Arts Educators

2020-2021 Schedule and Topics

Headways for Arts Educators will be co-facilitated by Jill Muti, NCGS Trustee and Head of School and Tina Hirsig, Lower School Art Teacher at Ashley Hall. Each meeting will occur from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Cohort meeting dates and curriculum for the 2020-2021 program will be posted by early August 2020. Please note that NCGS is mindful of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and will ensure that discussion topics are timely and relevant. A sample of a past curriculum is listed below for your general reference:

Headways for Arts Educators is open to those in positions including but not limited to Art Department Chair, Art Teacher, Chair of Theatre and Dance, Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator/Director/Teacher, Visual Arts Coordinator/Director/Teacher, etc.

Process vs. Product

Topics to consider: Using a sense of play, tinkering, and innovation to foster the creative process. Visual Arts: diving deep into the creative process and strategies for thinking; when and how much do we teach skills and when to let the students take the lead in their own creativity/voice; and how to document the process of creativity through photos, narrative, and/or video for the purpose of reflection. Performing Arts: how does the process of preparation become as intrinsically valuable for the student as the performance. Innovation in the arts beyond technology.

Arts as Connection

Topics to consider: Methods for successful collaborations (small groups and the entire school); the influence of Reggio Emilia and choice-based visual arts methods to promote individualized instruction and collaborative projects; leading with essential questions; the practice of a Common Place Book that connects disciplines and promotes reflection; arts curriculum alignment pre-primary through twelfth grade; do our students see themselves in our curriculum (specifically diverse populations)

Facilities, Scheduling, and Programs

Topics to consider: Physical arrangement of teachers classrooms on campus and how it can enable a “culture of conversation;” environment as a third teacher (classroom set up, furniture, lighting, color, etc); scheduling for common planning time to promote collaborations; challenges for staffing course offerings as student enrollment ebbs and flows; campus vs. off-campus spaces

Visiting Artists

Topics to consider: Developing a purposeful visit for artists in the school; scheduling, funding, and reaching as many students as possible; monthly visits vs. one consolidated week of workshops; workshops vs. lectures; collaborating with other departments on campus; expanding diversity through inviting artists in from global community

Public Purpose & Cultural Competency

Topics to consider: Advocating for the arts with parents, colleagues, board, and administration; what does it mean to be a “cultured person” in the 21st century; what cultural competencies are valued in the 21st century; Eight Studio Habits of Mind research as a guide (reflect, stretch & explore, engage & persist, observe, understand arts communities, envision, develop craft, and express) is not only for the arts but for all disciplines; why not start with the arts and have curriculum grow from there; how may we go beyond our token few women to find and discuss women’s contributions (or oversights) in the arts (history revision)


Available exclusively to NCGS member schools, each cohort includes five conversation topics. A registration fee of $250 is required by each participant. Space is limited with preference given to new, first-time participants who can commit to joining every session within a cohort.

Advance-registration for the 2020-2021 Headways program is now open! Join the list to receive information ahead of the general registration period in late August.