Volume 3, No. 2, June 2011

Message from InSEA President: Rita Irwin

Over the last few months the world has seen catastrophic natural disasters and in each instance we have heard about arts educators creating programs for children and communities.  These instances of public pedagogical engagement are gifted to others through our deep human connection and desire to help in the face of tragedy.  On behalf of those who have received, or given, during these unfortunate events,  I say thank you for your patience, persistence, and passion for life itself.  Our hearts and minds are with each of you.

While these tragedies have taken place, InSEA has been involved in many other initiatives.  Most notably for InSEA, our World Congress is well on its way to being a remarkable gathering of arts educators from around the world.  Mousumi De has taken on the editorship of our newsletter - a place where we can share current events and projects, and inspire our colleagues in and through time.  Let me take this opportunity to thank her for her generous commitment to our international community.  Please support her by submitting short articles and updates on arts education events.  I also want to acknowledge the tremendous work of our IJETA editor, Glen Coutts, and his editorial team, for continuing to make our research journal a force to behold.  There are many other initiatives that can be shared later but for now these are highlights. Thank you for your continuing commitment to arts education worldwide.

Rita Irwin


Synesthetic Experience @ the 4th World Children’s Festival, USA 

The 4th World Children’s Festival (WCF) organized by the International Child Art Foundation (ICAF) was held at the National Mall in Washington DC, USA, from June 17 to 19, 2011. Some of the world’s most creative and talented children convened to celebrate the festival. The core delegates of WCF were 8 to 12 year-old U.S. and international winners of the 4th Arts Olympiad, which is an art and sport program endorsed by the U.S. Olympic Committee; the “DC Ambassadors” selected through the Arts Olympiad in DC public schools; and 6 to 16 year-old musicians and performers selected by online voting or distinguished juries. 

Held every four years since 1999, the WCF brings together diverse communities around a shared concern for the future of children, their health and education. The festival’s educational programming integrates art and sport with STEM disciplines for children’s holistic development. Eminent educators and field experts ranging from Olympians and professional artists to scientists and technologists hosted workshops and activities to nurture children’s creativity and develop their empathy in a global community setting. The children helped in producing a complete synesthetic experience - a total work of art - by their dazzling performances, amazing art creations and displays, and their own workshops on issues they are most passionate about.

The WCF is a transformative experience, free and open to public, where creativity and co-creation become building blocks for innovation and positive social change.  Over the years, the World Children’s Festival has evolved into the largest international children’s celebration of children’s creativity and imagination, and a permanent quadrennial in Washington DC. For more information >>


Eksperimenta! Canada - in Estonia!

Works of art created by Canadian high school students were selected for Eksperimenta!, which is a first of its kind international conference and Triennial Art Exhibition that celebrates secondary school visual art and contemporary art education. The Exhibition took place in Tallinn, Estonia, from April through June 2011. Eksperimenta! is modelled after the Venice Biennale, which is considered the most prestigious contemporary art exhibition in the world. The unique art show was slated to showcase contemporary student art from Canada, Portugal, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia, South Korea, Iceland and Ireland. Canada was the only country so far, from the Americas that participated in this event. Drs. Joanna Black, University of Manitoba and Miriam Cooley, University of Alberta, who curated the Canadian student digital artworks, made Canada’s participation in this event possible. 

Eksperimenta! offered many opportunities for students, educators and administrators to network with other schools and art centres through a variety of programming including the IDEAlaboratory. This was an international conference for art educators, art students and professional artists during which speakers will discuss best practices in contemporary art education and foster an understanding of issues of new media, digital technologies, multimodal art, and contemporary art and educational practices on an international level. Participation in Eksperimenta! was made possible through the support of the Canadian Society for Education through Art (CSEA), the University of Manitoba, The University of Alberta, George Brown College, The Manitoba Arts Council, The Lab Works, Powerland Computers, and the Estonian Community in Canada. For information on Canadian participation, visit>> or contact Joanna Black or Miriam Cooley


2011 version of the School Bogota Art Festival, Columbia

The school Bogota Art Festival is a support strategy and research organization that provides visibility of artistic and pedagogical practices from education up to secondary level. The categories in the festival include children and youth, special needs, music, dance, theatre and visual arts. There have been two versions of the festival in 2009 and 2010 earlier. Experiences of the festival serve as case studies for the creation of Observatory of arts education in Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information visit >> or contact Olga Lucia Olaya Parra 


Dreammaker's 2011 India!

The Dreammaker 11 is here finally! from June 20 to 22, 2011 in Mumbai. This show is held annually by Art4All an institution based in Mumbai, India, where children aged 4 to 11 years participate in the creation of artworks on a given theme. Last year’s theme was Mumbai and children were taken around the city to generate awareness about places which they may not have visited. This year our show is called - Art Goes Green – and they have used recycled trash collected by the children. Paintings were made on cardboard cartons. The show was inaugurated by an acclaimed artist in Mumbai - Sheetal Gattani. The paintings are usually put on sale and all proceeds are donated to charities each year. It gives children an opportunity to work for the lesser priveleged in society. For more information contact the founder Purnima Sampat


2012 USSEA Conference is coming !

The highlight of the past year for USSEA members was the USSEA/InSEA Regional Conference, Youth and Community Development: How the Arts Serve Economically Impoverished Communities, which was held in the beautiful surroundings of New Paltz, New York in early June 2010. In 2008, the Outreach Committee had been charged with planning and organizing a conference to address the needs of youth and communities in a particular region of the United States. A theme exploring ways the arts might of benefit youth and their economically impoverished communities was selected because committee members saw this an a problem that was endemic to many living in the New England region. It was an auspicious theme choice, in that within a few months the instability of the economy throughout the United States became evident. The theme was no longer exclusive to a single region of the nation, but was clearly a national concern, and drew conference attendees from all over the United States and parts of Europe. These USSEA folk joined teachers and community arts leaders from New York City and state to engage in workshops, become informed of successful community projects, listen to research papers, and participate in panel presentations about ways to work with community leaders and schools in addressing the needs of youth from economically challenged communities. Information shared during the three days inspired new endeavors and collaborations, some of which were reported on during the upcoming NAEA conference in Seattle and/or will be presented at the InSEA Congress in Budapest in late June of 2011.

Following on the heels of the Suny, New Paltz conference, a new USSEA Conference has been set for June 23-26, 2012. The conference will be a collaboration with the Center for the Study of Global Change of Indiana University and the theme will focus on international education through art. A call for proposals from papers, workshops and panels soon will be announced. 

The venue of the 2012 USSEA Conference will be, Plaza Crowne, Union Station, in Indianapolis, Indiana. This beautiful hotel and conference center is house in a historic train station and features sleeping rooms converted out of Pullman Train Cars. The site is centrally located near the circle center of Indianapolis, within a few blocks of many museum and cultural sites such as Eiteljorg Museum of Native American and Western Art, Herron School of Art, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Special workshops and events will be presented at several of these locations. Additionally, the conference will feature two exhibitions of children's art from all over the world. USSEA and InSea members, art teachers, and advocates of art education from all over the world are invited to participate in the conference. More information visit >>

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