Molly Spearman, Superintendent of Education
South Carolina Department of Education
Molly Spearman Bio
Molly Mitchell Spearman was elected as the 18th South Carolina State Superintendent of Education on November 4, 2014. Native to Saluda County, Mrs. Spearman’s childhood laid the foundations of family, faith, and hard work that transcended into her professional career as an educator and civil servant.
Superintendent Spearman’s career has spanned 18 years as a public school music teacher and an assistant principal. In addition to teaching and administration, she has served four terms as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, six years as Deputy Superintendent of the South Carolina Department of Education, and ten years as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. She holds a B.A. Degree in music education from Lander University, a Master’s Degree in education supervision from George Washington University, and an Education Specialist degree from the University of South Carolina.
As the South Carolina Superintendent of Education, Mrs. Spearman has the experience and relationships needed to move South Carolina’s education system forward. Superintendent Spearman strongly believes the foundation for student success lies in effective classroom teachers and principals who facilitate personalized learning for every student, every day. Her vision is for every South Carolina graduate to be prepared for the next step after graduation.
Superintendent Spearman is excited to keep a positive and forward- thinking approach to South Carolina education to promote better schools and brighter futures.
Early Learning Through the Arts
As South Carolina has increased and expanded access to early childhood learning and 4K programs it is important to expand the conversation of arts education to be included from the very start. Join this session to learn from the significant work of Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. Akua and Angela will guide the conversation through why learning in the arts and arts integration is key to early childhood development with concrete examples of partnerships and successful programs across the country to inspire attending participants for interactive discussion. The second half of the session will focus on interaction among participants to contemplate:
- How might we ensure that every child in South Carolina has access to arts experiences in their daily lives?
- How do we ensure all early childhood teachers and pre-service teachers develop their teaching practice to include the arts in their daily practice?
Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President, Education
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
Akua Kouyate-Tate Bio
Akua Kouyate-Tate oversees all of Wolf Trap’s Education Programs including the nationally recognized Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and Wolf Trap Internship and Apprenticeship Program.
Prior to joining Wolf Trap in 2001, Ms. Kouyate-Tate worked for more than 25 years as an administrator, educator, and professional artist with arts and disability organizations and government agencies including Memory of African Culture, Inc.; Young Audiences – DC Chapter; DC Public Schools; United Cerebral Palsy; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Library of Congress. She also has served as an Adjunct Faculty member of Dance Major programs at Howard University, University of Maryland, American University, and George Mason University; as a grants review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and other state and local arts agencies; and regularly presents at national and international conferences on arts education.
Ms. Kouyate-Tate holds a MA in Arts Management and a BA in Performing Arts-Dance from American University, and is a recipient of a Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Award and a 2015 BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference K -12 Promotion of Education Award. She has conducted postgraduate research in African Cultural Studies at Howard University and in the countries of Mali, Senegal, and The Gambia.
Angela Dittmar, Director of Teaching Artist Residencies
Arts-Based Collaborative at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Angela Dittmar Bio
Angela Dittmar is the Director of Teaching Artist Residencies at the Arts-Based Collaborative at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Additionally, she serves on the Innovations in Honors faculty for the university’s Honor College. Angela brings an extensive history in teaching in visual arts and facilitating process-centered learning engagements. She provides guidance for ABC’s UTC-Wolf Trap Teaching Artists as the Director of the UTC-Wolf Trap Affiliate Program. As a visual artist, Angela examines the cross sections of desire, instincts, and interpretation as related to shaping and responding to our lived experiences. She refers to her research as “Me and the Gazelle.”
Arts-Empowered Learning Across the Curriculum: Lessons from ten years of the ARTeacher Fellowship arts integration program
What does it look like when a teacher deeply integrates the arts into their pedagogical practice? And what does it take to get there? Since 2012, the University of Arkansas Center for Children & Youth (CCY) and partners have organized a long-term, intensive professional development program known as the ARTeacher Fellowship with the aim of cultivating high-level practitioners of arts integration in the teaching of English, foreign language, science, and social studies. The result has been a dynamic and award-winning program that celebrates the power of the arts to transform learning. In this session, we share the design and evolution of the ARTeacher Fellowship and explore what lessons can be gleaned from the last decade of implementation.
Hung Pham, Director
Center for Children and Youth, University of Arkansas
Hung Pham Bio
Hung K. Pham is Director of the Center for Children & Youth, an endowed initiative of the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions. Through CCY, he manages a range of programs for educators, students, and community partners focusing on literacy, the arts, and positive social engagement. Pham has shared his work at professional conferences across the country and has collaborated with leading arts and educational organizations including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Teachers College-Columbia University. In 2019, CCY was honored with the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for contributions to art in education.
A graduate of the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Arkansas, Pham received the 2015 Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship for fiction. Before grad school, Pham worked for several years in a range of educational and youth-related nonprofits in Colorado, including managing a service-learning program for teens that combined the arts and social activism.
Arts Integration at USCB: Successful interdisciplinary initiatives lead to dynamic programming and renewed interest in STEAM pedagogy
Following the success of the inaugural Performance of Caring class, a collaborative effort by faculty in the Nursing and Theater program to train students to serve as Simulated Patients, I expanded my efforts to create opportunities for experiential learning via acting training and interprofessional partnerships. In the Summer of 2021, I was one of two faculty members awarded the USCB Teaching Innovation Grant for her proposed project, “Utilization of Simulated Patients in Non-Nursing Classrooms.” In this presentation, I will speak about my Fall 2021 collaboration with Psychology Professor Sandra Knapp. Select students were offered course credit through an independent study to serve as simulated patients for an abnormal psychology class. The semester began with specialized training that expanded on the students’ previous work as simulated patients with the nursing program. This training focused on using acting methodologies to enable them to embody various conditions and disorders as described in the DSM-V. Two of those students will join me not only in recounting the events of the class but also in discussing how the skills they acquired will aid them in pursuing their professional aspirations. Finally, I will discuss other forthcoming collaborations in which theater students will take on the roles of simulated patients to serve the pedagogical needs of a variety of disciplines.
Elizabeth Ricardo, Program Coordinator for Interdisciplinary Studies
University of South Carolina Beaufort
Elizabeth Ricardo Bio
Libby Ricardo, M.F.A., is an Assistant Professor of Theater in the Department of English and the Arts and Program Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at USCB. A company member with Lean Ensemble Theater on Hilton Head Island, she is an award-winning actor, director, and teacher who has appeared in stage, television, and film productions throughout the country. Libby Ricardo was named the 2019 USCB Professor of the Year and, along with her colleague and collaborator, Dr. Morgin Jones Williams, recipient of the 2020 USCB Teaching Innovation Grant. Their proposed project, “Embodiment in Math B111: Encouraging understanding and engagement through the implementation of theater practices in College Algebra” hopes to emphasize the integration of embodied teaching and learning in the mathematics classroom as a means of targeting kinesthetic learners and serving to bolster confidence, encourage engagement and active participation, and foster community and ensemble-driven problem solving. In 2021, she received her second USCB Teaching Innovation Grant for her work training student actors to serve as Simulated Patients in non-Nursing classrooms.
Kymet Laboard, Senior, Interdisciplinary Studies Program
University of South Carolina Beaufort
Kymet Laboard is a Senior in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at the University of South Carolina Beaufort. His curated curriculum investigates the intersections of Communication Studies, Performance, and community engagement. He is also pursuing a minor in Theater.
Jennifer Nettles, Senior, Interdisciplinary Studies Program
University of South Carolina Beaufort
Jennifer Nettles is a Senior in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, with a concentration in Pre-Med. Jennifer’s individualized program of study encompasses traditional pre-med requirements while also exploring clinical skills and mindfulness through the Arts and Humanities.
Using Data to Transform Arts Education in SC
Without a systematic data-driven approach it is not possible to know the true status and condition of arts education in our schools. The Arts Education Data Project partners with state departments of education to transform data collected into a publicly available interactive dashboard to reflect the true status of accessibility of arts education in every school, at every grade level for every student. South Carolina is joining the Arts Education Data Project, which is currently working in 31 states. Join this session to learn more about the Arts Education Data Project, the data collected and a tour of the interactive dashboard that will empower South Carolina’s efforts to provide equitable access to arts education for all students.
Bob Morrison, CEO
Bob Morrison Bio
Mr. Morrison is the founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s leading arts education research and market intelligence organization. Mr. Morrison was the managing partner for the groundbreaking New Jersey Arts Education Census Project (2007), completing the first statewide census for arts education in every school building now hailed as a model for statewide arts education research. Mr. Morrison has completed similar research projects for the states of Arizona (2009), California (2004), Michigan (2011), Minnesota (2012), New Hampshire (2011), Ohio (2013), Oklahoma (2009) and Wisconsin (2008). In May of 2012 the first follow-up longitudinal study was completed for the state of New Jersey.
Prior to founding Quadrant Arts Education Research Mr. Morrison was the founder of Music for All, helped develop and then served as the CEO of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, helped create the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and served as a senior executive for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). Mr. Morrison’s national work in arts education has earned him both an EMMY and a Peabody Award, an honorary doctorate degree from the State University of New York.
Arts Industry Credential Roundtable
Arts Grow SC plan includes the creation of Arts Industry Credentials to offer SC students career pathways to the Arts. Join the call to learn how Arts Industry Credential Project Manager is working with SCDE Career and Technical Education office and how the feedback and advice from key advisory leaders are helping shape options in various arts disciplines. More importantly, be prepared to engage in the conversation and share thoughts, ideas and resources to achieve success for SC students and SC’s creative economy.
GP McLeer, Executive Director
SC Arts Alliance
GP McLeer Bio
GP McLeer is the Mayor of Fountain Inn, SC, the Executive Director of the SC Arts Alliance, and a founding partner of Pecan Public Relations, LLC.
Born and raised in South Carolina, in 2019 GP was elected Mayor of Fountain Inn, one of the fastest growing cities in the state, at age 31, making him the youngest mayor in the city’s history. As Executive Director of the South Carolina Arts Alliance, the only statewide arts advocacy organization, GP works at the local, state, and federal level to advance the creative industry through public policy, leadership development, and public awareness. In 2021 he founded Pecan Public Relations, LLC which focuses on advocacy, communications, and governance for nonprofits across the state.
Mia Phillips, Arts Industry Credential Project Manager
Arts Grow SC
Mia Phillips Bio
Mia received her M.A. in Theatre from USC and her B.A. from Wofford College, where she worked on and off stage in every aspect of production. While pursuing her Master’s, she taught at Workshop Theatre and USC in Columbia, SC. Mia taught drama for five years at Stone Academy; she also began working as a consultant for the Explore the Arts program during this time. She enjoys getting to meet a variety of students through her classes (since 1995) at SCCT, both on site and in outreach classes (Thank you TOPs donors). She is SCCT’s Production Stage Manager and has guest directed numerous SCCT MainStage shows. She is the mother to two wonderful girls, and she and her husband also enjoy their pet menagerie at home.
The Secret Sauce: Staffing, Culture and Community
Hiring the right staff to build the right culture was the name of the game for Arts for Learning Maryland’s Summer Academy, and overnight it needed to quadruple in size. Could this growth be accomplished while maintaining the strong culture and relationships, program quality and academic impact? This session will share practical strategies, tips and tools that you can implement in your programs now! Come prepared to share as we explore recruitment, vetting and hiring best practices for teachers and artists in your community; how to design professional development and other experiences to build trust and community, not just skills; and how to effectively support your teams on the ground doing the work.
Stacie Sanders Evans, President & CEO
Arts for Learning Maryland
Stacie Sanders Evans Bio
Under Stacie’s leadership since 2004, Arts for Learning Maryland’s (formerly Young Audiences of Maryland) outreach has expanded to every school district in Maryland. YA partners with 500 school and community based sites and annually impacts 180,000 students, teachers and artists. YA co-founded Maryland’s first statewide artist training program, the Teaching Artist Institute; affiliated with Wolf Trap, which expanded YA’s reach into early childhood settings; and developed a nationally award winning model for arts integrated learning in summer settings that positively impacts students’ academic and social emotional development.
Stacie holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston, SC. She has twice been named one of the Top 100 Women in Maryland, is an alumna of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Leadership Program, has held multiple positions on National YA Board Committees, and has served on the Maryland State Department of Education’s Fine Arts Panel. She has also served two terms on the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance Board and served as chair of the Executive Committee of a collective effort to create a National Teaching Artist Certification Program for the field.
Kurtis Donnelly, Chief, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives
Maryland Chapter of Young Audiences/Arts for Learning
Kurtis Donnelly Bio
Kurtis Donnelly is Chief, Innovation and Strategic Initiatives at Young Audiences (YA). In this capacity, Mr. Donnelly leads the organizations’ work to realize our vision of changing education systems using the power of teaching artists and arts integration.
Prior to his current role with YA, Mr.
Donnelly spent the last 4 years leading the Summer Arts and Learning Academy, a program he co-founded in 2014 through a partnership between Young Audiences and Baltimore City Public Schools. Under his leadership the program has grown to serve as the district’s primary elementary grades summer program serving over2000 students each summer. In 2020, the Summer Arts and Learning Academy won the Excellence in Summer Learning Award from the National Summer Learning Association.
Mr. Donnelly joined Young Audiences in 2011 as the organization’s first program director. In this role, he oversaw all youth-based services including assemblies, workshops, residencies and in-depth school partnerships, as well as professional development programs for educators. In 2014, he was named organizations first Chief Operating Officer overseeing the day to day operations of the fast growing organization.
Prior to joining Young Audiences, Mr. Donnelly served as Education Director and Artistic Associate at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, where he increased student matinee attendance and on site class enrollment by 150% each. As a member of Actor’s Equity Association, Mr. Donnelly has performed in theatres across the country. A graduate of Samford University with degrees in Theatre and Biology, Mr. Donnelly began his career in education teaching drama in the Birmingham, AL public school system.
Silos No More: Lessons Learned in Activating Networks Beyond the Classroom
This panel of Art of Community: Rural SC mavens, creative connectors, and creative mentors will share experiences that highlight the power of networks and collaboration to support student learning in traditional classroom settings as well as within a community. Through their work in and out of classrooms, each panelist has addressed the education needs of their rural communities, grown networks to find much needed resources, and collaborated on innovative ideas for teachers and students alike.
Ashley Brown, Moderator, Deputy Director
South Carolina Arts Commission
Ashley Brown Bio
Ashley Brown is the Deputy Director at the South Carolina Arts Commission where she works to advance the mission to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. She most recently served as the Arts Education Director at the agency for three years and previously was the Engagement Director for Opening Nights Performing Arts at Florida State University. An accomplished teacher, she has taught in both public school and nonprofits in North and South Carolina and worked as a professional theatre artist throughout the Southeast. She received her BA from Winthrop University and her MFA from Florida State University.
Terrance Washington, Art Teacher
Blackville Public Schools
Terrance Washington Bio
Terrance L. Washington, a Blackville, SC native, is an art teacher in Blackville public schools. He is also the Founder and CEO of the annual Blackville Music and Arts Festival. He contributes to various community projects around the holidays in Blackville, serves as a local music producer, and has a following as DJ Tru-Dat. Terrance Washington is a team member on the Art of Community Blackville Team and serves as a Creative Connector for the SC Arts Commission’s Art of Community network. He has displayed his visual art and photography throughout the state and beyond. He was recognized as an outstanding contributor and session documentarian at the Artists Thrive Summit in Berea, Ky. Terrance is a graduate of the Art Institute in Charlotte, NC and South Carolina State University with a degree in Graphic Design. He is also a proud alumnus of Denmark Technical College and often gives back to his institution.
Betty McDaniel, Maven
Betty McDaniel Bio
Dr. Betty W. McDaniel, volunteer Executive Director of the Young Appalachian Musicians, is a life-long educator and supporter of the arts. She worked as a classroom and reading support teacher, media specialist, and administrator since 1974 during which time she earned EIA teacher grants, has been Teacher of the Year 3 times, was Honor Roll Teacher of the Year for Pickens County, was awarded grants as a Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher to Japan and as a Fulbright Master Teacher. She was Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Teacher Education Program at Southern Wesleyan University. Currently retired from teaching, she serves as a consultant at the School District of Pickens County. In 2008, she founded Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music, Inc. which supports the Young Appalachian Musicians learning to play traditional music. Dr. McDaniel serves as the Pickens County Maven for The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative of the SC Arts Commission. She is a 2015 recipient of the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award. She also co-founded and is currently on the Board of Holly Springs Center (with a Pre-School and School of Mountain Arts) and she serves on the Board and volunteers of Hagood Mill Historic Site in Pickens. McDaniel received her BA in Elementary Education from University of North Carolina, and later went on to receive her Ph.D in Elementary Education from UofSC.
Kayla Hostetler, Maven
Kayla Hostetler Bio
Kayla Hostetler is an English teacher at Aiken High School. She has taught within the Aiken County Public School System for twelve years. She serves as a lead teacher, Beta Club sponsor, and teacher evaluator within her district. She plans and takes youth on international field trips. She is a mentor to the Next Generation Social Action team with Bread Loaf Teacher Network, which focuses on making change in their local community. Ms. Hostetler is a Center for the Education of Equity of African American Students teacher, which focuses on providing equity within education for African American students. Ms. Hostetler is currently pursuing a PhD in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina. She is an avid reader and writer. She has several academic and poetry publications. Dr. Hostetler serves as the Aiken County Maven for the South Carolina Arts Commission’s The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative.
Marquerite Palmer, Maven
Marquerite Palmer Bio
Marquerite Palmer has been the Director of the Newberry Arts Center since it’s opening in 2014. Palmer helped start after school art programs, taught art in the school systems, taught pottery at Newberry College, and actively volunteered her time and talents in community organizations. With the help of mentors and friends, the Newberry Arts Center began the annual South Carolina Clay Conference in 2015. Previously, Palmer taught in public schools for ten years, seven of which were in Newberry County. Palmer is both an artist and arts educator, and she believes strongly that art enriches people’s lives and helps individuals to find a voice within their communities. Palmer serves as the Newberry County Maven for The Art of Community: Rural SC initiative of the South Carolina Arts Commission. She is the founder of the newly established non-profit organization, CREATE Newberry, inc.
Bobby Harley, Educator
Chambers High School
Bobby Harley Bio
Growing up in a small rural town, Bobby Harley witnessed firsthand the power of education. This love for learning led him to become a teacher. He is currently finishing his 9th year of teaching at Julius L Chambers High School, located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before his current position, he taught for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and for Bamberg School District 2, also located in South Carolina. In 2017, he was awarded fellowships from the James Madison Foundation and Middlebury College Breadloaf School of English. He participates as a member of the Art of Community Blackville Team and is a Creative Mentor within the statewide network of creative placemakers.
Envisioning STEAM in SC
The STEAM Policy Academy was hosted by the Arts Education Partnership in July 2021. The goal of the academy was to convene teams from three states—all of whom have already established groundwork for STEAM education policy action—to learn from other state leaders and craft an action plan to enhance access to STEAM education experiences for students statewide. South Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia were among participating states and will receive 18 months of technical assistance towards their action plans.
In this session, participants will be engaged to envision a future for STEAM education in South Carolina.
Phillip Wilder, Associate Professor of Literacy
Rhett Nettles, Education Specialist
S²TEM Centers SC
Cindy Riddle, Assistant Superintendent of Visual & Performing Arts Gifted/Talented Services
Spartanburg School District One
Jamie Kasper, Director
Arts Education Partnership
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