Montalvo Arts Center invites you to join us for our Arts In Your Classroom conference! Serving educators and academic professionals, each year’s conference offers a range of current industry topics that focus on a relevant theme. 


About Arts In Your Classroom

During the conference, you will learn from a panel of diverse and distinguished speakers and individual session presenters who will cover key concepts and best practices, share tools and resources, and lead thoughtful discussions. The conference will cultivate and foster a healthy mindset while we grow our network of support for educators as they continue their invaluable work with the students and communities that they serve.

2023 Conference: Saturday, March 4, 9am–3pm
Rediscovering the Joy of Teaching

Acknowledging the setbacks and traumas caused by the pandemic to our students and teachers, this year’s conference is designed to inspire and guide elementary and middle school educators on the path of professional rejuvenation and personal self-care through the arts. Led by a panel of educational and recreational industry professionals, we will explore topics such as: reducing stress through creative play, cultivating learning spaces of care and belonging, the arts and universal design in learning, and much more. This unique professional development opportunity will be hosted in-person at Montalvo’s Historic Villa. Lunch is provided to all registered participants.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Silicon Valley Creates, we are able to offer a limited quantity of free tickets to attendees.

2023 Conference Schedule & Session Info
  • 9–10am: Welcome & Keynote Presentation
    Nina Meehan: Creative Play to Reduce Stress for You and Your Students
    Creative Play reduces stress and anxiety and increases joy and connection. In this session, we will review the data that explains the power of Creative Play to shift mood and increase presence. Then, we will learn hands-on, practical tools that you can use both in the classroom and for yourself to incorporate five modalities of creative play—Movement, Music, Visual Art, Game, Storytelling—into your life every day in micro-moments of creativity!
  • 10–11am: Workshop #1
    Studio Pathways: Altar to Alter: Cultivating a Learning Space of Care and Belonging

    Join Studio Pathways facilitators on how they altar learning spaces to alter conditions towards building a culture of care and belonging. Aáron and Maya are artists and educators who have studied and designed restorative, love-based, and creative spaces for students and teachers. Learn a culturally responsive method to enhance creative thinking, equity, belonging, collaboration, and love-centered learning.  
  • 11am–12pm: Workshop #2
    Sofia Fojas: The Arts and Universal Design for Learning

    The California Arts Standards and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) professional learning is designed for arts educators, multiple subject teachers, school and district administrators, and teaching artists to deepen their understanding of the connections between the 2019 California Arts Standards for Public Schools and UDL in addition to strategies for implementation.
  • 12–1pm: Lunch
  • 1–2pm: Workshop #3
    Michelle Holdt: Teach With Your Humanity
    Bring joy and connection into learning and community! Recently, we have all gone through a global pandemic, a collective crisis that has impacted personal and professional lives. We all want to be seen and heard for our sweet complexity and shared struggles. Join this hands-on, experiential workshop to learn human-centered strategies: mindfulness, creative practice, and restorative circles. These strategies can occur simultaneously, and in alignment with your daily curriculum.
  • 2–3pm: Workshop #4
    Ray Oritz: Embracing Archetypes Through Mask-Making
    The workshop will give a brief overview of the cultural significance of mask making throughout human history and how it can be used for deepening our approach to education. The workshop explores the use of mask making in talking about strengths, emotions, and the social roles we play in society. Participants will learn how to use art in a creative and therapeutic way for self-care and for working with youth.

Register for AIYC 2023:

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