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Collab Lab 8: The Arts Across Disciplines

Thursday March 9, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Neil deGrasse Tyson has a wonderful thought about not treating science as a “subject” — “subjects” are too easy to skip as outside one’s area of interest, yet science is infused in everything.

Are the arts any different?

Join us for a conversation on how to pull the arts in across disciplines to create much richer and engaging experiences for K12 students.

As we talk with area educators we’ve heard a number of questions that many art and music teachers have already figured out how to address:

  • How do I assess the contribution of individual students in collaborative works?
  • How do I measure progress in open-ended, creative projects?
  • How can my students develop effective ways to visually communicate their work?
  • How can I leverage a student’s engagement in a project to better understand who that student is?
  • What talents are available elsewhere in my school for students to leverage in their work?
  • How can a public presentation of student work help engage parents and the wider community?
  • How can I structure student assignments to drive high quality work?

Let’s get together and share some ideas. Have a colleague you’d like to collaborate with? Bring them along.


Among others, you’ll have a chance talk with:


Dr. Nancy Stanford Blair – Professor Emerita of Leadership Studies at Cardinal Stritch University – artsHUBmke

Laura Yale – Program Development Specialist & Instructional Coach – [email protected]

artsHUBmke​ is an innovative collaboration between Cardinal Stritch University, Arts @ Large and Milwaukee Public Schools. artsHUBmke builds the skills of pre-service student teachers, new and veteran classroom teachers, arts specialists, community artist educators, and university faculty to design and implement arts integrated teaching strategies that engage students in dynamic learning experiences.

Kid Curators PD 2016 from Linda D’Acquisto on Vimeo.

Nancy Blair currently consults in the areas of leadership formation, effectiveness and sustainability, organizational development and culture building, and the creation of learning organizations. She has taught at the Master’s and Doctoral level and consults locally, nationally and internationally with schools, non-profits and business. Nancy has co-authored several books on leadership: Connecting Leadership to the Brain, Leading with The Brain in Mind, and Mindful Leadership published by Corwin Press.

Nancy’s research interests lie in the area of leadership formation, sustainability and coherent leadership behavior that aligns core values, high impact performance and capacity building in others. Her latest book, summarizing her research findings, is Leading Coherently: Reflections from Leaders Around the World published by Sage. Nancy currently is focusing her leadership study and teaching in the area of servant leadership, transformational change and social justice. Over the last few years she has continued to interview a diverse array of servant leaders from the United States, Africa, India and Europe to discover lessons they have to teach about their transformation to extraordinary leaders who serve. Her fifth book, in progress is titled Your Life is Your Message.


Elise Georgeson – Marketing & Development Manager – Artists Working in Education

Reanna Ottoson – Program Director – Truck Studio

AWE’s mission is to provide youth in the Milwaukee area with arts enrichment programs to enhance human potential, advance learning and cultivate community. Their programs include:

A.W.E.’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program provides opportunities to engage youth in making decisions about land use, public space, and neighborhood revitalization through the creation of public art within their neighborhoods. Thriving neighborhoods are those where people have a sense of agency to make real change. Together, we create inclusive & collaborative public art projects that align youth driven planning with broader community goals. Projects may create neighborhood infrastructure, contribute to neighborhood beautification, or tell a story about a pertinent community issue through public art.

The Truck Studio provides meaningful, drop-in art-based enrichment activities free of charge to youth ages 4 –14, with a focus on working with youth who aren’t engaged in structured programming. The Truck Studio activates parks and playgrounds during the summer months and partners with Milwaukee Public Library during the school year. We help young people become more inquisitive, creative, flexible, imaginative and confident; while fostering a sense of community among children, artists and neighborhoods. Truck Studio program consists of a fleet of four brightly painted vans and a dedicated team of artists and interns with experience in youth development, arts education and fine art.


Erica Breitbarth – Reagan International Baccalaureate School

Erica Breitbarth is an active music educator, choral conductor and vocalist in the Milwaukee area. She holds degrees in music education from the Wheaton Conservatory of Music (BMEd) and Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music (MMEd). Currently, Erica serves as choir director, musical theater director and chair of the music department at Reagan International Baccalaureate (IB) School in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Erica and her colleagues built the music program at Reagan High School from 50 students to over 400, garnering local, state and national recognition for excellence in music education instruction to urban youth.

Erica is an active soprano soloist throughout the greater Milwaukee area, performing such works as Handel’s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Lotti’s Dixit Dominus and Haydn’s Creation, Missa in Angustiis and Missa in tempore belli. Additionally, she was selected as finalist in the Wisconsin Civic Music Association Competition and the Illinois and Chicago Chapter NATS auditions and was the winner of the Wheaton Conservatory Vocal Concerto Competition. A strong advocate for music education, Erica worked with BuildaBridge International in Philadelphia to develop a comprehensive teaching model for artists working with at-risk students in the United States and around the world. Erica is an active church musician and council member at Eastbrook Church in Milwaukee and serves on the board of directors for the Bel Canto Chorus. She received two Tommy Awards for Outstanding Musical Theater Direction and was named the Civic Music Association’s Choral Music Educator of the Year in 2013.

And by the way, she was also a finalist for a Grammy this year (Music Educator).


Kristen Fledderjohn – Program Manager, ArtWorks for Milwaukee

As a self proclaimed social scientist, Kristen’s curiosity has taken her through a myriad of life experiences and brings those intersections, cross roads, and parallels into each new endeavor. ArtWorks for Milwaukee hires teenagers for art-based, paid internships to develop career skills. Each program focuses on building 21st Century skills through different arts and mediums. ArtWorks has expanded its capacity over the years delving into schools and creating an alumni program.


Lisa Loomis – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School

Lisa is an early Childhood School support teacher with 14 years at Milwaukee Public Schools. She has her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School offers families an African-American Immersion program that focuses on the history and culture of African-Americans, drawing upon the strengths of our pupils. It is one of four schools within MPS particpating in the Turnaround Arts program.



5:30 – 6:00 Grab something to eat and drink, say hello

6:00 – 8:30 Let’s learn from each other

Food and beverage will be provided. There is no charge for participation but space is limited!

The Collab Lab is held monthly in the innovation space at Ward 4, 333 North Plankinton Avenue, Milwaukee, WI.  Space provided courtesy of The Commons.

The Commons


Thursday March 9, 2017
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Learn Deep


Ward 4
313 Plankinton Ave
Milwaukee, WI United States
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