces and teach young artists. In 2018 my life changed forever. My two sons were diagnosed with a severe progressive muscle-wasting condition. Everything stopped. I was suddely paralyzed. This is the story about my journey as a “rare” mom and performance artist.

If I Looked Like What I’ve Been Through


Steven T. Licardi

Steven T. Licardi, LMSW is an Autistic social worker, spoken word poet, actor, and performance activist working at the intersections of art and social policy. He (usually) travels internationally using the power of spoken word to create empathic dialogue around, to confront the realities of, and to assist communities in dismantling the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness. Since 2016, his ever-evolving performance series #CoupDeMot has been confronting how mental illnesses manifest out of oppressive social pathologies by tracing the hidden history of mental health treatment in the U.S. and juxtaposing those truths to works appearing in his second collection of poetry, 'a billion burning dreams' (STL, 2018). Versions have appeared in Vigo, Spain in 2016; in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2018; and Thessaloniki, Greece in 2019. www.thesvenbo.com

In this performance poetry piece, I will offer a map of my mental health journey and the ways in which art, and those who gifted me with art, has provided what the world–too loud and too close–had struggled to. I will discuss how arts have allowed me to build deep, rich human connections with others and to not overcome, but thrive alongside the unique ways in which I move through the world. Spoken word has taught me how to embody and build new worlds.

Sticks and Stones


William Doan

William J. Doan, Ph.D. is a past president of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and a Fellow in the College of Fellows of The American Theatre. In addition to articles in scholarly journals, Doan has co-authored three books and several plays. He has created solo performance projects at a variety of venues across the U.S., and abroad. His current work includes a new performance piece, Frozen In The Toilet Paper Aisle of Life, part of a larger project titled My Anxiety Project. Work from this project includes multiple short graphic narratives published in the Annals of Internal Medicine/Graphic Medicine, Cleaver Magazine, Columbia Journal of Narrative Medicine, and an award winning short animated film, Inhale, Exhale, Draw. He is a Professor of Theatre in the College of Arts and Architecture and Director of the Arts and Design Research Incubator at The Pennsylvania State University. Doan served as the Penn State Laureate for 2019-2020.

In Sticks and Stones, the narrator comes to terms with the fact that his mental illness, though separate from his history with toxic masculinity, reflects the ways toxic masculinity kept him from acknowledging his reality for too long. Drawing helped him identify what he was struggling with. It is the act of drawing, not the product, that helps sustain his mental health.

Light and Shadow, Trauma and the Arts, Or: Art-Informed Higher Education of the Future


Yvonne Houy, Ph.D. (she/her)

As Learning Technologist for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Fine Arts, I work with faculty in Architecture, Art, Entertainment Engineering Design, Dance, Film, Music & Theatre, with an exhilarating focus on creative solutions for engaging students, even as we pivot centuries-old traditions to technologies only a few years old. I practice the gentle martial art of Aikido and am a trained transformative mediator.

Julian Kilker, Ph.D. (Contributor)

Julian Kilker’s research focuses on the intersection of society, media technologies, and innovation—in particular, key stages of their interaction from design to obsolescence. A graduate of Cornell University and Reed College, and with 15 years’ experience living and working internationally, he teaches emerging technology, research methods, and visual journalism courses for undergraduate and graduate students in our school, as well as technology and society courses in the UNLV Honors College. Kilker has published both in academic journals (including Visual Communication QuarterlySocial IdentitiesConvergenceLeonardoFirst Monday, IEEE journals, and The Public Historian) and in magazines, and he has exhibited documentary photography in Switzerland, Washington, DC, California, and Nevada. He has received awards from the Broadcast Education Association, Management Communication Quarterly, the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and the Nevada Press Association. He is a former head of the AEJMC Visual Communication Division and is currently on the editorial board of the A2RU interdisciplinary arts/research journal Ground Works.

This shadow puppet spoken word poem performance dramatized the traumas of 2020 at the intersection of isolation and connection, online technology and education, and investigates how the Arts, Arts-informed education and online technologies can support healing through trauma-informed and arts-integrated education.



Time: 1:30-2:05pm EST

The Hundred Languages of PhDness


Nicollette Frank (she/her/hers)

Nicollette Frank is a PhD student in Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia. She is a former elementary and early childhood educator and currently lives in Montana.

As a PhD student and teacher educator, the current moment has made me aware of the importance of arts integration at the graduate level. Often we are given narrow assignments and ways to communicate our thinking and work, which is a direct contradiction to what we ask preservice teachers to offer to young children. If we want to teach preservice teachers how to utilize arts-based pedagogy, we must learn through the arts ourselves and validate it within the university.

FUGITIVE: Escaping Disciplinary Bounds


Cassandra Fraser

Cassandra Fraser is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Virginia, with joint appointments in Biomedical Engineering and the School of Architecture. In her scientific research she specializes in responsive materials for imaging, sensing and detection, specifically oxygen sensing biomaterials, mechanochromic luminescence materials and polymeric metal complexes. She has also led many interdisciplinary programs and engaged in creative arts and design collaborations. Fraser holds degrees from Kalamazoo College, Harvard Divinity School, and The University of Chicago. She was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Caltech. At UVA, she was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, an NSF CAREER Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, and young professor awards from Dupont and 3M. She has been recognized with Radcliffe, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and ACS Green Chemistry Institute fellowships, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency. In 2018 she was appointed Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and currently, she is pursuing a Certificate in Documentary Arts through Duke University. She serves on the editorial advisory board for Ground Works, the new a2ru online journal. Her teaching accolades include the Cavaliers Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the Alumni Distinguished Professor Award, the Jefferson Scholars Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2015 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for “distinguished contributions in luminescent materials for imaging and sensing, innovative interdisciplinary and socially relevant pedagogy, and courageous leadership in advancing equity in the academy.”

Lucie Rutherford

Lucie Rutherford is a 4th year undergraduate student at UVA majoring in Global Public Health with a minor in Chemistry. Her interests lie in health communication and international public health policy. After graduation she envisions serving in the Peace Corps and pursuing a Master of Public Health degree for a career in health journalism or working in an organization like the Center for Disease Control or World Health Organization. Throughout her time at UVA, Lucie has contributed as a writer or editor to the health and science section of the Cavalier Daily. She is dedicated to communicating health and science issues to broader audiences. She is also a member of the UVA Women’s Rugby Team. During the 2020-21 academic year, Lucie participated in both FUGITIVE and Anthrochemistry courses, and currently she serves as Research Assistant and Program Development Intern for the new tranSci lab at UVA led by Professor Fraser.

FUGITIVE was an advanced research-based seminar and speaker series at the University of Virginia the explored spatial and temporal connotations of this term through intersecting material, human and environmental lenses. Whether molecules, people, or landscapes, things get loose, move around, and change, fade and disappear. We will share student and faculty perspectives on this transdisciplinary program, from planning to pandemic online execution. Enhancements to traditional graduate and undergraduate curricula, along with plans to expand upon this approach through the new tranSci lab and associated programs will be presented.

Matter Matters in Storytelling: Using Puppets and Material Performance in R1 Institutions


Felice Amato

An artist, scholar, and educator, Dr. Felice Amato has a particular passion for puppetry, masks, and object performance, which brings the body and the element of time into the visual arts and serves to cross boundaries between arts disciplines. Amato is an assistant professor in the School of Visual Arts at Boston University, specializing in art education and performing objects. Amato has performed in a variety of venues and received numerous awards for her artistic work including a Jerome Foundation Grant and two Minnesota State Arts Board Grants. She has published in Puppetry International and the Journal of Mother Studies and presented at national conferences, including Puppeteers of America, the College Arts Association, and a2ru. She was chosen as an emerging artist for the Eugene O’Neill Center’s National Puppetry Conference in 2018, where she created a piece based on Simone de Beauvoir’s 1949 work, The Second Sex. Using puppets and objects to explore the abstract and theoretical has become a particular focus, as it allows her to work at the intersection of creative investigation and scholarship through arts-based and embodied research methods. She is currently organizing a global conference on women and masks at Boston University for the 2021-22 academic year.

This brief tabletop puppet piece demonstrates why puppetry belongs in a research institution and what it can contribute to research methodologies. Using a meta approach, I explore the topic visually, thinking through puppetry techniques for the audience. The performance touches on key elements of the broad field of object or material performance and the opportunities it offers to think through specific puppetry techniques, while also revealing some of the fundamentals of the art form.



Keynote Panel: Performing Public Health

Time: 2:15-3:30pm EST


Meghan Moe Beitiks, Facilitator (she/they)

Meghan Moe Beitiks is an artist working with associations and disassociations of culture/nature/structure. She analyzes perceptions of ecology though the lenses of site, history, emotions, and her own body in order to produce work that examines relationships with the non-human. The work emerges as video, performance, installation, writing or photography depending on what arises from her process of research and improvisation.She has presented work in California, Chicago, Brooklyn, Wales, London, Latvia, Australia and Russia. She has been a Fulbright Student Fellow in Theater to Latvia, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, an OxBow LeRoy Neiman Fellow, a Bemis Artist in Residence, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s recipient for the Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists. She is currently an Interdisciplinary Studio Art Lecturer at the University of Florida. 

Dakota Camacho

Dakota Camacho believes in creativity as a record of interaction with the spirit realm. Exploring the overlap between integrity, ancestral/indigenous life ways, true love, and accountability, guiya (they) activate a Matao worldview to make offerings towards inafa’maolek (Balance and harmony with all of life). Weaving through languages of altar-making, movement, film, music, and prayer, guiya (they) generate moments of encounter with self, each other, spirit, and the natural world. Yo’ña (their) work enacts spaces where multiple worlds, ways of knowing, being, and doing speak to each other to unearth embodied pathways towards collective liberation.

Aaron Colverson (he/him)

Aaron Colverson (he/him) Aaron has worked with the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine as a research assistant for the past 7 years. While there, he has collaborated on multiple projects, including, the COVID-19 Arts Response team, an Oxford bibliography of the arts in public health, the CDC vaccine confidence team, two scoping reviews of the literature on the arts and health communication and the arts and well-being, a systematic review on the arts and suicide survivorship, and original research on uses of live preferential music to affect pain perception in acute care settings. He is currently a doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology, with partnering research in neuroscience. The aim of his dissertation is to determine relationships between rhythm/timing perception and cognition in the healthy aging population. This work stems from a fellowship he received to study relationships between music and social engagement in dementia, to which he presented findings at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, 2020. Aaron is also a trained violinist and continues to make music in multiple small and large ensemble settings.

Edie Hubert

Ms. Moore-Hubert has been a music educator and performer for over 30 years.  She has performed as harpsichordist, pianist and organist with the Saint Augustine Music Festival, San Marco Chamber Music Series, St. Mark’s Annual Bach Vespers, Sonora Ensemble, Ritz Chamber Players, as soloist with members of the ASO, at ACDA regional and national conventions, and for hundreds of choral and vocal performances.  She has also performed as a hospital musician, providing music at the bedside, in dialysis and psychiatric units through Body and Soul Jacksonville, and as Artist-in-Residence at UF/Shands Jacksonville. As Coordinator for Mayo Clinic Foundation's Humanities in Medicine programs, she supervised the rollout of Music at the Bedside, quadrupled attendance at noontime arts programs, presented on arts outreach and clinical training for artists and musicians at the 15th Annual International Conference of the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, and established the Mayo Clinic Arts Outreach Ensemble, which performed locally and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She was awarded a Community Foundation Individual Artist Grant to record a cd of classical music suitable for the healthcare setting, music to calm your soul, available for listening on Spotify. Ms. Moore-Hubert is currently adjunct faculty at Florida State College at Jacksonville and Jacksonville University. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern College and master’s from Manhattan School of Music.

Katrina Pineda

Katrina Pineda is the California Representative for the Arts Health Early Career Research Network, a graduate of the University of Florida’s Arts in Medicine Master’s Degree Program, and a Design Manager for a young children’s educational app. She engages in various arts in health initiatives. This includes anything from leading opportunities at work with employees and facilitating art workshops with local nonprofit organizations to conducting evaluations, assisting with research efforts, speaking at conferences, blog authoring, and connecting professionals at the intersection of arts and health. She is a visual artist by trade with a BFA in Multimedia Art, but also loves dancing and attempting to play the keyboard. When COVID-19 social distancing protocols began, she joined University of Florida’s Interdisciplinary Research Lab and tPerforming Public Health Working Group to aid in providing resources and documenting examples of the ways the arts can help with COVID-19 awareness, prevention, and management. You can learn more about Katrina on her website at www.katrinaenelson.com.

Marina Tsaplina

Marina Tsaplina is a performing/puppetry artist, teaching artist, scholar and disability advocate. She’s unconvinced in the purpose of a biography during our present moment of neocolonial ecocide. She feels that when all falls apart, poetry and solidarity, is all we have.

Kaitlyn Wittig Menguc (she/her)

Kaitlyn Wittig Mengüç is a performance artist, teaching artist, researcher, and arts administrator working at the intersection of arts, health, and disability. Kaitlyn has over 15 years of experience working in and managing community-grounded arts and culture nonprofit organizations throughout the United States. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she graduated as a department fellow. A passionate advocate for cultural equity, she is also a co-author of a landmark research report, Figuring the Plural: Needs and Supports of Canadian and US Ethnocultural Arts Organizations.

Performing Public Health (PPH) was an initiative within the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine’s (UFCAM) COVID-19 Arts Response that considered both the crucial cultural measures needed to slow the spread of COVID-19, and the various ways artists perform culture-making in response. PPH tracked and supported the impact of COVID on the arts through its three working groups: an Advisory, Unique Precarities, and Remote Cultures. Each group contributed materials and perspectives to the considerations of the initiative, with the greater group gathering consistently to reflect and reconsider.

This keynote will be presented as an open conversational format, with teams commenting on each others’ work and sharing photos, videos, or PDFs as an expanded archive of the project.

Conference attendees are asked to consider and answer the following questions over social media (#performingpublichealth and #artistknowledges). 

  • how do we center artists in fields that are not designed to center them?

  • how does intuitive arts making intersect with data-driven science?

  • how do we learn from marginalized artists to create expansive institutional programs, processes, practices and structures?

  • how do artists change institutionalized practices?

  • how do definitions of research both support and limit artists?

  • what if, for instance, health/medicine is in the arts, rather than arts in health/medicine?


Interlude: The Mindful Art Pause: How Can The Arts Impact Our Community’s Health?

Time: 3:45-4:00pm EST


Gaelen McCormick (she/her)

Gaelen McCormick is the Program Manager of Eastman Performing Arts Medicine (EPAM) program at the University of Rochester. Before going deaf in 2017, Gaelen had been a bassist with the RPO for over 20 years. She is grateful that her abilities as a performing artist have shaped her new career path as a composer and arts administrator.

Susan Daiss (she/her)

Susan Daiss has worked as a museum educator for many years, the majority at the Memorial Art Gallery. In addition to a background in art history, she has an MDiv and trained as a hospital chaplain at URMC, experiences which equally inform her current teaching the visual arts in the Division of Medical Humanities and Bioethics at URMC.

Patricia Luck (she/her)

Patricia Luck is Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, a palliative care physician, certified MBSR instructor and experienced Mindfulness-Based programs facilitator and trainer in a variety of health care settings.

Our project’s story offers a hypothesis and the development of an arts integration project in response: Could the structure of mindfulness practice provide a practical framework to deliver arts-based experiences to healthcare workers? Could taking just three minutes during the workday at the hospital or healthcare facility shift individual perspectives and culivate compassion, self-awareness and opening to being present? Could this arts-mindfulness practice impact and support team members and teams themselves in the hectic world of healthcare? Our story will share how we have worked with this hypothesis in developing the Mindful Art Pause.


Keynote: A Case for Creative Cultural Leadership

Time: 4:30-5:30pm EST


Sanjit Sethi

Sanjit Sethi, the President of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, has two decades of experience as an artist and cultural academic leader. For the past three years, Sethi has served as the first Director of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where he oversaw the reestablishment of the historic art and design college as it integrated with the University.

Sethi’s previous positions include serving as Director of the MFA program at the Memphis College of Art; Director of the Center for Art and Public Life, Barclay Simpson Professor, and Chair of Community Arts at the California College of the Arts; and Executive Director of the Santa Fe Art Institute. Additionally, Sethi has lectured and taught at the Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology in Bangalore; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Saint Mary’s College in London.

Born in Rochester, New York, Sethi received a BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, an MFA in Ceramics from University of Georgia, and he holds an MS in Advanced Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Sethi has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships, including an Enrichment Travel Fellowship to work on a project in London, Budapest and Dublin, and a Fulbright fellowship in India.

As an artist and curator, Sethi’s work has spanned different media and geographies. Past works include the Kuni Wada Bakery Remembrance; Richmond Voting Stories; the Gypsy Bridge project. Recent curatorial projects have included Spiked: The Unpublished Political Cartoons of Rob Rogers and the upcoming exhibition, 6.13.89 The Cancelling of the Mapplethorpe Exhibition. Additionally, Sethi is currently working on the Portland Hospice Potters Network and a body of paintings and drawings – the Delta Series.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s president Sanjit Sethi will offer a keynote address, “A Case for Creative Cultural Leadership,” informed by his leadership of MCAD, Corcoran School, and Santa Fe Art Institute. Synthesizing vital messages on the themes of cultural leadership, shared power and resilience gleaned from his collaborative, curated 2020-21 series “Slow Burning Fire,” his last-lecture style keynote will inform the possibilities for exchange between art and design schools and research universities to better foster arts-centered and community-engaged research.

Thursday, November 4


Steps Towards Change Student Panel

Telling the BIPOC Story: Artivism during COVID-19

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm EST


Bonnie Thornton Dill, Moderator

In 2011, Bonnie Thornton Dill was appointed dean of the University of Maryland’s 550-plus faculty, 3,500-student, 14-department College of Arts and Humanities. The first African American woman ever to hold the dean’s title in the college, Thornton Dill has worked to increase support for and the visibility of arts and humanities research and scholarship; provide leadership for interdisciplinary initiatives within the college and across the campus; support student engagement with underserved communities; and increase the number of UMD’s national scholarship award recipients. A pioneering scholar on the intersections of race, class and gender in the U.S. with an emphasis on African-American women, work and families, she is founding director of both the Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis and the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity at UMD. Her scholarship includes three books and numerous articles. She is former president of the National Women’s Studies Association; former vice president of the American Sociological Association; and former chair of the Committee of Scholars for Ms. magazine. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in sociology and human relations, respectively, from New York University and her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Rochester.

Ines Donfack
Maya Lee
Chisom Ojukwu
Ruby Pérez

The racial and economic inequalities of our education system were laid bare as students moved out of campus classrooms and into differently resourced spaces that came to house their virtual classrooms during the height of the pandemic. At the same time, BIPOC communities were disproportionately affected by both the pandemic and police violence. With communities needing a way to express themselves, protests, vigils, retaliation, and then more protests became a regular occurrence in many cities and a mainstay on all media outlets. In this panel, students will use recent projects and experiences to address the questions: Amidst the disruption of your space and the rise in opportunities for activism, what role did art play in your life? Would you have described yourself as an activist prior to the pandemic? How has your relationship to arts and activism–artivism–changed as our country has grappled with the racial and economic inequalities that have always existed in our society, and that have been made more evident by COVID-19? Do you see a place for artivism in your university? How might you integrate your artivism into your academic work?


Exchanging Knowledge

Time: 12:30-1:00pm EST

Creative Curation: What Artists are Teaching Librarians


Sommer Browning (she/her)

Sommer Browning is the Associate Director of Technical Services at Auraria Library, the library for the University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver, an Associate Professor, a poet, a comedian, and a mother.

My story is about the exchange of knowledge that happens behind academia’s back, the meticulous archives that only appear in family albums rather than special collections, the libraries made of what researchers throw away or overlook, and the artists doing this work. My story is about new knowledges, new modes of organizing knowledge, new ways to be a librarian and how these new concepts are found in museums, galleries, and artists’ studios, not in our research libraries. And I want to tell the story of how academic librarians look to these librarian-artists for guidance on how to collect what we’re ignoring, organizational structures that allow every student to find materials no matter what language they speak, and ways to tell the histories that scholarly publishing doesn’t–but I can’t quite tell that piece of the story yet. I can’t tell that story because librarians don’t see their work as a creative act. Because the organization, curation, and collecting happening in academic libraries is governed by rules, tradition, and more and more by algorithims.

Engaged Storycraft is/as Everywhere


Laura Shackelford (she/her)

Laura is a Professor of English and founding Director of the Center for Engaged Storycraft at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She enjoys researching, writing, and teaching contemporary narrative and storytelling practices of all kinds - in fiction, science fiction, digital literatures, graphic novels, interactive narrative, non-fiction, poetry, games, animation, and film. Her books on late 20th and early 21st century American fiction and digital fiction explore speculation as an invaluable shared practice and site of lively exchange between scientific and literary cultures, as these mutually inform contemporary digital cultures globally. She now spends much of her time collaborating with interdisciplinary teams of scholars and makers who enjoy seeking out new creative and socially-minded potentials in computational media, digital storytelling, interactive media, digital cultures, and sciences of systems theory, bioinformatics, and engineering.

My story draws parallels between the present ubiquity of story and ubiquitous storytelling, as the latter emerges from the expansions of mobile digital computing and social media in the early 2000s. I draw from my experience turning from a traditional literary scholar and academic teaching fiction, science fiction, and digital storytelling since 2004 to taking on the role of Founding Director of the Center for Engaged Storycraft at RIT in 2018. Storytelling, in my experience, might well inform creative arts practices of many kinds in its capacity as a “re-orientation device” (Sara Ahmed) that both registers shifts in how and why we engage with stories, and also performatively facilitates our re-attunement to invaluable modes of relating, sharing, listening, and gathering knowledges from a variety of disciplines and social sites in the present. Whether in my work with Engineering faculty on story-driven learning, or in my work with French computer scientists and digitial literary scholars, storytelling has been a key, creative and epistemological driver for building more equitable present-ist, and applicable modes of scholarly exchange though this is, of course, not the only possible outcome here and is not without its own challenges.

Telling Stories Without Words: The Making of “The Vortex”


Meredith Tromble

Meredith Tromble is an intermedia artist and writer who makes installations, drawings, and performances exploring the continuity of “virtual” and “physical” worlds. Her curiosity about imagination and knowledge has sparked several projects with scientists, including the Vortex series of interactive artworks, drawings, and performances grounded in her long-term collaboration with geobiologist Dawn Sumner. She also collaborates with the Los Angeles-based company Donna Sternberg & Dancers. Tromble’s work has been widely presented at venues ranging from the Mills Museum, Oakland to the Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., and BioBAT Art Space, Brooklyn and will be included in the upcoming exhibition “From Forces to Forms” at Pratt Institute Manhattan Gallery. Her Dream Vortex was chosen as an Exemplar Project of interdisciplinary research by the Association for Arts in Research Universities and her blog Art and Shadows, on contemporary art illuminated by science, was honored with an Art Writers Grant from the Warhol Foundation. Tromble is currently artist-in-residence at the University of California, Davis (UCD) Complexity Sciences Center and visiting scholar at the UCD Feminist Research Institute.

Donna Sternberg

This is the story of using dance and drawing to convey the emotional impact of scientific culture on researchers who are women, people of color, or gender-nonconforming. An artist, choreographer, and scientist collaborated to create a performance and video titled “The Vortex” based on the stories of historical and contemporary researchers, in the process interacting with many scientists and tracing common patters from their stories in the major themes of the performance. The artists will show a segment of work and weave the story of that segment into their own story of making the work and its reception.


Public Health

Time: 12:30-1:00pm EST

Layers of Reflection: Digital Stories in Medical Education


Sara Wilson McKay, PhD (she/her)

As a researcher interested in the politics of vision and visuality over the last 20+ years, I have explored the ways in which works of art create new seeing, how looking can be a dialogic process, and the possibilities of seeing more of the educational process in and through art. Since 2012, I have been actively collaborating with co-researchers in the VCU School of Nursing to design and implement VCU Art of Nursing, a museum-based arts intervention serving over 150-200 nursing students annually (1500+ so far). The program engages healthcare students in critical dialogue about works of art in a museum setting, drawing out the value of multiple points of view, conflicting interpretations, and what influences their personal critical thinking processes—all of which are important and present skills in nursing clinical reasoning processes. I have also expanded this model into K-12 settings in which team processes may be aided by the model’s main outcomes involving improved perception, communication, and reflection. Because of this work, in 2016, I was an invited participant with a colleague at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to “The Art of Examination: Art Museum and Medical School Partnerships Forum,” co-sponsored by the Edith O’Donnell Institute for Art History, which took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. I have since extended my work with healthcare providers into medicine, working with medical student groups, residents, and physicians with art objects in both the hospital and museum setting. In 2018, I also co-designed a medical elective for first year medical students that builds on this work and its implications for healthcare practice.

Bennett Lee, M.D., MPH (he/his)

Dr. Bennett B. Lee is an internist in Richmond, Virginia and is affiliated with VCU Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He serves as the director of the Ambulatory Clerkship and was honored with the Outstanding Teaching Award for the M-3 Medicine Clerkship.

Megan Lemay, M.D. (she/her)

Dr. Megan Lemay is a General Internist at VCU Health with a special interest in Addiction Medicine.  She practices in the General Internal Medicine Primary Care Clinic and the MOTIVATE Substance Use Treatment Clinic.  She is a Core Educator at the Internal Medicine Residency Program and teaches Practical Clinical Medicine to medical students. She co-created an improvisational theatre workshop for students entering their 3rd year of medical school, with demonstrated improved empathy with standardized patients. She is also the co-founder and co-director of a Medicine, Humanities and the Arts elective for first-year medical students. In addition to her work on the elective and improv workshop, Dr. Lemay is active in several other projects integrating the arts and humanities into medical education including reflection writing workshops for medical students, residents, and faculty, a reflection writing blog for Internal Medicine interns, serving as faculty mentor for the H:UMAN medical student humanities interest group, and serving as Associate Editor of the VCU Medical Literary Messenger. 

Cherie Edwards, PhD (she/hers)

Dr. Edwards is a qualitative, mixed methods, and visual methods researcher in the VCU School of Medicine.  She publishes widely as a methodological expert on fields ranging from engineering education to pediatric team-based learning to accessibility issues for marginalized learners, especially in STEMM fields.  She participates regularly in American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meetings and is a leading voice in visual research methods and theory formation in and through mixed methods research.

An interdisciplinary research team of medical educators, researchers, and arts educators share a digital story created by them to reflect on the importance of Digital Story-making as a tool for reflection for medical students. Mirroring the student experience of making a digital story, the team will tell the story of what moves the medical students to choose their topic for reflection and how their artistic choices contribute to their reflection process. The team will advocate for how this assignment creates a critical pause for students and educators alike to consider choice, nuance, style, and personhood in the complex system of healthcare and the position and agency of new physicians within it.

Coming Together While Apart: Connecting Campuses and Communities Toward Improving Systems and Health Equity


Emily Ryan (she/her)

Emily Ryan is the Director of The Commons at the University of Kansas. At KU, she is a Staff Associate for the Center for Service Learning; a member of the Research Communications Council; a student mentor through Jayhawk Connections; and a member of the Community Engagement Consortium. She is a market gardener and food justice advocate, and the Vice-Chair/Treasurer for the Paper Plains Literary Festival. Her work centers building connections and developing opportunities for collaborative research across disciplines and beyond the academy. She is invested in expanding access to food education and breaking down barriers to local food production.

Tamara Falicov (she/her)

Tamara Falicov is Associate Dean for Research at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. Together the HHARC organized programming around health humanities community engaged research, a newsletter with research and training opportunities and information sessions. I am a co-PI on a research project to create a trilingual (Me’phaa) “talking” digital dictionary co-created with the Me’phaa speaking community. This project exemplifies working collaboratively with a marginalized community who speak an endangered language. This project dovetails with my aim to help provide a space for researchers to work with local community members using an equity lens, in a horizontal form of partnership and communication.

Teri Kennedy (she/her)

Dr. Kennedy is Associate Dean, Interprofessional Practice, Education, Policy, and Research and Ida Johnson Feaster Professor of IPE, KU School of Nursing; Professor, Department of Population Health, KU School of Medicine; and co-facilitator, Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative. She serves on the Advisory Committee for Interdisciplinary, Community-Based Linkages, Health Resources and Services Administration; Public Policy Committee, National Academies of Practice; and Health and Aging Policy Fellows Alumni Network. Her work focuses on sustainability, interprofessional leadership, team science, and health and aging policy. She developed the Kennedy Model of Sustainability and a model of Strengths-Based Interprofessional Practice and Education (SB-IPE).

Katie Rhine (she/her)

Dr. Katie Rhine is Associate Professor, Geography & Atmospheric Science and African & African-American Studies; Faculty Fellow, University Honors Program; co-director of the first humanities-based lab, CoILAB-oratives: Bridging Digital Health Divides in East Africa; Integrated Arts Research Initiative faculty fellow with the Spencer Museum of Art; and co-founder/Co-Facilitator of HHARC. She studies the relationship between culture and health in Nigeria and her research is centered on topics including women and the HIV epidemic in northern Nigeria, and trauma systems and bloodless medicine in southern Nigeria. Additionally, she teaches and mentors students through an undergraduate global medicine seminar.

In response to a global pandemic during which we experienced a shared challenge, teh Health Humanities and Arts Research Collaborative, a cross-disciplinary, interprofessional collaborative that grew out of the University of Kansas Medical Center and Lawrence Campus, offers insights into how to make space for artists, humanists, health researchers, and community agencies to address common problems together, bringing their respective expertise to the conversation. HHARC servess as a model for connecting, co-creating, and responding to timely, real-world challenges, while relying on creativity, expertise, and co-created strategies to generate and build new solutions. Co-facilitators share their story.


Ground Works Panel: Understanding Vibrant Ecologies of Research

Time: 2:00-3:15pm EST


Veronica Stanich (she/her)

Veronica Dittman Stanich, a2ru Research Programs Manager, holds a PhD in Dance Studies from the Ohio State University. Her interview- and observation-based research investigating audience responses to postmodern dance has been published in Dance Chronicle and Dance Research, and presented to the Congress on Research in Dance. Her work on the a2ru research team has resulted in workshops, whitepapers, and other resources concerning arts integration impacts; issues around tenure and promotion for the arts, design, and interdisciplinary practices; and interdisciplinary collaboration. Veronica is the Managing Editor of Ground Works, a2ru’s online platform for arts-integrated research.

Aaron Knochel (he/his)

Dr. Aaron D. Knochel is an Associate Professor of Art Education at Penn State University and the guest editor of Ground Works's special issue Vibrant Ecologies of Research. He completed his doctorate in Art Education at the Ohio State University in 2011 focused on critical media literacy, software studies, and art education. He has worked in a variety of visual arts learning spaces including schools, museums, and community arts programs both domestically and internationally. Dr. Knochel has presented his research at a range of national and international conferences including the National Art Education Association National Convention, SIGGRAPH, and at the International Society for Education through Art World Congress in Budapest, Hungary and Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Knochel is currently an Embedded Researcher in the Art & Design Research Incubator in the College of Arts & Architecture. Dr. Knochel’s research focuses on the intersections between art education, social theory, and software studies. From community-based media production to engaging digital visual culture in the K-12 art classroom, his interests follow the complexities of civic engagement both through the arts and through network connectivity.

Publications include articles in Studies in Art Education, Visual Arts Research, The International Journal of Education through Art, and Kairos. Generally, he tries to live up to his @artisteducator twitter bio: artist-teacher-visual culture researcher-digital media flaneur-novice hacker and pixel stacker.

Eric Benson
Eric Benson received his BFA in graphic and industrial design from the University of Michigan in 1998. He worked professionally as a UI/UX designer at Razorfish and Texas Instruments before he received his MFA in design from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. His MFA thesis became the internationally recognized and award-winning sustainable design website www.re-nourish.com. His work with Re-nourish translated into an academic career where he currently is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research and teaching at Illinois laid the foundation to create the Fresh Press Agri-Fiber Paper Lab. Fresh Press explores the potential of papermaking to be zero waste, environmentally sustainable, and a catalyst for a thriving local economy.
Mary Beth Leigh

Mary Beth Leigh is a professor of microbiology and coordinator of arts-humanities-STEMM integration at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is the founding director of the collaborative arts-humanities-science program based at the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research Program in Alaska known as “In a Time of Change”. She also helps to coordinate arts and humanities activities for the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Network. Prior to joining UAF in 2006, Leigh earned her B.F.A. in Modern Dance, M.S. in Botany, and Ph.D. in Microbiology, all at the University of Oklahoma, and conducted postdoctoral research at Michigan State University and the NERC Center for Ecology and Hydrology, Oxford.

Genevieve Tremblay

In this panel, we explore the forthcoming publication Vibrant Ecologies of Research (VER), a special collection for a2ru’s online peer-reviewed publication Ground Works. (https://groundworks.io/). VER seeks to deepend our understanding of institutional, social and epistemological systems that effectively weave arts-based inquiry into the scholarly fabric of research. In this way, VER calls attention to the complex ways that institutions, research groups, and organizations come together, and what elements allow them to thrive. Reviewed submissions provide concrete examples of research ecosystems as well as jumping-off points for VER editorial staff, contributors, and session participants to discuss and analyze ecologies of research, through the lens of Ground Works and its unique multimodal publishing format. Participants should expect discussion focused on the vitality of arts-based inquiry in spaces of research that extend, augment, or mutate conceptions of knowledge, ethical decision-making, and accessibility to research cultures.



Time: 3:45-4:15pm EST

Virtual Projects with the Living Earth Show: Music for Hard Times and Queer Objects


Jane Hirshberg (she/her

In her role as Assistant Director of Campus and Community Engagement at The Clarice, Jane is a key member of the curatorial team and is the primary program design generator and leader of all initiatives, projects and programs in the area of campus and community engagement. While she has been at UMD she has established two campus/community working groups, each with the focus of integrating creative expression into conversations and activities about social justice. They are Campus Fabric, which leverages the combined experience of multiple campus organizations with longstanding connections to the local community, aiming to elevate the role of community engagement into the fabric of UMD life; and the UMD/BSU Social Justice Alliance, a collaboration of campus and community organizations that are co-curating events to bring together UMD and Bowie State University, triggered by a tragic hate crime resulting in the murder of a BSU student by a UMD student. Jane has led several large scale projects that have invited participation by community members on and off campus, addressing such issues as Black Lives Matter, music as a tool for social change, stories of immigration and others. Jane worked in various capacities, including Partnerships Director and Managing Director, at Liz Lerman Dance Exchange for 13 years before moving to The Clarice in August 2011. Prior to that, she was manager of the Culture in Community Fund at the New England Foundation for the Arts after her work for several years at The Music Hall, a multi-disciplinary arts presenting organization in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Richard Scerbo (he/his)

Richard Scerbo is Director of the National Orchestral Institute + Festival where he leads one of the nation’s most prestigious training programs for young orchestral musicians. For over ten years, Scerbo has worked in various capacities to oversee the artistic growth of the Institute and its innovative training curriculum in orchestral performance, conductorless chamber orchestras, professional development and community engagement. For his work with NOI+F, he was selected as a 2016 Musical America Innovator and is profiled in Musical America’s Innovators: 30 Professionals of the Year. Selected from hundreds of performing arts professionals, Musical America Professionals of the Year are innovative, creative and forward-thinking arts leaders. An active member of the regional arts community, Scerbo has served on panels with the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, adjudicated chamber music competitions for the Montpelier Arts Center and judged orchestra competitions for the Howard County Public Schools. As an educator of all ages, he conducts the Youth Philoharmonic with the DC Youth Orchestra and is Music Director of the NIH Community Orchestra, a 70-member volunteer orchestra drawn from the health, science and research professionals across the region.

Travis Andrews (he/him)

Now in their eleventh year of “outstanding” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “transcendent” (Charleston City Paper) performances, The Living Earth Show–guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson–is a megaphone and canvas for the world’s most progressive artists. One of the premiere contemporary chamber ensembles in the United States, The Living Earth Show exists to push the boundaries of technical and artistic possibility while amplifying voices, perspectives, and bodies that the classical music tradition has often excluded. The organization uses the tools of experimental classical music to foreground BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, facilitating the creation of their most ambitious musical visions and creating work that reflects and responds to our world.


Based in San Francisco, The Living Earth Show has presented seasons of commissioned multimedia productions since 2011, working with dance companies, visual artists, sculptors, poets, and other musicians to craft compelling, immersive, California-centric productions.


The organization’s most recent live season (2019-20) included performances at the Spoleto Festival USA, Sutro Baths (Tremble Staves: a collaboration with the National Parks Service), Davies Symphony Hall (a collaboration with the San Francisco Girls’ Chorus), The Met Cloisters (Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman: a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and ODC Theater for a presentation of a festival in honor of The Living Earth Show’s 10th anniversary.


The Living Earth Show has released three critically acclaimed albums: M. Lamar’s Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman (2019), Dance Music (2016) and High Art (2013). Upcoming albums in 2021 include Samuel Adams’ Lyra, Sahba Aminkia’s Shahnameh: Book of Kings, Sarah Hennies and Terry Berlier’s A Kind of Ache, and the debut album by COMMANDO: a nü metal project organized by The Living Earth Show foregrounding some of the most legendary LGBTQIA POC rappers, singers, yellers, and rockers in the country.

Andy Meyerson (he/him)

Now in their eleventh year of “outstanding” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “transcendent” (Charleston City Paper) performances, The Living Earth Show–guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson–is a megaphone and canvas for the world’s most progressive artists. One of the premiere contemporary chamber ensembles in the United States, The Living Earth Show exists to push the boundaries of technical and artistic possibility while amplifying voices, perspectives, and bodies that the classical music tradition has often excluded. The organization uses the tools of experimental classical music to foreground BIPOC and LGBTQ+ artists, facilitating the creation of their most ambitious musical visions and creating work that reflects and responds to our world.


Based in San Francisco, The Living Earth Show has presented seasons of commissioned multimedia productions since 2011, working with dance companies, visual artists, sculptors, poets, and other musicians to craft compelling, immersive, California-centric productions.


The organization’s most recent live season (2019-20) included performances at the Spoleto Festival USA, Sutro Baths (Tremble Staves: a collaboration with the National Parks Service), Davies Symphony Hall (a collaboration with the San Francisco Girls’ Chorus), The Met Cloisters (Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman: a collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and ODC Theater for a presentation of a festival in honor of The Living Earth Show’s 10th anniversary.


The Living Earth Show has released three critically acclaimed albums: M. Lamar’s Lordship & Bondage: The Birth of the Negro Superman (2019), Dance Music (2016) and High Art (2013). Upcoming albums in 2021 include Samuel Adams’ Lyra, Sahba Aminkia’s Shahnameh: Book of Kings, Sarah Hennies and Terry Berlier’s A Kind of Ache, and the debut album by COMMANDO: a nü metal project organized by The Living Earth Show foregrounding some of the most legendary LGBTQIA POC rappers, singers, yellers, and rockers in the country.

Motivated by hope instead of despair, the Clarice Performing Arts Center embarked on a radical planning strategy for our 2020-21 season. We presented a virtual season to our audiences focused on engagement and education for University of Maryland (UMD) students. We continue to be committed to supporting artists. And since we are part of a research university, our commitment to the education of students is one of our primary core values. In December, the Clarice and the UMD School of Music presented a one-of-a-kind aural experience in collaboration with visiting artists from The Living Earth Show (TLES) (Andy Meyerson and Travis Andrews), composer Danny Clay and the UMD Wind Orchestra. “Music for Hard Times” is an “open sourced” composition resulting in a piece that can never be replicated. Throughout the semester, Danny guided members of the UMD Wind Orchestra in creating various unique recordings that Danny and The Living Earth Show wove into UMD’s own version of “Music for Hard Times.” The world premiere was part of a special virtual event where audience members heard the piece and from the composer and musicians about their artistic process in creating the piece. About 70 students from the School of Music participated in the 8-week long project during fall semester 2020.

Jacktrip Network Music Technology and Remote Art Integration


Jiayue Cecilia Wu (she/her)

Dr. Jiayue Cecilia Wu is a scholar, audio engineer, composer, performer, and multimedia technologist. Her research focuses on Human-Computer Interaction and Digital Music Instrument design, evaluation, and performance in Embodied Sonic Meditation practice. Her work has been exhibited at international venues such as the National Museum of China, Linux Audio Conference, Audio Engineering Society (AES), International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), and IEEE. Her multimedia work was selected by the Denver Art Museum for its permanent collection in 2019. Currently, she is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado's College of Arts and Media. She is also the chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at AES and Colorado MahlerFest as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the SEAMUS Newsletter.

Cecilia Suhr (she/her)

Dr. Cecilia Suhr is an intermedia artist and researcher, multi-instrumentalist (violin/cello/voice/piano), multimedia composer, painter, author, and improviser, who is working at the intersection between art, music, motion, and digital technology. More specifically, her latest work combines video, improvisational music performance, nonlinear storytelling, games, and interactive media/installation (sometimes with the audience's participation). Her work has been publicly collected by the Marina Tsvetaeva House Museum in Moscow, IANG Gallery, NamSeoul University (permanent collection), Sisters of St. Paul of Charities, and KT Korea. She holds an M.A. from New York University in Media Ecology, and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in Media Studies, and a certificate of completion in audio-visual practice from the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Humanities and Creative Arts as well as an Affiliate Professor of Art at Miami University Regionals, Ohio.

Chris Chafe (he/him)

Dr. Chris Chafe is a composer, improvisor, and cellist, developing much of his music alongside computer-based research. He is Director of Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). In 2019, he was International Visiting Research Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies The University of British Columbia, Visiting Professor at the Politecnico di Torino, and Edgard-Varèse Guest Professor at the Technical University of Berlin. At IRCAM (Paris) and The Banff Centre (Alberta), he has pursued methods for digital synthesis, music performance and real-time internet collaboration. CCRMA's jacktrip project involves live concertizing with musicians the world over. Online collaboration software and research into latency factors continue to evolve. An active performer either on the net or physically present, his music reaches audiences in sometimes novel venues. An early network project was a simultaneous five-country concert was hosted at the United Nations in 2009. Chafe’s works include gallery and museum music installations which are now into their second decade with “musifications” resulting from collaborations with artists, scientists and MD’s. Recent work includes the Earth Symphony, the Brain Stethoscope project (Gnosisong), PolarTide for the 2013 Venice Biennale, Tomato Quintet for the transLife:media Festival at the National Art Museum of
China and Sun Shot played by the horns of large ships in the port of St. Johns, Newfoundland.

This story starts with a collective improvisation piece and then moves to further storytelling about the Jacktrip network music technology behind the theme that made this collaboration happen. The conversation follows with a discussion about Jacktrip’s 20-year history and its contribution to remote music collaborations, music education, and art integration.



Time: 3:45-4:20pm EST

Double Vision: Seeing Patient Conditions & Narratives Simultaneously


Danielle Clark (she/her/hers)

Dani is currently a Master of Arts in Art Education graduate student at the University of Cincinnati. Her graduate research focus investigates the role of arts in medicine and connects with the emerging field of Narrative Medicine, where healthcare education curriculum includes the arts to improve patient-provider communication and care. With the support of expert faculty guidance, interdisciplinary research opportunities, community and industry collaborations, and her current assistantship position, she is uniquely positioned to build back into the university, my community, and larger public health systems.

Seeing Patient Conditions & Narratives Simultaneously elevates patient narratives by re-designing a condition-specific medical text to include them. This piece combines visual design with response poetry to create a portrait of a patient’s experience and present a new way for healthcare providers to receive it.

Disability Studies and Arts-Based Research as Self-Reflexive Practice


Alexandra Allen (she/her/hers)

Alexandra Allen is a Postdoctoral Scholar of Art Education, Administrative Project Manager of the Studio for Sustainability and Social Action, Co-Director of the Summer Institute on Contemporary Art and the Director of the Saturday Arts Program at the Pennsylvania State University. With a PhD in Art Education from Florida State University, her research focuses primarily on individuals with invisible disabilities and how they develop and renegotiate their own disability identity. Using theories from critical disability studies, Alexandra continues to generate artwork that addresses issues of ableism in an effort to challenge the stigmatized notion of mental health disorders within Higher Education. In her most recent work as a practicing artist, Alexandra’s mixed-media sculptures combine wire, glass, fiber and ink to encapsulate her own disability experience as she explores the sociocultural factors that perpetuate performative ablebodiedness. With a background in teaching students with disabilities, she integrates disability awareness into her pedagogical practices, and aims to uncover the ways that arts-based research can dismantle ableist perspectives in preservice education. Alexandra is currently a member of the executive board for Disability Studies in Art Education and has contributed publications on the intersection of Disability Studies and Art Education in the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing and the International Journal of Education through art.

Through the lens of critical disability studies, an individual with invisible disabilities will share their lived experience navigating the intersection of being an artist, educator and researcher. Through the use of storytelling and visual narratives, the presenter will emphasize the value of the arts to untangle the complexity of the disability experience and advocate for using the arts as a way to understand and appreciate diversity in the art classroom.

The Heart of the Matter


David Fakunle (he/him/his)

David Olawuyi Fakunle, Ph.D. is a “mercenary for change,” employing any skill and occupying any space to help elevate everyone divested from their truest self, especially those who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. David serves as Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine, and Associate Faculty in the Mental Health department of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. David’s interests include stressors within the built environment, societal manifestations of racism, and the use of arts and culture to strengthen health, equity, and ultimately liberation.

Additionally, David has applied artistic and cultural practices such as Black storytelling, African drumming, singing and theater in the proclamation of his truth for over 20 years, collaborating primarily with organizations in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region. Among many affiliations David is co-founder and CEO of DiscoverME/RecoverME, an organization that utilizes the African oral tradition to empower use of narrative for healing and growth, and serves as Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state-level commission in the U.S. dedicated to chronicling and bringing justice to racial terror lynchings.

2020 revealed and made visceral many perpetual public health challenges that plague the United States, including challenges impacted by race and racism. 2020 also reminded many people of what is most important in life, such as connection and happiness. Whether addressing social determinants of health or existential determinants of health, 2020 was a demonstration of how valuable arts and culture are in cultivating and empowering narrative. Narrative provides researchers, practitioners, educators and the public with the necessary context to truly address health challenges in a manner attuned to the lived experiences of populations the field is charged to serve. The change the world needs begins with telling the stories…our stories.

Multiple Narratives


Kris Stanec (she/her)

As Director of Museum Education and a faculty member in the Education Department at Colorado College, Kris Stanec’s work centers critical pedagogies that develop deeper relationships and reflections. Her research spans formal and informal educational spaces applying arts-integration and objects-based learning. Awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellowship in 2017, she created an inclusive approach to arts education titled Multiple Narratives, which prioritizes students’ voice and lived experiences. She currently teaches at Colorado College in Creativity and Innovation. A frequent leader of professional development workshops, Kris inspires people to embrace the creative process while bringing theory into action to craft meaningful praxis. Kris facilitates positive community and engages many voices to build successful, dynamic, and impactful programs.

Alie Ehrensaft (she/her)

Alie Ehrensaft (she/her) is the Museum Education Manager at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, where she focuses work within interdisciplinary learning, arts integration, and student leadership. As a graduate of Colorado College (BA ‘12, MA ‘17), She returned to her alma mater to expand upon the educational opportunities at Colorado College while simultaneously enhancing partnerships within the Colorado Springs community. Working with learners from across the college campus, K-12 schools, and the local community, Alie utilizes trauma-based practices and inclusive pedagogies to provide robust opportunities for students in the arts. Prior to her work at CC, Alie was a high school teacher in Colorado Springs for nearly a decade anchoring her practice in interdisciplinary learning. Her experience working with K-12, college, and adult audiences provides her the tools to navigate an expanding landscape of education, the complexities of the field, and the promise of what education can be.

Madeline Nicholson (she/her)
Madeline Nicholson (she/her) is a writer, potter, and fundraiser. She is the Grants & Giving Manager at Business Impact NW where she uses storytelling and writing to build economic opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest. Nicholson previously was a Student Guide at the Fine Arts Center of Colorado Springs where she spent three years in Museum Education aiming to create equitable access to museum spaces through dialogue and interactive experiences. As the Studio Assistant at the Colorado College Ceramic Center and Marnette Doyle Pottery she used clay as medium for self-exploration while teaching ceramics to young people in Colorado Springs and Minneapolis. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Colorado College.

Follow the interwoven stories of arts educators, researchers, and students searching for meaningful ways to expand access to the world of art, seeking answers to questions: What if art education spaces start the process of viewing art by establishing a brave place for viewers to share their prior knowledge and lived experiences? How can shifting the way we approach visual engagement inspire more accessible exchanges? Multiple Narratives, an inclusive pedagogy, supports the facilitation of authentic connections between art and viewers’ intersectional identities, to shape equitable futures through imaginative education.


Interlude: Li Chiao-Ping Dance/Here Lies the Truth, part ii

Time: 4:30-4:45pm EST


Li Chiao-Ping (she/her)

Li Chiao-Ping, Artistic Director of LCPD, makes work for the stage, screen, and other sites, and for dance companies, university dance programs, and individuals around the country. Named by Dance Magazine as one of “25 to watch”, she was part of ADF’s International Choreographer’s Program. Her work has been shown at national and international festivals such as Jacob’s Pillow, Bates, The Yard, Internacional Festival de Video Danza, and the American Dance Festival among others. Creator of The Extreme Moves Training Method SM/TM, Li is also the recipient of grants from the NEA and fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board and Scripps/ADF Humphrey-Weidman-Li mon; the subject of two documentaries; and honored to be a Discovery Fellow at the WID, a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and an Outstanding Woman of Color in Education Award recipient. She is the Artistic Director of Li Chiao-Ping Dance and Professor in the Dance Department at UW-Madi son, where she served as Chair from 2011-2014. She was awarded a Vilas Research Professorship, one of the highest honors bestowed by the university and one of two artists to ever receive one, a prestigious MAP Fund grant for her project with visual artist Douglas Rosenberg LANDED, and recently the WARF Named Professorship--the Sally Banes Professor of Dance.

Cassie Last (she/her)

Cassie Last (dancer, Li Chiao-Ping Dance), from Cambridge, WI, is a graduate of UW-Madison, with a BFA in dance. She began training at Studio 3-D in Deerfield, WI, at the age of 4. In undergrad, Cassie was in works by faculty Li Chiao-Ping, Jin-Wen Yu, and Chris Walker. Professionally, she is a Company Dancer with Li Chiao-Ping Dance, having performed in concerts “ARENA”, “DOLCE STIL NOVO”, and “Dancing the Chazen”. She has continued her studies in previous summers at the LA Contemporary Dance Company Summer Intensive and Bates Dance Festival Professional Training Program. Throughout her undergraduate career Cassie was granted the Jin-Wen Yu Award (2020), Genevieve Brown Wright Scholarship (2019), Phi Beta Award in the Arts (2019), Therese “Terry” Rolfs Scholarship (2019), Bates Merit Scholarship (2019), Barbara Walz Scholarship (2018,2019), and Helen Pfuderer Smith Scholarship (2017, 2018). Cassie has performed works with guest artists, Scott Ewen, Carol Teitelbaum (reset Merce Cunningham “MinEvent”), Brooke Smiley (reset Anna Halprin’s “Paper Dance”), Dyane Harvey-Salaam (reset Abdel Salaam’s “Be Flowin’”), and Christian von Howard, as well as many other student works. Choreographically at UW-Madison, Cassie’s group work “give and give”(2020) was selected for the H’Doubler Concert, and her solo “noticing then in now”(2019) and group work “Swept Under”(2018) were selected for the Kloepper Concert.

Elisabeth Roskopf (she/her)

Elisabeth Roskopf (dancer, Li Chiao-Ping Dance) was born in South Korea and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin where she began dancing at the age of 6. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she earned her BA in Piano and minor in Dance. She is a company member with Li Chiao-Ping Dance, Danceworks Performance MKE, and Wild Space Dance Company. She is currently a guest artist with the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project, and she has had the opportunity of performing with Marlene Skog Dance and Catey Ott Dance Collective. As a performer, she is described as "light as a feather, tough as nails" and "a joy to behold." Since the spring of 2014, Elisabeth has been performing in the Lake Arts Project, directed by Jennifer Miller and Karl von Rabenau formerly of the Milwaukee Ballet. Since 2013, and still ongoing, she has choreographed and performed her solo works for Danceworks DanceLAB Get It Out There concert series. In addition to her performing, she is also a ballet and contemporary teacher and choreographer in the Greater Milwaukee Area.

Mariel Schneider (she/her)

Mariel Schneider (dancer, Li Chiao-Ping Dance) is a dance artist and teacher based in Madison, WI, the ancestral land of the Ho-Chunk people. She recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has since begun training with the Li Chiao-Ping Dance Company. She is looking forward to sharing the innovative work that is Here Lies the Truth . It is her hope that this work and the spirit of the SEED Festival encourages audiences and participants to invest ourselves in a critical outlook and embrace an intersectional framework when examining and dismantling systemic modes of oppression.

Shayna Valianos (she/her)

Shayna Valianos (dancer, Li Chiao-Ping Dance) is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance, a major in Communication Arts, and a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies. She spent her Spring 2019 semester in Florence, Italy. In recent years she has had the opportunity to participate in several concerts through UW-Madison’s Dance Department, working under Collette Stewart and Li Chiao-Ping as well as being in works choreographed by, and in collaboration with, students. In January 2020, she attended the Bates/Gibney Connect Workshop in NYC. Since graduating, she has been training with Li-Chiao Ping Dance and anticipates future performance opportunities, both virtual and in-person.

Ying Xu (she/her)

Ying Xu (dancer, Li Chiao-Ping Dance) received an M.F.A. in Dance at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and additionally studied abroad at the Trinity Laban Institute in Movement Analysis in London in 2012. She was the recipient of the Henry Kurth Award for Excellence in Theatrical Elements and received the Eva L. Pancoast Award, presented by the Board of Trustees of CWRU. In 2000, she obtained a B.F.A. in Dance at Beijing Dance Academy, the most prestigious dance conservatory in China. Ying is active as an international choreographer and performer. Several of her works were selected for National and International Dance Festivals, and she has presented choreography at numerous venues including Ivyside Dance Ensemble’s main stage concert at Penn State University Altoona, Dance Department of University of Wisconsin-Madison, Capital City University - Beijing, China, three major Dance Companies: Yang Mei, Tao Yuen, and Da Xi, in Taiwan, Cleveland State University and Wittenberg University. A dancer with Li Chiao-Ping Dance (LCPD) in Madison, WI since 2018, she has also performed solo, duet and principal roles in Martha Graham technique-based works which include Wein and Views of a Fleeting World by Pascal Rioult of the Rioult Dance Company in New York and worked with Gary Galbraith, Karen Potter, John Jasper, Rodger Belman and Richard Chen See. Ying has taught Intermediate and Advanced levels of Ballet Technique and Chinese Classical/Folk Dance and Culture at the Dance department of UW-Madison for dance majors; Ballet Technique at Penn State University-Altoona for dance minors; Ballet Technique at the American College Dance Association in Dance Department of UW-Madison; Chinese dance and culture at the American College Dance Festival Association in the Dance Department of UW-Milwaukee; and in 2019, had a dance residency with UW-Madison and taught Chinese dance technique and choreography for dance majors.

Constance Anderson (she/her)
Charli Harris (she/her)
Piper Morgan Hayes (she/her)
Elisa Hildner (she, her)
Dianne Kotsonis (she/her)

The work Li Chiao-Ping Dance has created, “Here Lies the Truth, part ii,” brings audience members into a shared space to experience the power of this cross-disciplinary work utilizing dance, poetry, and video. The call to action for Li Chiao-Ping Dance is to hold ourselves and everyone around us accountable for ways in which we can effect the change that we seek for a more just and equitable society. Our work is to be done within our dance group and continued outwardly to the people we interact with directly and indirectly. Our goal in presenting “Here Lies the Truth, part ii” to to express the importance of dance, its power to speak our felt truths, and to express our story of the past year. In this screendance work “Here Lies the Truth, part ii,” the narrative encompasses performativity, isolation, space/place, personal/social identities and responsibilities, individuality and collective thinking, and finally, groundedness and connectedness.



Keynote Panel: Staging Incarceration–Artmaking in & About U.S. Prisons

Time: 5:00-6:00pm EST


Megan Sweeney (she/her), Moderator

Megan Sweeney is Arthur F. Thurnau Associate Professor of English, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her publications include an award-winning monograph, Reading Is My Window: Books and the Art of Reading in Women’s Prisons (2010); an edited collection, The Story Within Us: Women Prisoners Reflect on Reading (2012); a collection of lyric essays called Mendings, under contract with Duke University Press; numerous articles about African American literature, reading, and incarceration; and lyric essays published in BrevityEntropy MagazineThe Normal School, and Bennington Review. Sweeney's writing has been supported by fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, the Ford Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. Deeply committed to teaching, Sweeney has received the John H. D'Arms Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities (2021), a Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award (2010), and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship (2014), the university's highest award for undergraduate teaching. She currently serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of English Language & Literature, as Associate Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in Women’s and Gender Studies, and as Director of the Hopwood Program.

Lisa L. Biggs (she/her)

Lisa L. Biggs, Ph.D. is an actress, playwright and performance studies scholar whose artistic work, teaching and scholarship investigate the role of the arts and performance in movements for social justice. She currently serves as the John Atwater and Diana Nelson Assistant Professor of the Arts in the Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre at Brown University. From 1999-2001 she was a member of the acting ensemble of the Living Stage Theatre, one of the preeminent theatre for social change programs in the U.S. Other acting credits including productions at the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Lookingglass Theatre, the African Continuum Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Theatre of the First Amendment, DC Arts Space, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the Baltimore Theatre Project. She is the author of seven plays including Vigilante Artist, Blackbirds and After/Life: A Detroit '67 Project. Her scholarship researches the impact of theatre and dance programs for women incarcerated in the U.S. and South Africa, and has been published in Solo/Black/Woman, Black Acting Methods, Theatre Survey, and Applied Theatre: Women and the Criminal Justice System. Her forthcoming book, Beyond Incarceration, is under contract with Ohio State University Press. Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Knight Foundation, DC Arts Council, and the Ellen Stone Belic Foundation amongst others. She earned a PhD in Performance Studies at Northwestern.

Keith Bolden (he/his)

Keith Arthur Bolden native of Los Angeles, California, earned his MFA in Acting from the University of Illinois and is currently an associate professor of Theatre and Performance at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. He considers himself a tri-coastal actor and it is demonstrated in his work, and in his ability to transform and embody a variety of characters based on his travels, life experiences and observation of the human condition. 

Directing Credits include: Hands Up! (Alliance Theatre, Fall 2021), Pipeline (Horizon Theatre), Two Trains Running (Triad Stage), Topdog/Underdog (NC Black Rep), Hands Up (Hattiloo Theatre), Hoodoo Love, Seven Guitars, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, The Piano Lesson (Spelman College)

Acting Credits include: Paradise Blue (True Colors Theatre),  Fetch Clay Make Man (Dallas Theatre Center), Between Riverside and Crazy (True Colors Theatre), Dreamgirls (DOMA Theatre), Gem of the Ocean (The Fountain Theatre, Rubicon Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun (Kirk Douglas Theatre, Hartford Stage, Cape Fear Regional Theatre), CROWNS (Texas Southern University-Guest Artist), Neighbors (Matrix Theatre), Fences, Take Me Out (Human Race Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis), Ragtime (Penn State-Guest Artist), The Exonerated,  among others

Recent Film/TV credits: the upcoming film TILL, Genius: Aretha Franklin, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Games People Play, Creepshow, American Soul, Mile 22, Cobra Kai, The Haunting of Hill House, Behind the Movement, Underground, Black Lightning, Being Mary Jane, Nashville, Greenleaf, A Baby for Christmas, Swamp Murders, Containment, Your Worst Nightmare, Saints and Sinners, The Have and Have Nots, Goosebumps, Vampire Diaries, Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip.

Nicholas Fesette (he/his)

Nicholas Fesette is an assistant professor of theatre at Oxford College of Emory University. His writing is published in the volume Race and Performance after Repetition, as well as in the journals Research in Drama Education, PUBLIC, and Teaching Artist Journal. His current book project examines the prison state as a performing structure that continually re-stages race and class oppression, which draws in part on his experience working with the Phoenix Players Theatre Group, a company of actors and writers located in a men’s maximum-security prison in Upstate New York.

Emily Sahakian (she/her)

Emily Sahakian is Associate Professor of Theatre and French, jointly appointed in the Departments of Theatre & Film Studies and Romance Languages, and Undergraduate Coordinator of Theatre at the University of Georgia. She is a scholar of French African diaspora performance and a community-based theatre artist. She is the author of Staging Creolization: Women’s Theater and Performance from the French Caribbean (2017, University of Virginia Press) and co-author of a forthcoming critical edition and translation of Histoire de nègre (Tale of Black Histories), a Martinican play created collaboratively by schoolteachers under Edouard Glissant’s direction in 1971 to teach the realities and legacies of Caribbean history to popular audiences. From 2018-2021, she was co-director of the Georgia Incarceration Performance Project, a collaboration between UGA and Spelman College faculty, students, and librarians, and incarcerated students completing coursework for college credit from prison. Together with their collaborators, the artistic team created an original performance about the histories and contemporary realities of incarceration, race, and unpaid labor in Georgia, and performed their original creation at both UGA and Spelman. Along with the archival exhibit upon which the work was based, the project received an honorable mention for the National Council on Public History's Outstanding Public History Project Award in 2020.

Kathleen Wessel (she/her)

Kathleen Wessel is a movement artist, choreographer, director, writer, and educator from Orlando, Florida. She holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Currently, Kathleen is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Dance Performance & Choreography at Spelman College and director of Spelman Dance Theatre.

Katheen’s choreographic research explores the intersections between narrative movement, devised theater, and live performance in non-traditional spaces. With Brooklyn-based artist Kelly Bartnik, Kathleen co-directs HEREafter, an episodic immersive theater production based in Atlanta. Most recent awards include "Outstanding Choreography" for Flying Lessons at the New York Musical Festival in 2019 and a “Best of Theater: Choreography” award from the Orlando Sentinel for her work on the 2020 immersive walking play Bright Young Things. Kathleen also served as an associate Director and co-choreographer for The Georgia Incarceration Performance Project Presents: By Our Hands, an award-winning devised archives-to-performance production exploring the history of convict labor in Georgia. Currently, Kathleen is lead choreographer of Nosferatu, an immersive horror experience produced by the Orlando-based Renaissance Theater Company and running through October 2021.

In 2007, she co-founded Staibdance and danced with the company for a decade. In addition, she co-created the Staibdance Summer Intensive in Sorrento, Italy and served on the faculty for eight years. She has performed and taught throughout the American Southeast, Las Vegas, New York, Italy, and Sweden, and her movement studies have taken her to London, Tel Aviv, and most recently Berlin.

Before landing at Spelman, Kathleen taught at Emory University and Oxford College of Emory, where she was director of Oxford Dance Company for three years. Her choreography has been twice selected for American College Dance Association Gala concerts. She is also a contributing writer for ArtsATL.

In this keynote panel, artist-scholars will share their work creating theatre with and about incarcerated individuals. Drawing on their experiences in prison settings around the United States, the panelists will address questions such as: How can this work reveal the racist, classist, and sexist forces at work in the US carceral system? What are the challenges and unique possibilities of collaboration with incarcerated artists? What are the impacts–intentional and/or unintentional–of this work? Can artmaking in this setting be a catalyst for change?

Friday, November 5



Time: 11:00am-12:00pm EST

Hi-Tech/Hi-Touch: Crafting the Hybrid Fashion Generation


Ashley Kubley

Ashley Newsome Kubley has 15 years of education and professional experience in fine art, fashion, and design. She is passionate about the advancement of craft culture as well as the implementation of sustainable practices in the apparel industry. Her creative work is geared towards bridging the gap between historical techniques and contemporary technologies.

Soft Wearables showcases Hi-Tech/Hi-Touch prototypes that illustrate how tactile, hands-on making is combined with computation and digital design. Interdisciplinary design students created functional, flexible smart textile prototypes that can sense and react to environmental stimuli. Each team created a 1-minute video short to illustrate their project concept, process, and a demonstration of their working prototype. This will be a feature of the 10 best projects from 2016-present.

Brick Meets Pixel


Sigrid Zahner

Sigrid Zahner is an Associate Professor of Design, Art and Performance at Purdue University, and is head of the Ceramics program, interim head of the Sculpture program, and coordinator of the Craft and Material Studies program. In addition to teaching both graduate and undergraduate level ceramics and sculpture, Sigrid has taught undergraduate textile courses, graduate level installation classes at Purdue. Sigrid’s work is present in several museums and collections, including the Grimmerhus Museum, Danish National Museum of Ceramic Art, Copenhagen, Denmark, The Everson Museum in New York, The NAU Museum in Arizona, The Copia Museum, Napa, CA, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center Skaelskor, Denmark, and the Diane and Sandy Besser Collection. In addition to showing in the USA, Sigrid has shown all over the world including in Japan, Denmark, UK, and has shown at the National Council of Education in the Ceramic Arts. Sigrid has work in several publications including Cast (Townsend, Jen and ZettleSterling, Renee, ed. 2016, Schiffer Publishing Ltd. 6105931777), Art for Everyone (a textbook for Art 101, Introduction to Art. Chemeketa Community College, Salem, OR), 500 Prints on Clay (Tourtillott, Suzanne J. E., ed. 2013.New York: Lark Books), 500 cups: Ceramic Explorations of Utility and Grace (Tourtillott, Suzanne J. E., ed. 2005. New York: Lark Books), 500 Teapots: Contemporary Explorations of a Timeless Design (Tourtillott, Suzanne J. E., ed. 2002, New York: Lark Books. Sigrid is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a member of NCECA and the Screen Actors Guild.

Andrew Buchanan

Dr. Andy Buchanan is a digital animation artist and animation researcher originally from Melbourne, Australia, and currently Assistant Professor of Computer Graphics Technology at Purdue University. He holds a PhD in Creative Media from RMIT University (Plasmatic: Improvising Animated Metamorphosis). Buchanan's research interests are primarily related to experimental animation, animation pedagogy and more broadly in animated art and image culture. Dr. Buchanan has served on major international animation festival juries, has been appointed a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and is an active member of the Society for Animation Studies. Recent publications include work on animation research methods (A Problem with Questions: Improvisation and Unforeseen Epistemology in Animation Practice forthcoming in Animation Practice, Process & Production), theories of time consciousness in animation (Thinking Across Frames – Temporally Extended Consciousness and the Animation Timeline forthcoming in Kronoscope) and on the political dimensions of projection art (Projection Art and Projection Activism, forthcoming in Architecture, Media, Politics and Society). Over the last decade, his work in experimental animation has been shown exhibited at the Sydney Film Festival, the Experimenta Biennial, the International Symposium on Electronic Art, The National Gallery of Victoria, the White Night festival, and various other animation and projection art events.

Brick Meets Pixel is a narrative containing stop-motion animations made by students that required the time-based moving of physical materials, working with lighting and a small camera, and editing all into a cohesive whole. The purpose was to allow students from all disciplines to work with the physicality that surrounds us to create a digital product. The discovery was that the physicality requires practice and the individual voice comes through when the student has to make the selection of materials themselves.

Experiments in Animation & Storytelling: Searching for Visual Translations Between Analog and Digital Realms


Endi Poskovic

Born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Endi Poskovic was educated in Yugoslavia, Norway, and the United States. His works have been exhibited worldwide in numerous important international biennials and triennials, and have brought him many notable awards and honors, including grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the United States Fulbright Commission, the John D. Rockefeller Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Norwegian Government, the Camargo Foundation, the Flemish Ministry of Culture, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Macdowell, and the Art Matters Foundation, among others. Museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn; Fondation Fernet Branca, France; Alive Jincheon Printmaking Museum, South Korea; the University of Iowa Stanley Museum of Art and many others. Endi Poskovic is Professor of Art at the University of Michigan.

Nicole Horne
Alyssa Huang (she/her)
Emily Mann
Ed Ryan
Thomas Wu

We are a team of artists, designers, writers, imaginiative thinkers, and makers working collaboratively on a new multi-media artwork titled Dream which is produced through printmaking, animation, and storytelling. With Dream, we seek to visually stretch the boundaries of storytelling via analog and digital realms of art–making into a multi-media experience. Our collaborative work imagines a range of eventualities, from invented and hybridized narratives to unexpected scenarios suggested through visual and audio representations. As written, visual and audio amalgamations and translations emerge through our collaborative work; they form new narratives and scenarios that exist precisely because of such calculations. For the 2021 a2ru National Conference, we propose to share how each part of the project, storytelling (writing), drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpted props, digital animation, and audio editing, informs the otehrs. We will discuss how analog images serve as blueprints and how, via digital animation, our individual and collective experiments are brought into animated film.

Hózhó-Centered Arts Management Praxis: Using a Diné Arts and Placeknowing Framework


Michaela Shirley (she, her, hers)

Michaela Paulette Shirley (Diné), MCRP, is Water Edge clan, born for Bitter Water clan, her maternal grandpa is Salt clan, and her paternal grandpa is Coyote Pass clan. Michaela grew up in Kin Dah Lichii in northeastern Arizona on the Navajo reservation. Several of her summers were spent at sheep camp in the mountain with her paternal grandma Isabelle Shirley. At sheep camp, Michaela contemplated the important Diné values of sheep, family, community, the land, and education. She received her bachelor’s in urban planning from Arizona State University, and a master’s in community and regional planning from the University of New Mexico. Michaela’s background is in urban planning, community development, and Indigenous planning, with research interests in community-school relationships, biographies of landscape, Diné studies, Latin American studies, critical indigenous studies, critical regional studies, and transnationalism. She is a current PhD student in the UNM American Studies program. Michaela is a program manager for the Indigenous Design and Planning Institute at UNM. She plans and coordinates the development and implementation of sub-programs, special projects, and other initiatives to achieve the overall mission of iD+Pi. Michaela oversees the day-to-day operations of the various iD+Pi programs and activities. She serves as a primary liaison for the iD+Pi and represents the University with respect to program activities on a local, regional, national, and international basis.

Dr. Ted Jojola (he/him/his)

Theodore (Ted) Jojola, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor and Regents’ Professor in the Community & Regional Planning Program, School of Architecture + Planning, University of New Mexico (UNM). Currently he is the founder and Director of the Indigenous Design + Planning Institute. iD+Pi works with tribal communities throughout the SW region as well as internationally by facilitating culturally informed approaches to community development. One of these is the ArtPlace Zuni MainStreet project, which is working with Pueblo artists to inform how they can be better represented in the streetscape and the local economy.
From 2008-2010, he was Visiting Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University where he was a member of the faculty of the School Geographic Sciences and Planning. He was Director of Native American Studies at UNM from 1980-1996, and established the interdisciplinary undergraduate degree program in Native Studies.
He is actively involved in major research projects on Indian education, Indigenous community development and architecture. He is coeditor of two books—The Native American Philosophy of V.F. Cordova entitled How It Is (U. of Arizona Press, 2007) and Reclaiming Indigenous Planning (McGill-Queens University Press, 2013). A third book is in the works, Contemporary Indigenous Architecture: Local Traditions, Global Winds (working title, UNM Press). In addition, he has published numerous articles and chapters on topics relating to indigenous design & planning, stereotyping and economic development. He is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Isleta.

Dr. Karla Britton (she/her/hers)

Karla Cavarra Britton is Professor of Art History, School of Arts, Humanities, and English, Diné College (Navajo Nation) in Tsaile, Arizona, where she directs a National Endowment for the Humanities grant addressing Navajo art and design. As a historian of architecture her work is shaped by the cultural specificities of place and she has published extensively on the topic of modern and contemporary sacred architecture. She received her PhD at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and then co-directed Columbia University’s New York/Paris Program for the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning. She taught at the Yale School of Architecture where she addressed modern sacred architecture, resulting in the publication Constructing the Ineffable: Contemporary Sacred Architecture (2010). She also taught at the University of New Mexico’s School of Architecture and Planning (SA+P) on the topic of the architectures and landscapes of the American Southwest (summers 2016-2018). She works in partnership with the Indigenous Design + Planning Institute at the University of New Mexico to address curriculum at Diné College on the topic of community development and the arts on the Navajo Nation (work funded through a grant from ArtPlace America). In 2017-18 she was resident at the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton and is an invited speaker in their 2020-21 critical discussion on “Justice and the Environment.” Her current research addresses religious art and architecture in Native America. She recently co-edited Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld (Thames & Hudson, 2020).

Kayla Jackson (she/her/hers)

Kayla Jackson is a western photographer. She has a true admiration of the agriculture. Her images compose of the everyday ranching heritage. She captures the beauty in her western cowboy heritage. Kayla comes from generations of agricultural and creative family. She caries on the legacy of western importance in her art. Being the first Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate from the Diné College with the emphasis of photography. She now is a graduate student at Colorado State University in the Arts Leadership and Cultural Management. Embracing her arts leadership within her community of Round Rock, AZ. She encourages her fellow Diné artist to lead the way of sustainable and cultural importance of intergenerational arts on the Navajo Nation. The need to create art as Diné artist has been passed on from generation to generation. Kayla sees the emotional balance one can attain through art. She now is the ArtPlace Grant Coordinator at Diné College. With this she has set out to help her surrounding communities. She wants the communities to appreciate art and inspire art throughout the communities. Kayla’s passion for art has a deep seeded respect for her cultural upbringing. She understands the Hozhó (Beauty) we as Diné seek in our lives. Art is another way we Diné can obtain Ił’Hozhoó (Inner Beauty). The more we create art the closer we are to happiness. In her journey Kayla hopes to make visual connections and personal connections.

Hózhó-centered arts and cultural strategies are important in raising awareness and encouraging Diné artists of their worth and contributions to our historical and present-day cultural economy. This is explored through skit performance and facilitated dialogue with audience and speakers of a dynamic Diné College’s Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Program and University of New Mexico’s Indigenous Design and Planning Institute partnership.

Home is ___: A Participatory Reflection on the Meaning of Home

Brett Snyder (he/him)

Brett Snyder researches and works at the intersection of architecture and media. Snyder is a principal of Cheng+Snyder an experimental architecture and design studio based in Oakland, California, an Associate Professor of Design at the University of California Davis. He is a co-chair of Imagining America’s Collective of Publicly Engaged Designers, an organization that highlights the way in which an engaged design process can foster community resilience. Much of Snyder’s work focuses on the way that mobile media has changed the way that we navigate, understand, and experience the environment. Recent projects include Smart Sidewalks, a winning entry to the NYC Reinvent Payphones competition, Museum of the Phantom City an architectural iPhone app to view visionary but un-built architecture, and Public Sediment, an award winning collaborative project to unlock Alameda Creek. His work presented here is part of the UC Placemaking initiative. Together, all of this work represents an interest in using art and design to foster community engagement.

Ama Dadzie (she/her)

Ama Dadzie is Computer Science student at UC Davis. At the Placemaking initiative, Ama has been involved with website design, coding, and project planning.

Glenda Drew (she/her)

Glenda Drew is a Professor of Design at UC Davis. Her research is based at the intersections of visual culture and social change, with a particular emphasis on the working class. Her work is rooted in creating messaging with social implications. See some of her work at glendadrew.site.

Cozette Ellis (she/her)

Cozette Ellis is a junior Design student at UC Davis, with primary focuses in illustration, human-centered design, and graphic design. At the Placemaking initiative, Cozette has been involved with event planning and outreach, total logo redesign and development, and general graphic organization.

Mikaela Keung (she/her)

Mikaela Keung is a senior Art Studio and Design Double Major at UC Davis with a focus in UX/UI design, motion graphics, and web design. Mikaela has been involved in creating the Placemaking website.

Dulcinea Herse Woo (she/they)

Dulcinea is a design student at UC Davis, with an emphasis on sustainability and human centered design. Dulcinea is involved with outreach, promotion, planning and coordination of events hosted by the Placemaking Initiative.

Is home where we are born or where we live? Is home a right or is it earned? Is home a place or is it the people we live with or is it a certain relationship to nature? Over the past year, our notions of home have radically shifted. The “Home is ____” project invites participants to respond with a word or image to create a collective understanding of home that critically reflects on inequities that have been laid bare over the course of the pandemic. Responses are passed through custom filtration/design that outputs squares of cross-stitch that are combined together in an interactive quilt.



Time: 12:15-12:45pm EST

Performing the Self on Screen


Peter Sparling

Peter Sparling is Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Dance and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor Emeritus at University of Michigan. A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The Juilliard School, Sparling was a member of the José Limón Dance Company and principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. He directed Michigan’s own Peter Sparling Dance Company from 1993-2008 and was recognized with the 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award. He chaired U-M's Department of Dance from 1988-94. Sparling is a lecturer, published poet and essayist. His dances for video have been selected for numerous international festivals, including the 2007 & 2020 New York Dance on Camera Festival, the American Dance Festival Dance Film & Video Festival (2008, 2019), Lisbon’s InShadow Festival (2010, 2020), DANCE:FILMS Glasgow and Ann Arbor Film Festival (2017, 2020). His video, "Winterreise", will be premiered with live musical performance at Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival in June 2021. Sparling has presented solo shows of his paintings at Gallery 22 North in partnership with Equality Michigan and at Benton Harbor OutCenter. His paintings have been selected for group shows at Ann Arbor Art Center’s ART NOW 2019 and at Buckham Gallery, Flint. He is asst. director and choreographer with Theater for New Medicine.

Screendance embodies both figure and landscape and frames the moving body in its relationship to the screen as well as to its cultural and physical environment. Rather than dismissing the moving body as a kind of “dumb show” reserved for athletics or dance, screendance has the potential to elevate or make visible the body as a political being; choices in casting, movement, costume, setting, sound and narrative challenge both professional and student to “make meaning” for an increasingly disembodied audience via digital media and internet. This 5-minute video essay integrates dance, video art, painting, music and ideas into a call for a renewed democracy of intelligent bodies on screens of every shape and size.

Embracing Bewilderment: An Experience of How


Rita Leduc (she/her)

Leduc is an interdisciplinary artist whose work chronicles an intimate transition from place-based experience to abiding relationship. Currently an artist-in-residence at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, her work has recently been shown at Mount Saint Mary College (NY), Bethany Arts Community (NY), Whitesbog Historic Village (NJ), Project 59 (Governors Island, NYC), RAW (Miami, FL), and Ortega y Gasset Projects (NYC). Recent publications include unpsychology, Artis Natura, A+E Collective, and 100days100women and she has received support from NYFA, the Jerome Foundation, Atlas Obscura, Oika, Broto, Wells College, and Rutgers University. Leduc received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently teaches at William Paterson, Ramapo College, Rutgers, and Caldwell University. Additionally, she is creator and Director of GROUNDWORK, an interdisciplinary creative development retreat.

Chris Bodwitch (she/her)

Bodwitch has been performing, teaching and choreographing modern, improvisational dance and physical theater for almost 3 decades. Her first creation was Rhombus Dance, a company dedicated to the experimentation of objects, moving bodies and the scientific process. Then, after participating in an intensive performance program at the Dell' Arte International in Blue Lake, CA, she fell in love with theatrical, european-style clown. She went on to study with Kendall Cornell and joined Clowns ExMachina, an all-women clown troupe in NYC. Currently, she runs a performance and (re)learning lab called Muck and Gold and uses her certification as a Dynamic Emotional Integration Coach to integrate clown, dance and the language of our emotions for healing.

Li Murphy (she/her)

Li Murphy, Community Scientist, was as a Junior Scientist for the BioBus in the summer of 2012, and that’s when she decided to become a biologist, because clearly they were the coolest possible scientists — people who dreamt of recycling an old bus into a solar powered laboratory to redistribute the tools and power of the academic ivory tower to the local community! She has since realized that not all biologists do stuff like this. Li focused her academic and professional careers on creating opportunities for people across the world to have hands-on science experiences. She has conducted research studies on pollinators in Kyrgyzstan, France, and Thailand, and worked on a long-term project learning about how sociality evolved in halictid bees. She graduated high honors with a B.A. degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University. There, she sat on the Council of Student Sustainability Leaders, the Life Sciences Undergraduate Advising Board, and established the College’s first teaching apiary. At BioBus, she loves the chance to build tools and learning environments that empower students to engage with ecologies of importance to them. She currently serves as the Secretary of the Mobile Laboratory Coalition. She is a National Geographic Certified Educator, a Dimensions of Success observer, holds a Solar Professional certification from the NABCEP, and has a Class B CDL.

Anne McKeown (she/her)

Anne Q McKeown is a visual artist who uses painted, drawn and collaged images to tell her story. For seventeen years McKeown held the position of Master Papermaker at Brodsky Center, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, where she collaborated with nationally and internationally recognized artists to make multiples of their work using paper as a medium. In her own work she uses handmade paper both as substrate, and sculptural forms. McKeown has worked with artists in collaboration and conducted workshops in Ireland, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria. She is an author and Instructor of courses for Rutgers Arts Online. She has taught at Purchase College, University of Connecticut, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.

For a2ru’s 2021 Conference: Sharing Stories, GROUNDWORK will exemplify how we 1) encourage participants to embrace bewilderment and 2) use that state of bewilderment to inspire interdisciplinary connection. Our story revolves around a biologist and a fiber artist who discovered an innovative solution to prosthetics using mulberry fiber during a GROUNDWORKS retreat. Our 5-minute presentation will splice together recorded, interactive interviews with responsive Impro performances borrowed from classical clown practice to move beyond straight narration and into a space of play, presence, and experience for participants and audience alike. Thus, the presentation will not only tell but show how GROUNDWORK’s delicate balance of known/unknown, inner/outer experience, and head/whole body thinking energizes and inspires curiosity, connection, collaboration and innovative thinking.

Conversation, Collaboration, Connection


Fen Kennedy (they/them)

Dr. Fen Kennedy is an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Alabama. Their research – physical and theoretical – explores how dance articulates the norms and values of a culture, and how those norms can be challenged and changed. Their work has been published in Dance Chronicle, the Journal of Dance Education, and the Activist History Review. Their choreography was most recently seen on the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre and for 100,000 Poets for Change, Birmingham. In non-pandemic times Fen teaches, organizes, and occasionally DJs for social partner dances around the US.

How can you teach dance partnering when you’re not allowed to touch? In Spring 2021 I used Black vernacular dance techniques to offer my students skills of conversation, collaboration, and connection, all while maintaining a safe social distance. This dance film highlights the value, and the joy, that marginalized and non-canonical forms can bring to our programs.


Pedagogy II

Time: 12:15-12:50pm EST

Building Empathy in Early Childhood: A World Music Story


Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts joined the School of Music faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor. She is a specialist in early childhood and elementary music education, with a particular interest in Orff Schulwerk pedagogy. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Penn State, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington, where she studied with Patricia Shehan Campbell.

Watts taught for several years in early childhood and elementary general music settings, and she has held collegiate appointments at Bucknell University, Cleveland State University, and Kent State University. Her scholarly interests include musical oral history, children’s musical play, and the transgenerational transmission of children’s musical play repertoires. Teaching interests include elementary music methods and materials for pre-service music educators, foundations of music education, and music for classroom teachers. She is additionally interested in world music and is particularly involved with musics of the Pacific Islands region, specifically the music and movement traditions of Hawai’i.

An active clinician and presenter, her publications can be found in the Journal of Research in Music Education, The Orff Echo, General Music Today, Music Educators Journal, Music Education Research, International Journal of Play, and Philosophy of Music Education Review. She is additionally the author of Volume I: Early Childhood Education of the Routledge World Music Pedagogy Series.

This story advocates for the thoughtful and intentional integration of musical empathy building into early childhood education. Using musical clips, photos, and quotes from the children, this story explores the triumphs and challenges of tackling these important issues in the early childhood years. Further, this story considers these encounters as a model for crafting future age-appropriate approaches to integrating music and empathy building in the early childhood years, a point of departure for developing social and emotional skills through the arts.

Opening Windows Every Two Weeks


Edward Gonzalez

Cubano-americano, en partes desiguales. Estudió fisiología del ejercicio y lingüística, también en partes desiguales. Bilingüe en español e inglés y, de cierto modo, en el lenguaje de lo físico y lo verbal. Cuando no está enseñando inglés o jugando con sus dos niñas, escribe, principalmente en su celular. Promueve la idea de “poesiar”, o escribir como forma de ejercicio creativo (aludiendo a la idea griega de poeta como hacedor), y que poesiar está al alcance de todos los que busquen crear. Para èl, poesiar es explorar el nexo entre el individuo, su lenguaje, su entorno y todas las interacciones que surgen como consecuencia. Su poemario Sin Zapatos / Shoes Off (Mago Editores, 2018) poesea en sus dos idiomas, escrito parte en inglés y en español. Ejerce como profesor en la Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Santiago, Chile, Facultad de Letras.

No doom in zoom if you’ve got poetry. No need to be all in one place. Every two weeks a zoom window opens and poetry from students, teachers and would-be writers rushes in. Whether you share your poems…make this space your new place for a poetic state of mind.

Arts Education Community/Ecosystem


Natalie Hahn

Natalie Hahn is a Research Assistant for ArtsECO at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She completed her PhD in Urban Education (Curriculum and Instruction) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2020. Her dissertation focus was on teacher collaboration and arts integration in the unprecedented era of online learning that occurred during the pandemic. Natalie also works in the Cedarburg School District.

Candace Doerr-Stevens
Jenny Brownson
Anna Grosch
Steven Vande Zande
Joelle Worm

Our interdisciplinary story will ask participants to re-imagine how cross-institutional collaboration can be galvinized in a time of pandemic and social/cultural upheaval to support the role of the arts and arts integration in learning. The hope is to create spaces for participants to reimagine pathways of learning not only through a health pandemic and virtual lens, but a cultural and emotional stance that calls for a new vision of education. Join us as we reimagine teaching and learning in ways that will inform us to partner for a new era.



Time: 1:15-1:45pm EST

Integrating Art History and Video Games for General Education


Elizabeth Goins (she/her)

Elizabeth Goins has a background in art history and art conservation. She came to RIT specifically to develop software and digital media for heritage and arts applications. A founding member of the Museum Studies program at RIT, Elizabeth specialized in developing games for museums and informal education. Elizabeth is now a game developer focusing on making serious games for general audiences, historians, humanists and the performing arts.

This talk outlines the general education art history-game design course taught as part of the artistic perspectives category. The course is project based and students use the free game engine Unreal 4 as well as free art and sound assets to explore ideas of art and art history.

Longhouse Lessons: Co-Creating a Virtual Seneca Longhouse


Mindy Magyar (she, her, hers)

Mindy Magyar (Mi’kmaq) is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design at Rochester Institute of Technology. She considers equity and inclusion as imperatives for global citizenship and sustainability. Her research addresses cultural representation, authorship, appropriation, and literacy. Her critical studio practice also explores the cultural narratives of our constructed landscape, providing further insights into her perspective as a Mi’kmaq woman today. In addition to advising graduate Thesis and undergraduate Capstone students, Professor Magyar teaches courses in emotional design, cultural responsibility, and social entrepreneurship at RIT.

Before joining RIT, Mindy was Project and Design Manager for Smithsonian Institution, where she partnered with the Smithsonian museums to develop the Institution’s commercial activities. Projects included Mitsitam Espresso at the National Museum of the American Indian, the Hirshhorn Museum Shop, and both the Sweet Home Café and Museum Shop at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

She began her career as an Applied Research Analyst at JP Morgan Investment Management. After establishing herself in finance through subsequent work in venture capital and international bond sales, Mindy eventually left Wall Street to pursue her passion for design. Yet her commitment to research has never wavered, and she considers it integral not only to product development and client servicing but also self-efficacy.

In addition to an MFA in 3D Design from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Mindy earned an MBA in Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship from the Wharton School, and a BS in Chemical Engineering with concentrations in American Indian Studies and Bioengineering from Cornell University. She was a founding faculty member of the MBA/MA Design Leadership Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and has served as a Board Member for Creative Startups (Santa Fe, NM) and Friends of Ganondagan (Victor, NY).

In format, the story is a single player, first person, adventure game. The plot is simple. You are a nine-year old Seneca girl learning to make stew. But the objects with which you interact have stories of their own. And in learning about the artifacts throughout the Longhouse, you learn about the Haudenosaunee both past, present, and future. The virtual experience was developed in partnership with Ganondagan New York State Historic Site, and will be introduced to teachers at its Educator’s Day in August 2021.

Augmented Reality as a New Storytelling Medium


Susan Lakin

Lakin teaches classes that explore the intersections of technology, music, art and design. She is the Director of Frameless Labs at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), a collective to advance research, innovation and artistic creation in fields of virtual and augmented reality. She is chair of the Frameless XR Symposium Chair, an annual symposia hosted at RIT that encourages collaboration, growth of existing ventures and inspiration for new projects and technology. Lakin is an active Steering Committee Member at the Center for Engaged StoryCraft, an interdisciplinary center based in the English Department at RIT, which brings together experts in story creation, technical media practices, narrative studies, education, interactive media, game design and development, and story-based analytics. Lakin has an MFA in Art Studio with an emphasis in digital arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara, a BFA in Photography from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California and worked as a commercial photographer in Los Angeles, Sweden and Australia. Lakin works across disciplines in her photography and academic practices, her artwork has received many awards and is part of the permanent collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, the Griffin Museum of Photography, and Photography Museum of Lishui, China. More recently, Lakin is engaged with immersive technology and collaborates on community projects in the nonprofit sector.

Using augmented reality as a new storytelling medium, RIT’s Frameless Labs is building an interactive, locative augmented reality (AR) project in Rochester, NY. The project will digitally reconstruct the architecture and clearly contextualize the history of the Clarissa Street corridor, a once-thriving African American commercial district, that dates back to 1810 and was destroyed after the Rochester 1964 racial uprisings, urban renewal, and redlining. The use of AR will bring to life the former bustling neighborhood, overlaying historically accurate 3D models of demolished buildings at their former location, in contrast to the stark vacant lots remaining today. The history of this neighborhood is vitally important to understanding race and inequality in Rochester and other cities across the nation and our intention is to engage immersive technology to deepen public understanding of the African American experience.


Artmaking Workshop

Finding Form in the Void: A Collaborative Inquiry into How Artmaking Helps Us Generate New Stories About Our Collective Future

Time: 1:15-1:45pm EST


Perrin Teal Sullivan

Perrin Teal Sullivan is an artist, designer and educator. Her work in STEAM education focuses on integrating art and science practices to help learners of all ages develop new perspectives and enhanced capacity for understanding, and creating, the world around them. She works with diverse learning institutions including libraries, museums, science centers and schools to design and develop integrated art and STEM programs specific to their learning contexts.

Emily Norton (she/her)

Emily Norton holds a B.F.A. in furniture design from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, and an MDES in conceptual design from the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Norton’s career has spanned international design residencies, design research in wetlands preservation, teaching social innovation and leading cultural change campaigns in communities, organizations and institutions. As a maker, she believes in the power of thinking with her hands.

Arts education renders people more capable of telling different stories about the future, and weaving them together with the stories of others. As educators, we are obligated to foster this capacity if we want to have a story that’s ongoing for all of us. Materializing ideas through collaborative artmaking builds our capacity to probe the unknown; new possibilities are pulled from the void when we are given the space to open windows into, and reflect upon, each other’s imaginiations. In this collaborative storytelling experiment, we will use an artmaking activity to engage with our material surroundings, creating new forms that can be shared across the virtual workshop space and act as the basis for generating collective stories.


Interlude: The Visit

Time: 2:30-2:45pm EST


Luvada A. Harrison (she/her)

Luvada A. Harrison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocal Music Education from Towson University, a Master of Music in Voice Performance from Binghamton University, and a Doctor of Music in Voice Performance/Opera from Florida State University where she was the recipient of a coveted University Fellowship. She has performed with regional opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. As an Arts Educator, she worked for the Education Department of the New York City Opera Company, the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the “Meet the Artist” series at Lincoln Center. The breadth of her talents includes television, film, and voiceover work. Dr. Harrison is an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre/Voice at the University of Alabama where she was a member of the inaugural cohort of Collaborative Arts Research Institute Fellows (CARI). In 2020, she was awarded an Artist Fellowship Grant from the Alabama State Council for the Arts.

Hilary Green (she/her)

Dr. Hilary N. Green is an Associate Professor of History and Co-Program Director of African American Studies in the Department of Gender and Race Studies at the University of Alabama. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010. She is the author of Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890 (Fordham University Press, 2016). She has developed the Hollowed Grounds Tour and Project that explores the slavery, the experiences of enslaved laborers and memory at the University of Alabama. She is currently developing a book manuscript on how everyday African Americans remembered and commemorated the Civil War and a document reader with Kevin Levin exploring the Confederate Monument debates.

Alexis Davis-Hazell (she/her)

American mezzo-soprano Alexis Davis-Hazell is a clinician, presenter and singing actor of opera, concert and musical theatre repertoire. Her performances have earned accolades for the size and quality of her instrument, and the dramatic intensity she brings to supporting characters. Alexis has also performed in over 130 productions of the Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, throughout Europe and North America. Dr. Davis-Hazell’s experience teaching applied voice, musical theatre workshop and music humanities courses inspired her research interests in the legacy of Blackface Minstrelsy in contemporary voice performance practice and advocacy for Russian art song studies through improvement of curricula for lyric diction pedagogy. Dr. Davis-Hazell is Assistant Professor of Voice and Lyric Diction at The University of Alabama School of Music. She holds degrees in Voice Performance Studies from Temple University (B.M. Hons.) and Arizona State University (M.M., D.M.A.).

Earl Hazell (he/him)

Basso Cantante Earl Hazell is a singing actor, composer/arranger and producer. In the U.S., Earl has performed with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cincinnati Opera, Tulsa Opera, Arizona Opera and Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre portraying a wide variety of characters. Earl has also performed in opera houses throughout Europe, from the Semperoper of Dresden to the Teatro dell’ Opera of Rome. Former assistant arranger for the Max Roach Vocal Ensemble at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy and New York’s Lincoln Center, Mr. Hazell is now Executive & Artistic Director of Jazzoperetry, Inc.—the production company combining jazz, opera and spoken word poetry into one performance art. Earl has produced concerts for San Francisco Opera violist Patricia Heller, and for the 2019 Alfonso Ortiz Tirado opera festival in Sonora, Mexico.

“The Visit”–a collaborative project that combined research on race in Tuscaloosa, musicology, theatre and film. This presentation will share excerpts from a speak delivered by Booker T. Washington to a mixed audience of black and white citizens in Tuscaloosa. Audience members will be encouraged to participate in a Call and Response iteration of one of the Spirituals performed on the original program.


Keynote Panel: In the Circle of Sound

Time: 3:00-4:15pm EST


Molly Rose Kaufman

MOLLY ROSE KAUFMAN is a community planner, journalist and youth worker. Her writing has appeared in YES! Magazine, Kinfolk Magazine and the New York Times. As a community organizer in Orange, NJ, she cofounded the University of Orange, a free people’s university, worked with residents and planners to write the Heart of Orange plan and codeveloped ORNG Ink, a youth-led, user driven arts collective. She has a BA from Hampshire College, an MS in journalism from Columbia University and was a 2016 Civic Liberal Arts Fellow at the New School. She currently serves as the University of Orange Provost & Program Director and is a Listening Consultant at HUUB.

Douglas Farrand

DOUGLAS FARRAND (Co-Director of Music City program) is a composer, musician, and educator concerned with developing practices that invite us to explore our myriad processes of listening and embody a collective investigation of place, community, and personhood. He works in contexts including experimental music, youth education, and the application of sound and listening practices to pedagogy and place-based organizing. Douglas is the Music City Co-Director at the University of Orange since 2016, and Director of Sonic Explorations, a youth music education program in Orange’s east ward, since 2013. He is a founding member of LCollective, a Brooklyn-based experimental music collective, and sustains active collaborations with filmmakers, poets, musicians, and educators in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Cleveland, and Stockholm.

Dr. Margaux Simmons

Dr. Simmons is a composer, flutist, improvisor, and music educator. She studied with Cecil Taylor at Antioch College and Pauline Oliveros and Will Ogden at UC San Diego. She is a founding member of The Pyramids and has traveled, composed, studied and performed music extensively in North America, Europe, and Africa. Since 2018 she has toured regularly with the Pyramids again, including shows at Blank Forms in Brooklyn, the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, and Hana-bi on the east coast of Italy. She worked as Professor of Music at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA., 1987 – 2007, and as a Curator of The Museum at Wounded Knee, in South Dakota, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 2007 -2010. She works with the University of Orange, since 2013 as the teacher of UofO’s longest running community music class, and since 2016 as co-director of the Music City Project. In 2019 she was commissioned by UofO to write a new work for antiphonal choirs, percussion, violin, and piano to commemorate 400 Years of Inequality, 1619-2019. The piece was premiered in Orange, NJ on December 5th 2019.

Ray Sykes

Ray is an artist from Orange New Jersey. A part of a group called Soundbox Banditz as well as a duo DefNote and associated with fellow Soul Touchers He Who Shines Truly, Sykez music consists of all aspects of hip hop culture. Ray is a lead organizer with UofO’s Music City Festival and curates the Don’t Drop The Mic series, a bi-annual showcase of Orange’s hip-hop scene.

César Presa
César Presa

César is a musician, organizer, farmer, and chef-extraordinaire. He makes music with Yaya and as a solo instrumental act. He is a lead organizer with UofO’s Music City Festival, co-curates the Living Room Series, and runs the concert series “Soundscapes”, which features eclectic, off-the-beaten track sounds from Essex County and beyond. César is involved with several urban gardening projects in Orange and Newark.

Music City connects, supports, and celebrates music-making communities in Orange, New Jersey, a city fragmented by decades of sorting by race and by class. Rooted in principles of Restoration Urbanism and Collective Recovery, Music City reweaves the city’s social fabric and reconnects its fractured spaces, bringing its many parts together as a harmonious whole. Music City is a program of the University of Orange, a free school of restoration urbanism. Members of our team will share stories and media from our work.


Keynote and Performance: Athens Hip Hop Harmonic

Time: 4:30-5:30pm EST


Connie Frigo (she/her)

Connie, professor of saxophone at the University of Georgia, is a performer, teacher, speaker, and maker of interdisciplinary events focused on inquiry, dialog about the creative process, and community engagement. As part of UGA’s Arts Lab, under the direction of the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, she is researching and designing sustainable local music projects based in creative placemaking, beginning with the Athens Hip Hop Harmonic  – a multi-year project that bridges UGA faculty/students and local Hip Hop artists to co-create music and perform together regularly in the community.

At 21 years old, Connie won a position with the premier U.S. Navy Band, Washington, D.C. She is a Fulbright Scholar to Holland and former baritone saxophonist with the New Century Saxophone Quartet. She has performed and taught across the U.S., Russia, Brazil, Panama, and Europe, and held faculty positions at the U. of Tennessee, Knoxville; U. of Maryland, College Park; and Ithaca College. Connie is a co-founder and inaugural chair of the North American Saxophone Alliance’s Committee on the Status of Women, and is a past grant recipient of the NEA, Copland Fund, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America.

Curtison Jones

The Southeastern United States is legendary for cultivating rising Hip Hop stars. Following this trend, independent Hip Hop artist, Caulfield (the stage name of Curtison Jones), out of Athens, GA, pushes the confines of modern Hip-Hop with his fresh, forward-thinking, edgy music. With a nonchalant attitude, Caulfield’s impactful lyrics represent the more introspective side of urban music. Covering compelling topics from his divorce to his religious beliefs, his standout presence has gained him die-hard fans nationwide. Performing alongside renowned Hip Hop acts such as Bone Thugs N’ Harmony, Lil Xan, Ugly God, Waka Flocka Flame, and Pastor Troy, Caulfield delivers a compelling live performance. A true renaissance man, Caulfield showcased his diverse talent when he shot and edited the music video for the first single “Blue Pills” featured on his EP God Is Dead. Caulfield’s upward trajectory has continued in 2019 with his SXSW appearances, his recent Athfest 2019 performance at The Georgia Theatre (Athens) and his mini-tour with Nihilist Cheerleader. His wave just keeps getting bigger with every performance and project. Website: www.mynameiscaulfield.com

Emily Koh (she/her)

Emily is a Singaporean composer+ based in Atlanta, Georgia whose music reimagines everyday experiences by sonically expounding tiny oft-forgotten details, and is characterized by inventive explorations of the intricacies of sound. Her work also explores binary states such as extremes x boundaries, distinguished x ignored, and activity x stagnation, through her unique Teochew and Peranakan Singaporean lens. An amateur multi-disciplinary artist herself, she enjoys collaborating with creatives of other specializations, especially when sound plays a central role in the project.

Described as “the future of composing” (The Straits Times, Singapore), Emily is the recipient of awards such as the Copland House Residency Award, Young Artist Award (National Arts Council, Singapore), Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize (Asian Composers League), ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award, Prix D’Ete (Peabody), and the Virginia Macagnoni Prize for Innovative Research (University of Georgia). Her work is supported with commissions, grants and fellowships from the Opera America, MacDowell, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, New Music USA, American Composers’ Orchestra, National Arts Council (Singapore), and others.

Emily is currently Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the University of Georgia, USA.

William "Montu" Miller

Montu is the Ambassador of the Athens Hip Hop community, co-founder/chief operating officer for ATHfactor-Liberty Entertainment (ALE), Chess and Community board member, East Athens Media Company Board Director, Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) member, Wild Rumpus Board of Directors, Historic Athens Board, a dedicated member of Cedar Shoals High School teaching staff, and father of five. He embraces his role as an educator, writer, poet, mentor, and community activist. Montu is a University of Georgia alumni (BA Black Studies) that has always built bridges from the local community to UGA. His company ATHfactor-Liberty Entertainment (ALE) has produced countless projects and helped organize many HipHop events in Athens for 15 years. He spearheaded “Classic City Wax” volumes 1 (2020) and volume 2 (2021), a vinyl compilation project with many noteworthy members of the Athens Hip-Hop community. Montu’s outlook and philosophies about his “boots on the ground” approach to community issues have appeared in several publications.

The Athens Hip Hop Harmonic is a collective of local Hip Hop artists and University of Georgia music faculty/students that seeks to use music to celebrate the intersection of our musical, cultural, and racial identities. This session features the world premiers of co-created, boundary-breaking works by three pairs of Hip Hop artists and UGA faculty composers, with a live narrative and audience Q&A focused on the artistic inquiry and creative process that built this collaboration.