Practicing Hope: explore agency, courage, and transformation in arts in education

My hope emerges from those places of struggle where I witness
individuals positively transforming their lives and the world around them.
Educating is always a vocation rooted in hopefulness.
- bell hooks, 2003

Art-making is inherently hopeful. As we sit with our pen, brush, instrument or on a stage--with a blank page or quiet space--we imagine something that didn’t exist before and make it come to be. Art opens us to new possibilities and imagines a world beyond what exists.

Artists and educators practice hope because hope is central and essential to our practice.  

As Rebecca Solnit says in Hope in the Dark:

“Hope is not a lottery ticket you can sit on the sofa and clutch, feeling lucky. It is an axe you break down doors with in an emergency.”

In practical day-to-day reality, however, amid the dimness of hatred, inequities and injustices, what brighter futures do we imagine are possible? And how can the arts help us get there? And what practices of hope, whether collective movements or individual acts, are we already engaged in?

As artists and educators, we believe in the possibility of growth and evolution through an ongoing, dedicated practice. Practice is an act of hope.

Building on past summits, such as Delving into Difference and Response and Responsibility, this year’s Continuing the Conversation Annual Summit, Practicing Hope, will explore agency, courage, and transformation in arts in education. We will have conversations through various formats [link to format] about how the arts help us to build meaningful relationships, engage in critical dialogue and -in the face of great challenges - continue to practice hope.

Questions we will explore:

  • What hopeful future are we envisioning for our young people? What practices will move us toward that future?

  • Where and when does hope meet action?

  • What are the ways that a personal practice creates hope and sustainability in arts in education?


Early Bird Registration ends July 1!


Plenaries: Plenaries will engage the entire corps of summit participants in activities and discussions. These full group sessions will occur throughout the summit.

Lab Sessions: These breakout sessions will be led by a prestigious group of facilitators and will engage small groups of participants in conversations of critical topics relating to our theme. Lab Sessions will be interactive and discussion-based.

Praxis Sessions: Praxis is the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. These small group sessions will be a time to practice the ideas of the summit and apply them to the participants own work. Paulo Freire said, “Liberation is a praxis: the action and reflection of men and women upon their world in order to transform it.” Participants will meet with a consistent group throughout the summit in these sessions.

Keynote Speakers: The summit will feature two keynote experiences from leaders in the field to catalyze conversation, offer insight, inspire action, and provoke conversation.

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