When we create arts learning experiences that are deeply responsive to student interests, needs, goals, and backgrounds, we spark their curiosity, unleash their imaginations, and plant the seeds for lifelong creative passions and practices. Throughout this school year, you’ll explore the benefits (and challenges) of designing your arts classroom to encourage student voice, choice, and ownership over their learning.

Arts Intensives for school year 2019-20 have now concluded. You can download archived resources from all sessions below.


Archived 2019-20 Arts Intensive Resources

Arts Intensive #1: Developing Students’ Artistic Identities

August 28 and 30, 2019 | Chicago Cultural Center | 8:30am–3:30pm

“I’m bad at art.” “Why do I have to dance?” “I can’t read music.” How do we nurture students who are reluctant to engage in the arts? How can we create learner-centered classroom environments where all our students feel like successful artists? At this session, you’ll:

  • explore potential barriers to student learning in the arts, and key strategies to overcome those barriers
  • engage in collaborative creation of lessons and activities that help students (and you!) develop positive disciplinary identities
  • acquire tools and techniques that will encourage students to see themselves as capable and competent thinkers, learners, and makers of art

Download all slides and handouts from Arts Intensive #1 here.


Arts Intensive #2: Designing Student-Centered Curriculum

November 8, 2019 | Chicago Cultural Center | 8:30am–12:30pm

How can we better integrate our students’ interests, ideas, and needs when we develop arts curriculum? When and where can we encourage them to take the wheel and drive their own learning (without sacrificing depth or discipline)? At this session, you’ll:

  • explore ways to activate and increase student voice and choice in your arts curriculum
  • understand the design-thinking process and how it can be used to engage and empower students
  • use a design thinking model to research and prototype tools and/or techniques that will help your students develop into more independent, motivated learners, thinkers, and makers

Download all slides and handouts from Arts Intensive #2 here.


Arts Intensive #3: Creating Student-Driven Formative Assessments

January 31, 2020 | Chicago Cultural Center | 8:30am–3:30pm

What happens when students own the assessment process? How does this help them work and think like real artists? At this Intensive, you’ll explore powerful, student-driven formative assessment techniques—including co-creation of assessment criteria, peer feedback, and self-assessment—that amplify each student’s voice and give them more ownership over (and confidence in) their artistic process.

Professor Heidi L. Andrade from the University at Albany-SUNY, an expert in formative assessment and self-regulated learning, will lead this full-day session along with several NYC arts teachers.

Download all slides and handouts from Arts Intensive #3 here.