This workshop invites educators to explore the concept of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) utilizing various art mediums with an emphasis on visual arts and photography. This lab provides a space for educators to explore the evolving work within trauma-informed care and youth development programming, featuring collaborative sessions giving participants an opportunity to explore relevant themes and connect with other educators.
The Compassionate Classroom features an introduction to Healing-Centered Engagement and practical tools for the classroom that incorporate SEL, led by Danny Arenas, LMSW; a curriculum workshop with artist/educator Lacresha Berry; and a presentation by Bard High School Teacher, Alexis Lambrou and Bard High School Students, highlighting their dynamic project, “Speaking Portraits” that was awarded a 2023 Photoville Educator Grant.
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An interactive and intentional workshop for educators, led by Danny Arenas, LMSW, served as an introduction to Healing-Centered Engagement and practical tools for the classroom that incorporate SEL. Danny also discussed the power of visual storytelling and the benefits of being engaged in an art practice.
Danny Arenas, is a Cuban-American painter, photographer, and Licensed Social Worker. Danny is the Director of Programs and Impact at Art Start. He earned an MSW Degree from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2014. Prior to joining Art Start, he worked with Urban Pathways as the Director of Social Services at a shelter in Midtown Manhattan. He began his career in Social Services as a Preventive Case Manager for the Institute for Child and Family Health. He is well-trained in motivational interviewing and is a former cultural and diversity trainer.
This panel consisted of Bard High School teacher, Alexis Lambrou and Bard High School students. The presentation highlighted their dynamic project, “Speaking Portraits” that was awarded a 2023 Photoville Educator Grant.
Alexis (she/they) is an arts educator at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. She is interested in collaborations, exhibitions, and projects that connect students to the world around them through culture, history, and justice. Her teaching aims to facilitate cross-generational conversations and bring student work out of the classroom and into the world. Previously, she has worked with young people at Sarah Lawrence College’s Social Justice Collective, The New York Public Library, the International Center of Photography, Brooklyn Community Arts and Media High School, New York City’s Parks and Rec Centers, Photoville NYC, and the YMCA on the Cheyenne River Reservation. She has received generous support for teaching through Brooklyn Arts Council, NYC SALT, Aperture Foundation, Magnum Foundation, and the Sioux YMCA.
Alexis was accompanied by her students, Ivy, Martina & Aspen
Lacresha Berry is a culturally-responsive educator, performance artist, and a multi-subject curriculum consultant. She specializes her training and teaching in providing culturally responsive pedagogy with arts based, hands-on activities within multi-subject disciplines to increase student engagement, strengthen classroom management, and foster fun and creativity in classrooms across the country. Lacresha is devoted and committed to creating compassionate leaders who celebrate their own legacies and has been designing educational experiences and safe spaces for teachers, parents, students, and school personnel. Her research interests include work in cultural responsive pedagogy, gender equity, social justice in education, diversity and inclusion, arts in education, and anti-racist education.
Her arts education lesson work and editing skills were recently published and featured in the new curriculum guide by Fresh Education, entitled, Fresh Ed: A Field Guide to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy. She’s also helped to design lesson prompts and edit original content through Fresh Education’s digital annotator, found on www.freshed.urbanarts.org. She’s also written a sample curriculum for the newly launched poetry book, “Can I Touch Your Hair?” by Charles Waters and Irene Latham.
She earned her Bachelor’s in Theater from the University of Kentucky (2003) and her Master’s (36 credits) in Costume Design for Stage and Film which she uses in every facet of her teaching and consulting work. Before Lacresha’s work as a consultant, she taught full-time as a certified multi-subject generalist for grades 5-9 for 10 years in Harlem. Since then, Ms. Berry continues to passionately work with students of all ages and backgrounds as a teaching artist through several organizations based in New York City. Lacresha currently performs and facilitates workshops across the country using culturally responsive content and autobiographical portraits of her life.
Koren Martin (Public Engagement Manager), Cailley Frank-Lehrer (Senior Producer), Sam Barzilay (Co-Founder & Creative Director), Dave Shelley (Co-Founder and Creative Producer), Laura Roumanos (Co-Founder and Executive Director), Ali Rosa-Salas (Vice President of Visual and Performing Arts, Abrons Arts Center), Millie Kapp (Interim Director of Education, Abrons Arts Center), Justin Faircloth (Audience Services Manager, Abrons Arts Center), Maasai Collier (Studio and Theater Rentals Manager), Rina Ortega (Director Of Marketing and Communications), Debbie Ullman (Design Director), Colleen Costello (Development Coordinator), Carly Harrison (Programming Associate), Julie Thompson (Photographer), Jonathan Chang (Videographer), Danny Arenas (Director of Programs, Art Start), Alexis Lambrou (Arts Educator, Bard High School), Lacresha Berry (Artist and Educator).