We host gatherings for educators, artists, administrators, funders, and others looking for a rich exchange of arts ed ideas.

ACTIVATE Arts Learning Conference

October 9, 2023

We are excited to host the 2023 conference at August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Check out the full agenda on AEC Networks! You will be asked to join the private online platform we use for all of our programs.

  • Revel in opening performances by Echoes of the Four Directions

  • Participate in interactive workshops facilitated by local experts

  • Take in a panel on arts ed policy, arts ed in schools, or arts ed in community spaces

  • Enjoy a lobby full of drop-in artmaking opportunities

  • Network with regional arts educators

  • Earn continuing education (Act 48) credits

Sliding Scale Rates

Thanks to support from The Grable Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, we are able to offer conference registration on a sliding scale:

  • $100 – my school has less than 20% of students from low-income households OR my organization’s budget is more than $1 million
  • $80 – my school has 20-39% of students from low-income households OR my organization’s budget is $750K-$999,999
  • $65 – my school has 40-59% of students from low-income households OR my organization’s budget is $500K-$749,999
  • $55 – my school has greater than 60% of students from low-income households, my organization’s annual revenue is less than $500K, OR I am an arts educator paying my own way

Highlights from ACTIVATE 2022

On October 10, 2022, more than 100 educators from across the region participated in a variety of hands-on sessions all designed to perpetuate AEC’s mission: collaborating with educators to unlock the transformative power of the arts. The conference kicked off with an inspired opening performance by Clara Kent. Then Attack Theatre helped AEC introduce the Activating Arts Learning Framework to attendees through dance and spoken word. Concurrent sessions led by Jacquelin Walker, Celeta Hickman, Ja’Sonta Roberts, Michelle King, and Zena Ruiz showcased the talents and elevated the voices of historically marginalized creators. The day ended with a high-energy and deeply moving performance by Afro Yaqui Music Collective.

While words truly can’t convey the depth of the experience, ACTIVATE attendees shared meaningful responses about arts education and how to manifest liberated learning:

Being honest with myself and those around me and embodying radical acceptance.

I am committed to creating spaces that embrace empathy + care + respect for all learners.

To empower students and young people to explore their inner world and express their truth through art.

I commit to bringing in experts to my classroom in order to increase knowledge + relevance. It’s ok for me not to know all the answers!

A safe space to explore, discuss, and create music that puts the creative power into the students’ hands.

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