MAC Artist Training

I spent the day with about 70 Mississippi artists, convened for professional development by the Mississippi Arts Commission.

We had ceramicists, playwrights, storytellers, painters, dancers, musicians, and more. In the morning, we heard from Dianne de Las Casas, a storyteller from Louisiana. de Las Casas explained ways artists can use technology to manage marketing and other business-related tasks. She is an active user of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Ning. She maintains a calendar online, sends press releases via, and manages billing online.

After lunch, we had an interactive lesson taught by Sonya Robinson, a musician and arts integration teacher, from New Orleans. Robinson led us through a multi-stage dance/movement lesson. It served many purposes: ice-breaker, team-building exercise, introduction to some of the skills involved in dance, and an example of how to create space in teaching for discovery and inquiry (and not just linear instruction).

I learned some things today that I will use in my teaching, presenting, and marketing. As one of the other artists said today, it also served as a great time of fellowship for those of us who spend a lot of work time isolated in studios or offices. I appreciate the organizing efforts of Diane Williams, Kim Whitt, Shirley Smith, Larry Morrisey, and Susan Dobbs, all of the Mississippi Arts Commission.

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