Arts Educators Explore Arts And Empathy With 'Arts In Your Classroom' At Montalvo

Arts Educators Explore Arts And Empathy With 'Arts In Your Classroom' At MontalvoMontalvo Arts Center, in partnership with Santa Clara County Artspiration, San Jose State University, and the Arts Council Santa Cruz County, is proud to announce its 16th annual conference for artists, educators, administrators, and members of the community interested in better understanding where arts and creative practice can enhance their professional and/or personal development: Arts in Your Classroom, a one-day learning conference in Saratoga on Saturday, March 3 from 9am to 4pm. The theme of this year's conference is "Bridging the Gap: Transforming Perceptions of Division." It will examine how the arts can build tangible connections and cultivate empathy in today's increasingly disparate and divisive world. Initiating the conversation is keynote speaker Jeff Chang, the American Book Award-winning author and Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. Participants will then delve deeper into relevant sub-themes through focused workshops led by thought leaders in the visual, performing, literary, and musical arts. Arts in Your Classroom will be hosted at Montalvo Arts Center, 15400 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga. To register ($25) and for more information, the public may visit or call 408-961-5858.

"This conference is one of the most impactful, inspiring events we offer to the community," says Montalvo Director of Education Charlee Wagner. "It's one of the many ways Montalvo is working to promote the arts' direct influence on the landscape of educational practice in our region and our state. Participants will see first-hand how the arts can create tangible positive social change. They will also learn specific strategies for directly applying these principles to their professional field-whether that is in the classroom, the boardroom, or the community."

There will be five different workshops offered this year, of which participants may enroll in two.

Each of these sessions addresses the duality between apparently divided social constructs, such as self/other, art/academics, school/community, teacher/learner, and technology/analog applications. They will be led by Ashley David, Derek Fenner, Susan Freeman, Patrice Milillo, and hip-hop artist Y?

Jeff Chang (Keynote Speaker) has written extensively on culture, politics, the arts, and music. His latest book, We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation (2016) was named the Northern California Nonfiction Book Of The Year, and was proclaimed by The Washington Post as "the smartest book of the year." His first book, Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, garnered many honors, including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. Who We Be: The Colorization of America (2014) received much critical acclaim and was re-published under the new title, Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America (2016). The book won the Ray + Pat Browne Award for Best Work in Popular Culture and American Culture and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Books For A Better Life Award. Chang has been a USA Ford Fellow in Literature and was named an Asian Pacific American Local Hero by KQED, one of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" by The Utne Reader, and the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts listed him as one "shaping the future of American culture" in 2016. With H. Samy Alim, he was the 2014 winner of the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award at Stanford University. He is the co-founder of the arts organization CultureStr/ke in Oakland, and the news site ColorLines. Currently, he serves as the Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford.

Montalvo Arts Center's Arts and Education programs grow out of the organization's commitment to provide quality learning experiences for all ages and skill levels. Montalvo believes the arts foster greater cognitive, social, and emotional capacity-and build engaged citizenship among our greater community. Leveraging its stunning grounds, on-site studios, the classrooms of Santa Clara County, and many institutional partners, Montalvo's multidisciplinary, visual, and performing arts programs present a broad range of relevant, responsive, and compelling offerings that celebrate the creative spirit, engage the imagination, and develop the artist in all of us.

Montalvo Arts Center is a donor-supported nonprofit institution whose mission is to engage the public in the creative process, acting as a catalyst for exploring the arts, unleashing creativity, and advancing different cultural and cross-cultural perspectives. Located in Silicon Valley's Saratoga Hills, Montalvo occupies a Mediterranean-style Villa, built in 1912 by Senator James Duval Phelan and surrounded by 175 stunning acres. Senator Phelan bequeathed the Villa and grounds to the people of California for the encouragement of art, music, literature, and architecture, a mandate Montalvo has carried forward ever since its founding. The grounds include the campus of the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program (LAP), the Claire Loftus Carriage House Theatre, and the Lilian Fontaine Garden Theatre. For more information about Montalvo Arts Center and its programs, the public can call 408-961-5858 or visit

Photo credit: Bahara Emami

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