Meeting Artists

RITAC 6x6: "Learning Across Generations" at the RISD Museum

Sherente Mishitashin Harris, Member of the Narragansett Tribal Nation, Two Spirited Fancy Shawl Dancer, Artist, Activist, and Performer

PROVIDENCE, RI -- On May 24th, the RISD Museum in partnership with The Rhode Island Teaching Artist Center (RITAC) and Providence CityArts for Youth hosted the third "6x6" event of this year. A 6x6 is a fast-paced educational event featuring six teaching artists presenting for six minutes on a given topic. Loosely modeled on the worldwide PechaKucha phenomenon, 6x6 is a great opportunity to meet new people and think about a provocative topic related to the arts, education, and teaching artistry. The artists in this 6x6 discussed the ways personal identity relates to learning, teaching and creating across generations and artistic practices.

The featured guest speakers included Amelia Nixon (Community Partnerships Manager at the RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School), Lucia Monge (Artist, educator and organizer of Plantón Móvil), Vuthy Lay (Artist, a RISD Architecture student, and youth worker), Susi Ryan (Quilter and co-founder of Sisters in Stitches Joined by the Cloth quilters guild), Amy Walsh (Artist, creative coach and visual storytelling specialist), and Sherente Mishitashin Harris (Member of the Narragansett Tribal Nation, Two Spirited Fancy Shawl Dancer, Artist, Activist, and Performer). 

 Sisters in Stitches Joined By the Cloth Quilting Guild at the RISD Museum

Sisters in Stitches Joined By the Cloth Quilting Guild at the RISD Museum

Social Justice in Art Curriculum Professional Development

 PROVIDENCE, RI--  On April 27th, Providence CityArts For Youth hosted "Social Justice based Art Curriculum", a 2-hour workshop facilitated by photographer and arts educator, Aarav Sundaresh, and CityArts' core teaching artist and professional development coordinator, Michelle Nugent. Those who attended included Rhode Island arts educators, art therapists, and art museum staff. Aarav and Michelle discussed their approaches to incorporating social justice into their teaching practice within a public school and after school program setting by showing sample projects and leading participatory breakout sessions. The workshop featured readings from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, a semi-autobiographical book by Gloria Anzaldúa jumpstarting conversations about the complexity of identity in our society and how to best support students navigating through literal and metaphorical "borderlands" in today's world.

PROVIDENCE, RI--  On April 27th, Providence CityArts For Youth hosted "Social Justice based Art Curriculum", a 2-hour workshop facilitated by photographer and arts educator, Aarav Sundaresh, and CityArts' core teaching artist and professional development coordinator, Michelle Nugent. Those who attended included Rhode Island arts educators, art therapists, and art museum staff. Aarav and Michelle discussed their approaches to incorporating social justice into their teaching practice within a public school and after school program setting by showing sample projects and leading participatory breakout sessions. The workshop featured readings from Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, a semi-autobiographical book by Gloria Anzaldúa jumpstarting conversations about the complexity of identity in our society and how to best support students navigating through literal and metaphorical "borderlands" in today's world.

RITAC 6x6: "The Powder Room" at The Newport Art Museum

The future is female: The Newport Art Museum & RITAC host 6x6 event, "Powder Room"

 Newport, RI – On April 12th, 2018, The Rhode Island Teaching Artists Center was pleased to partner with The Newport Art Museum to present “The Powder Room,” a "6x6" event inspired by the Newport Art Museum's "Domestic Affairs: Domesticity, Identity, and the Home" exhibition. This fast-paced educational event, loosely modeled on the worldwide PechaKucha phenomenon, features six teaching artists, presenting for six minutes each, on provocative topics related to the arts, education, and teaching artistry.  "Domestic Affairs" (on view until May 6th, 2018) explores the concept of home as a private and public space, one that is personal and intimate, as well as social and political. It reflects the identity, ownership, and even the individual and social expectations of family life.  In this charged space, a POWERful group of women shared their experiences as artists, educators, and activists working to inspire and embolden young women today. Presenters included Kara Dunne, multi-media performance artist and educator, Priscilla Carrion, textile artist and community art maker, Abby Donaldson, Adolescent Medicine specialist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Rachel Blumberg, filmmaker and musician from Girls Rock! RI, Jocelyn Foye and Mara Trachtenberg, educators, artists and activists with The Woman Project, and Gail Ahlers, a skilled artist and metal worker, who shared her work on and vision for the multi-faceted Empowerment Factory in Pawtucket. Thank you to our guest speakers, Cristin Searles, The Newport Art Museum's Director of Visitor Services and Community Engagement for all of her help in organizing this event, and to The Newport Art Museum for being a wonderful partnering-host site!

Newport, RI – On April 12th, 2018, The Rhode Island Teaching Artists Center was pleased to partner with The Newport Art Museum to present “The Powder Room,” a "6x6" event inspired by the Newport Art Museum's "Domestic Affairs: Domesticity, Identity, and the Home" exhibition. This fast-paced educational event, loosely modeled on the worldwide PechaKucha phenomenon, features six teaching artists, presenting for six minutes each, on provocative topics related to the arts, education, and teaching artistry.

"Domestic Affairs" (on view until May 6th, 2018) explores the concept of home as a private and public space, one that is personal and intimate, as well as social and political. It reflects the identity, ownership, and even the individual and social expectations of family life.

In this charged space, a POWERful group of women shared their experiences as artists, educators, and activists working to inspire and embolden young women today. Presenters included Kara Dunne, multi-media performance artist and educator, Priscilla Carrion, textile artist and community art maker, Abby Donaldson, Adolescent Medicine specialist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Rachel Blumberg, filmmaker and musician from Girls Rock! RI, Jocelyn Foye and Mara Trachtenberg, educators, artists and activists with The Woman Project, and Gail Ahlers, a skilled artist and metal worker, who shared her work on and vision for the multi-faceted Empowerment Factory in Pawtucket. Thank you to our guest speakers, Cristin Searles, The Newport Art Museum's Director of Visitor Services and Community Engagement for all of her help in organizing this event, and to The Newport Art Museum for being a wonderful partnering-host site!

Newport6x6.jpg

New Partnership with RI Latino Arts Makes Great Connections for Teaching Artists

This 6 x6 experimented with a new addition to the format. As part of the six minute presentations,each of the 6 artist presenters created a canvas (12 x 12) that focused on the question “What is most on your mind right now?”  Artists could use the canvas however they wished—with visual, performing, or literary arts.  The themes ranged from the pain of the immigrant to the layers of culture within individuals.  The canvases will be on display at La Galleria del Pueblo.   The presenting artists made connections with educators and members of the RI healthcare community that will lead to collaborations in the schools and with the medical community. 


Presenting were:

Ana Areylis Cruz Cabrera      Poet, Author, Spoken Word Artist  & Songwriter.

Carolina Artentsen   Visual Artist/Painter

Marleny Luna            Actress, Spoken Word Poet,TV/radio Host
Evans Molina            Musician, Dancer, Visual Artist 
Pablo Youngs            Visual Artist
Sue Borhorquez        Visual Artist

For more information on each artist or to be listed on the Directory as a member, visit the Directory at RI Latino Artists.  

Our thanks to Latino Arts for being a RITAC partner for the 6 x 6. 

Attendees "Gain Insight" from 6 x 6 Inclusion Event

"Event was an awesome way to see what is happening in Rhode Island and the connection of artists to the history and culture of our state--as well as how they contribute to both healing and learning.  It gave me lots of ideas of  how I can incorporate artists into my workplace as a tool for enrichment and growth."    Administrator/Educator

 Post 6x6 presentations; attendees enjoy fellowship and swapping ideas.  Held at the Gamm Theatre February 6, 2017.

Post 6x6 presentations; attendees enjoy fellowship and swapping ideas.  Held at the Gamm Theatre February 6, 2017.

On February 6, artists, community members, teachers, and healthcare professionals gathered at the Gamm Theatre for the 4th in a series of 6x6 events.  6 x 6 is a fast-paced educational event where 6 teaching artists present for 6 minutes each. We gathered at 5:30 for some snacks, then at 6 heard the wonderful variety of presentations, had time for Q & A with each presenter, and then rounded out the evening till 8 with conversation and networking.  This month’s topic was inclusion. Each presenter added his or her unique perspective on topics such as:

  • the dramatic reading of a letter written by a young person in an institution,
  • thoughts about language,
  • what ability or disability means
  • being welcomed to the land of the Narragansett people.

6 x 6 is designed to inform and motivate teaching artists, as well as the communities they work with--learning, making, inspiring and healing

Presenters included:

  • Rachel Balaban, Dance for People with Parkinson's Coordinator
  • Len Cabral, international storyteller and children's book author
  • Jeannine Chartier, Executive Director of VSA Arts Rhode Island, an organization promoting active inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts
  • Loren Spears, Executive Director of the Tomaquag Museum and author published in a variety of publications such as Dawnland Voices, An Anthology of Indigenous Writing of New England
  • Melodie Thompson, storyteller, special education teacher, Founding Director of Worship Arts Restoration
  • Valerie Tutson, Founding Member and Executive Director of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers and director of FUNDA FEST.

Connecting with the Teaching Artists Guild

The Teaching Artists Guild shares a couple of great resources to find your tribe online: you can connect with other teaching artists on their LinkedIn discussion group, on the Teaching Artists Failing Forward Facebook group, by using the#teachingartists hashtag on Twitter, or you can even contact specific teaching artists directly through their online directory. We are all hungry for a feeling of community in this profession- the internet can be a fantastic resource for that.