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Professional Development for Educators and Teaching Artists

June 17 - 19, 2013 | R.A. MacMullan Conference Center - Higgins Lake

Registration Fee: $200 - Includes Accommodations, Meals and All Sessions

CEUs credits available for Non-Educators @ $50 - SCECH credits available for Educators @ $50

Teaching artists, teachers and paraprofessional will experience techniques to engage young people in special education and inclusionary classrooms in hands-on explorations in the arts. We will explore several art forms, and identify modifications that will make learning in the arts and other curricular subjects accessible to all children. Information will be provided about specific disabilities, multiple intelligences, and setting goals for success. Research has shown that children and youth who are engaged in the arts become more creative problem solvers, are more focused on learning, and gain self-esteem and self-confidence. Difficult behaviors have been modified through engagement in the discipline of the arts and opportunities for self-expression. Come learn how to reach and engage all children in curriculum-integrated arts activities.

This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the VSA and Accessibility Department of the Kennedy Center through an award from the U.S. Department of Education.

3-Day Training Schedule

Day One - June 17

10:30-Noon Registration
Noon-12:45 Lunch

12:45-1:30 Introductions & Ice Breaker Activity
1:30-3:00 Key Elements of a Successful Residency - Frankel & Rhodes
3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-4:45 Understanding Disability - Baker
4:45-5:15 Refection/Discussion - Rhodes/Baker/ Frankel
5:15-5:30 Break

5:30-6:30 Dinner
6:30-7:00 Name Game - TBD
7:00-8:00 Dance Workshop - Babcock
8:00-8:30 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes/Babcock
8:30- Socializing/Sleep

Day Two - June 18

7:15-7:45 Breakfast
8:00-8:30 Wake Up/Warm Up - Burack
8:30-9:30 Multiple Intelligences/ Connecting to Standards - Boston
9:30-10:00 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes/Boston
10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-11:15 Drama Workshop - Coleman
11:15-11:45 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes/Coleman
11:45-Noon Break

Noon-12:45 Lunch
12:45-1:45 Creative Writing Workshop - Blackhawk
1:45-2:15 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes/Blackhawk
2:15-2:30 Break

2:30-3:30 Music Workshop - Snell
3:30-4:00 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes/Snell
4:00-5:30 Break

5:30-6:30 Dinner
6:30-8:00 Visual Arts Workshop - Landis
8:00-8:30 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes/Landis
8:30- Socializing/Sleep

Day Three - June 19

7:15-745 Breakfast
8:00-8:30 Wake Up/Warm Up - Burack
8:30-9:30 Media Arts Workshop - Spicer
9:30-10:00 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes/Spicer
10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-11:15 Discipline Specific Curriculum Planning - Led by Arts Team Members:
1) Creative Writing/Drama/ Filmmaking
2) Dance/Music
3) Visual Arts
11:15-Noon Reporting Out from Curriculum Planning - Arts Team Members
Noon-12:45 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Reflection/Evaluation - Rhodes
2:00 Goodbyes

Lead Presenter


Anne Rhodes

Anne Rhodes, Theatre Artist, Teaching Artist, National VSA Teaching Artist/Classroom Educator Trainer, from Freeville, New York, has worked in arts in education for over 25 years. She has participated in VSA professional development institutes across the country, beginning at the first VSA Institute in Atlanta, GA, in 2002. This will be her second visit to Michigan. For 27 years she served as Teaching Artist and Trainer at the Institutes for Aesthetic Education in Syracuse, Binghamton and Utica, NY, served on the faculty of the Empire State Partnerships Program for 9 years, and was the Curriculum Development Specialist for Fitchburg Public Schools and the Fitchburg Art Museum for 8 years. She focuses focus on partnerships between artists and teachers, curriculum development, and effective planning and assessment.

Michigan Presenters:

Cindy Babcock, Registered Dance/Movement Therapist/Dancer, has been working with VSA Michigan as a teaching artist for several years. She also worked for eight years as a consultant in the Michigan Dance Association Dancers in Schools and Dance Project for the Disabled. Ms. Babcock holds Masters Degree in Early Childhood Development and Education. Ms. Babcock serves as a trainer for the national VSA arts Start with the Arts Early Childhood Education Program, and worked with Ms. Frankel on Artists-in-Residence model. She served as a member of the VSA arts of Michigan Board of Directors for nine years and has just been elected as President Elect for 2013-14.

Marie Baker , Retired Special Education Supervisor, Curriculum Consultant, began her career as a special education teacher with Detroit Public Schools and was a Special Education Supervisor when she recently retired. Marie has worked with children with every disability and has provided professional development for students, parents, teachers, ancillary staff, administrators, security officers and artists in the area of understanding disabilities and providing the most appropriate modifications and accommodations to meet the needs of some of our most unique learners. She currently works part time in Southfield Public Schools as a Special Education Supervisor providing support for students in center and non public schools.

Terry Blackhawk, Poet/Writer, Founder/Director Inside Out Literary Arts Project, Detroit's acclaimed writers-in-schools program. She is the author of six collections of poems including Escape Artist (BkMk Press, 2003), winner of the John Ciardi Prize, and The Light Between (2012) from Wayne State University Press. Recent work is in Michigan Quarterly Review, Florida Review, and on line at Verse Daily and The Collagist. She received the 2010 Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies. She holds a PhD in Reading/Language Arts from Oakland University. Her awards as an educator include the Michigan Governor's Award for Arts Education and a Scholastic Writing Teacher Award. She was twice named Michigan Youth Arts Festival Creative Writing Educator of the Year.

Linda Boston, Actor/Singer/Writer/VSA Michigan Program Coordinator, spent her early years at WJR Radio. Since then, she has been known for her performances in "Crowns" by Regina Taylor, "Menopause The Musical", in the one woman show "Moms Mabley: The Naked Truth", Ella Fitzgerald in "How High The Moon" and Story Living presenter of the Underground Railroad at the Detroit Historical Museum.  Her film credits include "Sparkle", "The Bully Chronicles" and narrator for the 2013 San Diego Black Film Festival Best Film awarded feature, "Cass".  Devoted to youth, educators and the community she links the arts to literacy, personal growth and spiritual enlightenment.  She will be awarded the VSA Touchstone Award at the 2013 Michigan Youth Arts Festival. Her CD "PERMISSION: The Power of Being" was recently released produced by multi platinum, smooth Jazz Artist Randy Scott. 

Susan Burack, Dancer/Gentle Exercise Instructor, has been getting all kinds of people moving for many years. Her early training was with modern dance pioneers: Martha Graham, Louis Horst, José Limón and at Bennington College. She founded Kaleidoscope Dance Company. She began working with VSA in Indianapolis where she met Jean Kennedy Smith. When she moved to Michigan, Lora Frankel put her to work right away traveling around the state, doing residencies for the Michigan Dance Association. She currently coordinates programming in Copper Country for VSA Michigan.

Lora Frankel,, Dancer/Dance Educator/VSA Michigan Program Consultant, created and directed the nationally recognized VSA Michigan Artists-in-Residence model program, and the award winning artsJAM (jobs and mentoring) Gallery & Studio program, engaging youth with disabilities in learning through the arts mentored by professional artists. A former dancer and choreographer, Lora holds an MFA in dance, and taught for 10 years at universities and secondary schools. For 8 years she served as Outreach/Education coordinator for the Michigan Dance Association coordinating dance residencies in schools throughout Michigan. During her 11 years as a governor appointee to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Lora served as a voice for persons with disabilities to promote the accessibility of arts and culture for all persons in the State of Michigan.

Molly Landis, Visual Artist/Art Therapist, has worked with people ages 4 to 94 in such settings as the Detroit Institute of Arts, College for Creative Studies, Lakeshore Public Schools, and the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center.  She created and facilitated art therapeutic and educational programs and presentations for a broad spectrum of skill levels, partnered interests, and personal and professional intentions.  She is currently employed as the Healing Arts Therapist at McLaren Macomb Hospital, and continues to work with people privately.  As a professionally exhibiting artist she maintains her own connection to the transformational power of making art.  Through the constant adventure of life and connecting meaningful moments, she searches for the common sense understanding of her story and the symbolic interpretation of our story.

Shavonne T. Coleman, is an actor, singer, wrote, and director from Detroit, MI. She is currently a Teaching Artist for VSA, Cross Town Theatre, the founder of Acting O.U.T., and a MFA candidate at Eastern Michigan University for Applied Drama/ Theatre for the Young. Sahavonne recently presented "Theatre as a Bridge & Barrier Buster: A Community Building & College Access Story" with Eastern's office of Academic Service Learning at the Campus Compact Conference. Ms. Coleman has over ten years experience as a teaching artist, and is excited to travel to South Korea this summer to direct a Youth Theatre performance at the Zoom Theatre in Seoul. Shavonne's passion to create opportunities for the arts to be incorporated not only for entertainment but as a practice and exploration of life's questions and answers.

Angie Snell, Musician/Educational Consultant/Board Certified Music Therapist, Monroe County Intermediate School District, has a master's in P-12 school administration and advanced studies in special education administration. Known for her expertise in assessment, inclusion, and special education law, Angie's specialty areas include early childhood through post-secondary development, autism, intellectual disabilities, and behavior disorders. She has experience aligning center-based curriculum with general education, developing countywide programs and services in least restrictive environments, and writing grants to support integrated learning. Angie provides direct, consultative, and training services to MCISD constituent districts. Angie serves on several boards, including the national American Music Therapy Association Board of Directors and the Michigan Music Educators Association. She is a regional and national presenter, author, graduate course instructor and guest lecturer on related topics.

Vic Spicer, Filmmaker/Producer/Director /President of Vic Spicer Productions, is a veteran of hundreds of films, videos and commercials. He has a long and successful track record of creating a dynamic and diverse body of work. From his early years as an animator in Los Angeles to his present passion as Producer/Director, Vic has a long and varied list of awards and experiences. Professionally working as a cameraman, choreographer, editor, musician, sculptor, teacher, Vic brings an unusually eclectic group of extra skills to any production, with an available crew of people equally talented and unique. He has worked in the VSA Michigan artsJAM program engaging youth in creating their own films, and currently teaches a class at the University of Michigan. Vic is a very well respected director and editor and can put together the team to do shoots from 35mm to high end digital. He has a résumé that includes award winning commercials, documentaries, short films and feature films.


R.A. MacMullan Conference Center is a DNR facility located on Higgins Lake in Roscommon, Michigan. Accommodations at the Center are in lodges with double rooms and common bathrooms, therefore it is recommended that participants bring robes and slippers. The rooms are spare, bed and bath linens are provided, but little else. Meals are served family style. Since it is June, and we anticipate warm weather, one of the dinners will probably be held down by the lake at picnic tables. Bring bathing suits, if you wish to take a dip in the lake. There are jogging/walking trails through the woods.

Registration Information

A $25 non-refundable deposit is required with registration by a deadline date of Friday, May 31, 2013. The balance will be due on or before June 15, 2013. Click link for Registration Form.


The $200 workshop fee includes all sessions, materials, accommodations, meals and use of facilities. Fee is based on double occupancy. Individuals needing single accommodations will have to add $50 to the workshop fee. A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Email lora@vsami.org to request partial scholarship.

1920 25th Street, Suite B  |  Detroit, MI 48216  |  T: 313.843.2355  |  F: 313.843.2353  |  info@vsami.org

VSA Michigan strives to create an inclusive society where people with disabilities participate in, learn through, excel in, and enjoy the arts.

ArtServe Michigan




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