Montalvo Arts Center invites you to join us for our annual 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 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 provide opportunities to practice activities that you can implement in your classroom that cultivate critical and creative thinking. You will also have time to network with presenters, Montalvo staff, and other educators as we collectively continue our invaluable work with students and communities.

2024 Conference Schedule & Session Info

2024 Conference: Building Belonging
Saturday, March 2, 9am–4pm

Join us for the 22nd annual Arts in Your Classroom conference, designed to inspire educators to incorporate arts integration strategies into their teaching practice. This year’s conference will provide teachers with a deeper understanding of culturally affirming and anti-racist teaching approaches to implementing arts integration strategies in order to further the work of building belonging in classrooms. Educators will gain skills, tools, and knowledge to carry out practical, standards-based techniques, approaches, and activities that will bring creativity and joy to teaching and to student learning.


Belonging in Situ: Hyperlocal Art Projects that Build Community and Bridge Cultures

In this jam-packed keynote slide lecture, visual artist and social practitioner Christine Wong Yap will share a selection of recent art projects that engaged immigrant children and adults via social emotional learning, geography, language arts, and drawing. Gain an understanding of the context behind handouts—such as coloring sheets, drawing templates, and guidelines to support a growth mindset—that you can take home to use in your classroom.

Christine Wong Yap

Christine Wong Yap (she/they) is a visual artist and social practitioner specializing in participatory research projects which gather perspectives on belonging, resilience, and mental wellbeing. Her projects combine drawing, lettering, printmaking, publishing, and textiles with community engagement, inclusive design, and public art. Over the past 16 years, she has developed over 20 multidisciplinary projects exploring aspects of psychological wellbeing locally as well as internationally. She holds a BFA and MFA in printmaking from the California College of the Arts. Born in the Bay Area, Christine is currently a visiting artist at Stanford University, a past Lucas Artists Fellow, and an upcoming participant in Montalvo’s 2024 exhibition P L A C E at the Institute for Contemporary Art in San Jose.


Keynote Reflection
Bring It Home: Small Group Thematic Brainstorm Session

Building upon the keynote lecture, you’re invited to join a small group to discuss one of four topics—social emotional learning, asset mapping, rituals of care and commemoration, or cross-cultural bridging. After a fun, multi-lingual icebreaker, you’ll brainstorm and share strategies with fellow teachers about creative ways to prompt students to actively foster belonging, inclusion, curiosity, and self-expression.

Presenter: Christine Wong Yap

10:45am–12:30pm & 1:45–3:30pm (Two sessions of concurrent workshops to choose from. Lunch served from 12:30–1:30pm)

Collaboration Through Art Making

How does collaboration expand the creative process? Collaboration is about the exchange of ideas, perspectives, skills, and experiences that spark something new and unique. In this workshop, educators will explore how the arts can foster a sense of belonging in the classroom through shared experiences and collaborative activities that honor individual perspectives. Participants will create stick weavings and interpret music in drawings as a platform to explore multiple ways of working with others. Identifying curriculum connections and adaptations will be included.

Presenter: Julie Van Dewark

Julie Van de Wark

Julie Van Dewark has enjoyed engaging students, teachers, and parents in visual art experiences for nearly 25 years in Santa Clara County public schools. She worked with 910+ TK-5 students, developing and implementing standards-based studio art lessons; integrating student visual arts opportunities with performing arts experiences; coordinating costume/set design for student grade-level productions; and providing general arts support for school-wide projects. She holds a Multiple Subject Credential, a Single Subject Credential in Visual Art and, an M.Ed. in Integrated Teaching Through the Arts from Lesley University. Julie is a graduate of the National Art Education Association’s (NAEA) School for Art Leaders and served as NAEA Pacific Region Director, Elementary Division. In 2021, she was honored to receive California Art Education Association’s (CAEA) Outstanding Elementary Visual Art Educator Award.

Play’s the Thing!

Play is a primal instinct that offers more than fun. Play is a dynamic approach to learning—it’s an entry point across the curriculum, a pathway for deeper understanding and a framework for culturally responsive teaching. During this session, participants will enjoy several activities that explore play as a tool for self-expression, building belonging, and supporting higher order thinking skills. Experience how play helps create inclusive, engaged learning communities and build belonging in the classroom for students of all ages.

Presenter: Clara Kamunde

Clara Kamunde

Clara Kamunde is an artist, teaching artist, and arts integration specialist practicing at the intersection of education and social justice. She has collaborated with arts and community organizations, school districts and public libraries to design and implement arts education programs. Clara has a Master of Science degree in Creativity with a concentration in education from SUNY Buffalo where she was a diversity Fellow at the International Center for Studies in Creativity. Clara believes in the intrinsic and instrumental value of the arts and artistic education as a process for mitigating systemic injustices in education. She has facilitated professional development workshops for Alameda County Office of Education, Children’s Creativity Museum, Contra Costa County & Learning Without Borders, Partnership for Children and Youth and San Francisco Department of Children Youth and Their Families.

Worldview: Making Sense of the World

Our worldviewhow and why we make sense of the worldshapes our thoughts, opinions, and actions. It both contributes to, and is impacted by, one’s identity and influences how we move through the world. It is the lens through which we look at the world, ourselves, and each other. Exploring the origins of our own worldview helps us understand our own filters and also lets us better see why others do what they do.

Presenter: Devin Hess

Devin Hess

Devin Hess currently coordinates UCBHSSP’s work to reframe world history curriculum and is the director of the Integrated Action Civics Project. Hess has been leading professional development for educators throughout California since 2012, and more recently supports district H-SS and Civics teams around the country, Hess has presented at numerous conferences on approaches to history instruction and civic engagement in both the traditional and digital realms. Hess has a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in educational technology. Before joining UCBHSSP, he taught at both the middle and high school levels.


Closing Remarks & Wine Reception

Get Tickets
SV Creates

Free tickets are offered thanks to the generous sponsorship of SV Creates and the House Family Foundation. Your ticket includes lunch and networking happy hour with wine provided.