September 18th, 2014

Kennedy Center Partners in Education | Teacher Workshops


The Renaissance Performing Arts Association is a proud member of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Partners in Education program. As one of only two Ohio locations in this highly selective program, The Renaissance is partnering with Mansfield City Schools and the Mansfield Art Center to bring arts-integrated teaching to local K-12 students through a series of professional development workshops.

Read on to learn more about the Mansfield team, arts integration, and upcoming events!

2014-2015 Events for teachers will be announced in September 2014. Examples of past workshops include:

Karen Erickson presents "Who's the Hero? Confronting Bullying through the Arts" Workshop
4:30-7:30 pm, Malabar Intermediate School, best for teachers of Grades 4-9

The arts can serve as a powerful addition to a character education program by helping students discuss, reflect, and react to bullying behaviors. In Part 1 of this workshop, teachers examine how to define and share images of bullying with students. Participants then explore the roles of hero, bully, bystander, instigator, and target to learn how to engage students in drama activities to experience the role each plays in contributing to or resolving bullying activities. The drama activities also utilize concentration, image work, collaboration, and the communication of ideas through lines spoken by characters.


Randy Barron presents "Poetry in Motion" Workshop
4:30-7:30 pm, Renaissance Theatre, best for teachers of Grades 4-12

In this workshop, participants learn how to help students express their poems through dance with an integrated approach to language arts. Teachers explore a variety of movement techniques that extend students’ ranges of movement choices to express their words. Teachers also examine ways to improve the quality of students’ dance interpretations by investigating a useful “drafting” and “editing” process.

Felix Pitre presents "Exploring Latin American Culture through Folktales" Workshop
4:30-7:30 pm, Renaissance Theatre, best for teachers of Grades K-6

In this workshop, teachers examine animal folktales as a way to learn about Latin American culture. Participants explore ways to help students enhance their understanding of human relationships, cultural similarities and differences, and develop their oral communication skills by telling folktales. Teachers examine how to choose appropriate folktales, help students bring the story to life using voice and body, and invite listeners’ participation to enhance the story’s effectiveness.

*All partnership events are: free, able to be used for CEU credits, and include refreshments. You must register in advance to attend workshops. To register, or for more information, contact Chelsie Thompson: or 419-522-2726 x 251.  

What is Arts Integration?

Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students engage in a creative process that connects an art form, such as dancing or singing, with another subject area, such as math or reading. Since not all students learn the same way, the arts integration approach reaches students despite these differences-whether a child learns best by talking, seeing, singing, or writing, arts integration accommodates many diverse learning styles in one classroom. The Kennedy partnership offers a wealth of resources to Mansfield teachers, who will now have access to a variety of local, state, and national teaching artists in their own classrooms. A series of professional development workshops throughout the coming years will help teachers learn how to seamlessly integrate arts activities into lesson plans to not only help students be more engaged in school, but also retain information better and achieve their greatest learning potential.

The Mansfield Partnership

The Mansfield partnership team (a.k.a. the Ohio 2010 team) vied for a spot in the prestigious program against numerous other teams across the nation, and was inducted into the program in May 2010. Mansfield is one of only 100 partnership sites across the United States. The Kennedy Center Partners in Education program represents a great honor for The Renaissance, the Mansfield Art Center, and Mansfield City Schools, and the program looks to have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of Mansfield City Schools K-12 students and teachers over the coming years.

Team Members:

Mike Miller, President/CEO, The Renaissance
Chelsie Thompson, Director of Operations, The Renaissance
Jody Nash, Principal of Spanish Immersion School, Mansfield City Schools
Carole Swope, Board Member, Mansfield Art Center


·         Learn more about the  Kennedy Center's Partners in Education program.

·         Discover valuable resources for educators looking to use the arts in the classroom on the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education website.

·         Find information on grants for Teaching Artists in Residence through VSA Ohio, the state organization on arts and disability.