We are excited to kick off our Arts & Cultural Partners Spotlight series this school year with a partner new to our directory–Art. Play. Learn. Attendees at our Summer Conference may remember meeting CEO Meredith Kaunitz during one of her sessions or during the Provider Fair; now schools can access great school-year programming from Art. Play. Learn. through their page in our Arts Directory. Meredith and her team use their wide range of expertise to provide a variety of rich and engaging arts integrated experiences for teachers and students.

Art. Play. Learn. offers a variety of teacher professional developments, including the virtual teacher professional development (PD), “Mitigating vicarious trauma using Contemplative Art and Self-Care.” This PD series aims to empower teachers with strategies to process their own trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Through a series of 90 minute virtual workshops, teachers work with course creator Teresa (Sedano) Davis to reflect on their experiences through Contemplative Artmaking, or “the practice of using the creation of visual arts projects to release emotions, express inner thoughts in a nonlinear fashion, gain clarity on vision and passions and to resolve unresolved conflict without confrontation.” Through these PD sessions, teachers will not only be better able to process their own emotions but also pass on some of the strategies learned to their students. This PD is available for groups of 3-9 teachers; learn more about this program in the Directory.

In addition to teacher professional development, Art. Play. Learn. also offers a wide variety of student experiences that can be offered as programs at your school or as field trips to Art. Play. Learn.’s location. One such program is “Optical Illusions and Whole History.” This program combines the science and art of optical illusions and the study of primary historical sources to give students a hands-on look at perspective and point of view. Students will first be able to learn about optical illusions and create their own. The next day, students will get to investigate primary source documents from African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War as members of the United States Colored Troops. Following this work, students will be guided to reflect on the idea of perspective as experienced through these two lenses and share their learning through an art form. Components of this experience can be booked separately depending on student and teacher needs; contact Art. Play. Learn. through the directory to learn more about this program.

Over the next several weeks we will be highlighting more new and exciting partners and programs from AED’s Arts Directory; be sure to keep an eye out for future Arts & Culture Partner Spotlight posts!