benjamin-j-williams_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE —­The Broward Center for the Performing Arts recently hosted more than 400 arts teachers and teaching artists at the eighth Annual Arts Integration Conference, entitled “21st Century Arts: Learning in New Ways,” as part of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program.

The activities included educational workshops, performances by the Florida Singing Sons and the Girl Choir of South Florida, speeches by Broward Center for the Performing Arts President and CEO Kelly Shanley, Broward County School Board Chairman Benjamin J. Williams, 2011 Arts Teacher of the Year Julia Perlowski and the president of Center for Fine Arts Education in Tallahassee, Kathleen Sanz, who was the keynote speaker.

Under the guidance of instructors from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, music, art, dance, theater and independent teaching artists from across Broward County learned how to integrate the arts into their daily curriculum through participation in interactive workshops.

Stuart Stotts, a songwriter, storyteller and author whose newest book, We Shall Overcome: A Song that Changed the World, won the 2011 ALA Notable Book for Children Award, led the workshop “Laying a Foundation: Defining Arts Education.”  It looked at how the arts may be integrated into all academic areas.

Sanz focused on the dramatic differences in the new ways that children today learn, compared to the past, and how to identify  "new" learning styles and methods that can be used to develop teaching strategies to meet the needs of  21st century Arts education.

The conference was presented by Broward County Cultural Division, Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the School Board of Broward County.

Benjamin J. Williams