The Magic of Books conference today in Long Breach, MS was a great success! Thanks to all the writers who came out and sat in on my workshop!
It was fun to meet all the other authors on the faculty of the event. This event is annual, so you may want to put it down for next year!
I especially enjoyed listening to Hollwood writer/producer/director Stanley Isaacs. Since picture books are basically a storyboard in book form, I found his talk about writing stories very compelling. His main theme was to keep writing and to keep reading. Seems like that I hear that from every author I've talked to.
I hope to return next year, too!
Today was quite a surprise! The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center featured yours truly on their website today! I was floored and thank you very much!
The MAEC mission is dedicated to celebrating the essence of Mississippi’s statewide legacy in the arts by recognizing and honoring Mississippi artists in all disciplines—including dance, drama, literature, music, and the visual arts.
According the their website, the center’s design is now complete and the construction will break ground this fall with completion in 2017. It will be located in downtown Meridian, MS near the Riley Center.
Check out this cool architect’s rendering of what the building will look like-
This is going to be a great venue!
Please visit their website. Click here to visit take a look! Frankly, to be on the same page as Sela Ward and Faith Hill makes anyone look good. With me, they don't have a lot to work with.
Today, I am preparing for my presentation at The Magic of Books, Celebrating Literacy. This workshop based event will be July 25th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the USM Gulf Coast Campus in Long Beach, MS. Check out the link: The Magic of Books.
The just completed MS Arts Commission Whole Schools Initiative Summer Institute was a lot of fun! I was surrounded by other Teaching Artists and teachers that I’ve worked with over the years. I even got a couple of runs in around Bonita Lakes there in Meridian with SPED Teacher friend Evans Dawson.
I was on a SPED track during the Institute again this year to fulfill the contract with MAC and The Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts. We’ve learned much about Autism and other disabilities in the class room and how arts integration can help the learning process for these students. In a previous blog, I mentioned my video that I prepared for the TA presentation on Monday.
Restaurant Train Wreck
The conferences are great for networking and I met many teachers and principals. One particular evening, I went to dinner with the teacher contingent from Cook Elementary School. This group the two teachers featured in my video, Evans Dawson, SPED Teacher and the fabulous Tina Morgan, Music Teacher. One restaurant in the Meridian brochure was The News. My teacher friends decided that was the restaurant we would have our dinner, so, off we went.
It turned out to be a honky-tonk kind of place with a cover band of 60’s and 70’s music. I was in the mood (again) for shrimp and grits. Well, it was clear that this restaurant was not prepared for a crowd of folks on a Tuesday night. The place had a full menu, but was not prepared to cook the full menu. Two hours later, many of us still had not received our food. When I did receive my shrimp and grits it was clear that the entre was instant grits with fried shrimp on top. Not a great meal.
However, realizing that none of us were happy with our meals, the restaurant allowed our food to be complimentary. Free meal, although not great.
The proper way to prepare shrimp and grits is shown from an entre prepared the next night at Weidmann’s, one of the oldest and respected restaurants in Meridian. Established in 1870, I believe.Obviously, this is one of my favorite annual traditions at the WSI.
Good times and lots of info for a Teaching Artist this week. Now, to put all this good info to work.
I’ve been at the Whole Schools Institute for the last couple of days. I’ve continued with the SPED track this year and hope to be working with the deaf and blind schools over the next 12 months to bring arts integration into the classroom. The Riley Center is such a great place to have a conference because of the beautiful 19th Century opera house next door.
As you can see the design is beautiful and harkens back to a bygone era when architectural design reflected the gilded age. It was in this theater that we had our keynote presentations every morning. It was grand indeed!
Several of other Teaching Artists and I presented our SPED programs (see the digital short, The SPED Experiment, in the July 11th post) to a group of SPED teachers.
One of the most interesting programs was by Elaine Maisel who presented the life cycle of a butterfly using body socks that she had made.
I was struck by the abstract look and versatility of the body socks. I am thinking about having some made and using them in an art integration program.
I’m headed over to Meridian, MS tomorrow to the MS Arts Commission Whole School Initiative Institute at the fabulous Riley Center For The Performing Arts. For the past 3 years, I’ve been working with MAC and SPED classes in schools around the state of Mississippi to bring arts into the classroom. This past spring, I visited two schools and worked with the SPED teacher and the arts specialist in the school to create arts integration lessons for their students. Please take a look at a digital short entitled The SPED Experiment that I prepared for the MAC/WSI Institute to see how well these lessons were presented.
Click here for the link to view the video.