Symposium Program and Sessions:
All sessions will focus equally on provocation/inspiration and listening – each includes discussion among symposium participants as an integral element. Dialogue will be guided by some common agreements, designed to encourage deeper conversation.
Friday, February 25
4 PM: Welcome: Symposium convener Julia Cole & Grand Arts artistic director Stacy Switzer
4:10 PM: Opening dialogue facilitated by Harlan Brownlee
What do our symposium participants bring to this conversation? Can we ground our exchanges in the present reality and then decide to enter a different realm for the duration of this conversation?
5 PM: Evening meal hosted by artist Sean Starowitz
This meal is part of a series called BREAD! which uses community-driven financial support to democratically fund provocative and locally-focused projects. Symposium participants can make an optional contribution of $10, for which they will receive a ballot. This session of BREAD! will have a special focus on educational projects by local artists, who will make brief presentations during the meal. At the end of dinner, diners will vote and the artist whose proposal receives the most votes will be awarded the collected funds to produce the project.
6 PM: Session 1– “Scale and Connection,” Jim Duignan & Bill Genereux
This presentation will address the relationship – past, present and future – between school and the community. Could we consider a return to smaller scales and local communities of learning, while connecting to a larger culture through new technologies? What content and skills have meaning now, and how do we determine the best means of learning?
8 PM: Close for the evening
Saturday, February 26
9.45 AM: Coffee
10 AM: Session 2 – “Elastic Relationship,” Zach Rockhill, Leralee Whittle, Zach Springer & Elysia Contreras
This presentation will focus on the mysterious, inspiring, challenging and nurturing relationship between teacher and student, mentor and seeker, which is at the heart of all educational processes. How does this relationship determine, influence or support the transfer of information and ideas, and the capacity to think, feel and imagine? How can educational systems value and grow the enormous energy of this exchange?
12 PM: Lunch. Grand Arts will host participants with a meal. There will be time for open conversation, and access to digital resources gathered for participants to take away.
1 PM: Session 3 – “Creative Social Intelligence,” Inez Bush & Asma Kazmi
This session will reflect on the aspects of education that are qualitative rather than quantitative, and which foster social assets such as a sense of meaning and belonging. Art is mostly seen as an add-on to life and learning, a luxury that can be trimmed in troubled times. But, should the capacity that artistic processes foster instead be central to our pedagogies? Intangible narratives, expressions and abstractions build cultural richness and connections, which in turn foster the courage to imagine alternatives and embrace the unknown. Can we continue to grow and thrive without honoring this other kind of knowledge?
3 PM: Tea break. Time to gather, integrate and refresh, and shift back into a more practical space.
3.30 PM: Closing Session facilitated by Harlan Brownlee
Are there ways in which this kind of dialogue could continue? How can we move our collaborative insight forward?
4.30 PM: Symposium ends
During the symposium, the local collaborative artist team the Print Factory, represented by Jesse McAfee & Will Burnip, will interact with Jim Duignan to produce materials related to the event.
Collaborators will also be developing an ongoing digital resource that will archive materials from the artists’ presentations, document symposium participants’ ideas, collect resources for further developments and, perhaps, serve as a platform for a continuing conversation.