This was the summer for our education team to really dig in to Professional Development through an array of opportunities. The highlight was with Arts Alliance conference called One State Together in the Arts. Annisa and I spent two days in the quad cities talking about arts & communities, networking with many cool people, and listening to excellent presenters. I really enjoyed hearing about Theaster Gates approach to city designing with an arts focus and talking with renowned Peoria sculptor, Preston Jackson (I’m from the Peoria area, so really appreciate this man’s work). Imran Khan was a speaker that is making great strides to provide art opportunities to the worst high schools in Chicago. The education team also attended a P.D. session through Communities in Schools of Chicago (CISC). This was a fun day of break-out sessions that got everyone communicating about best practices. We also had Jessica in charge of our online and phone conference meetings with Opera America regarding the topic of integrating art and opera specifically into the Common Core State Standards. This has been helpful as our schools are grateful for our sincere approach to helping the students accomplish these CCSS.
Chicago Opera Theater joined forces with Lyric Opera for our Teaching Artists professional development training days. The lyric offered our education team and TA’s a session on learning about their Opera in the Neighborhoods production of Barber of Seville. We are encouraging our Opera For All schools to attend this Lyric performance. We worked on performing Reader’s Theater and writing our own libretto. The results were quite humorous by all the teachers involved! In addition, we went on a back stage tour of the Civic Opera house. We loved the viewing the many props and vast fly-space behind and above the stage.