We’re pleased to announce our plenary session on Friday, June 5th from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. featuring the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans. Based around excerpts of two locally-developed theater productions that engage issues of education and equity, this plenary session focuses on creating campus and community collaborations that honor cultural practices and traditions of pedagogy and justice.
Please be sure to reserve your room at the New Orleans Marriott at the conference rate before Wednesday, May 13, 2015 by following this link.
Learning through Listening:
Performance and Storycircles as Instruments for Community and Cultural Change
Friday, June 5, 2015 | 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
In each performance, stewardship of place is at the forefront in both the content and in the development of its writing. The plays were developed through Storycircle methodology—a group facilitation process built around narrative and personal experience with longstanding traditions in African and African American cultural practices and community theater histories.
“Thirteen Lessons” is a story-theater work presented in episodes which are taken from oral histories and first-person testimonials of individuals caught in circumstances of illiteracy and others committed to working to help them obtain improved literacy skills. This play was developed in collaboration by AshÉ Cultural Arts Center and the Loyola University (La.) Lindy Boggs’ National Center for Community Literacy.
“Lockdown” paints a vivid picture of charter schools in post-Katrina New Orleans, La., staffed by well-meaning, but overwhelmed outsiders who eject youth for discipline violations when what the students need is support and understanding.
Following the productions, Carol Bebelle, Co-founder & Executive Director, Ashé Cultural Arts Center (La.) and Adam Bush, Chief Academic Officer, College Unbound will moderate a conference-wide Storycircle, asking participants to reflect and engage with both New Orleans and their own campus-community partnerships.
Carol Bebelle is a native New Orleanian and a proud product of the New Orleans public school system. She received her undergraduate degree (BA) from Loyola University in sociology and her master’s degree (M.Ed.) from Tulane University in education administration. She spent nearly 20 years in the public sector as an administrator and planner of education, social and health programs. In 1990, Carol embarked on her path of independence which started with establishing Master Plan Development Associates (MPDA), a private consulting firm that offered planning, development and grant writing services to human service programs and initiatives. Her clients were non-profits, health, social, education, arts, cultural, religious programs, entrepreneurs and artists. Carol is a published poet whose work has appeared in several anthologies and journals over the years. In 1998, Carol Bebelle and Douglas Redd founded Ashe’ Cultural Arts Center, a pivotal strategy and force for the revitalization and transformation of Oretha Castle-Haley Boulevard, formerly known as Dryades Street. On this boulevard in Central City, the community has created a vision for a cultural corridor with African and Caribbean culture as the theme. Carol is a national advisory board member of Imagining America and co-designed AshÉ’s partnership with College Unbound to open Ashé College Unbound.
Adam is the chief academic officer of College Unbound (www.collegeunbound.org); a college degree pathway working to create a more just higher education for underrepresented adult college students and influence higher education policy by building a curriculum around the changing world of work and civic engagement. Adam co-designed College Unbound’s partnership with Carol Bebelle and the Ashé Cultural Arts Center (www.ashecac.org) in New Orleans (La.) to open AshÉ College Unbound. Adam received his Ph.D. in 2013 from USC’s American Studies and Ethnicity department for his dissertation, “Passing Notes in Class.” He is also a member of the next generation engagement collective of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (www.nerche.org), and a board member of Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life and the past national director of IA’s Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) program (www.imaginingamerica.org) a network dedicated to developing and recognizing new types of training, teaching, and professionalization in higher education centered around access, inclusion, and civic engagement for a new generation of graduate students and early career faculty.
We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans for this meaningful professional development opportunity. For more information on speakers, the conference schedule and to register if you haven’t already, please click here.