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Dr. Marcia Latta and Donna S. Collins

On the Road Again ... and Again, and Again!

Imagine my surprise when my “change oil” light came on just a few weeks after purchasing my current vehicle. What? An oil change already? Indeed, in just a few weeks my odometer read 8,315 miles! Now, a mere five weeks later, the odometer reads 15,592, and I’m pretty sure the next oil change is just a few days away. Once I realized how many counties I’d been in and the many artist and arts organization visits I’d made in a little more than two months, I pinched myself and said, ‘Yes, Donna, the roads to the arts are well-traveled.’

On one of my latest trips, at the invitation of Dr. Marcia Latta, vice president of advancement at the University of Findlay (UF), I had the great honor of participating in the “Fridays at Findlay Executive Speaker Series.” My presentation, “The Arts: Impact on the Brain, Heart, and Bottom Line,” was well received, and it was a pleasure to also serve on a panel with Ron Tulley, dean of UF’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Heather Clow, executive director at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts; and Sarah Crisp, founding executive director at Awakening Minds Art. My time in Findlay included visits to the Mazza Museum, the Marathon Center, and Awakening Minds Art. If you’re in Findlay—or even nearby—make time to visit these fabulous arts providers. You’ll be glad you did!

As summer festivals and fairs concluded and the school doors opened to welcome students and teachers across Ohio, many of your OAC colleagues were on the road connecting with constituents. It’s exciting to visit TeachArtsOhio sites and see the positive impact on student learning in and through the arts when professional educators pair up with professional artists to deliver rich, vibrant, and standards-based learning for Ohio’s children. Earlier this month, we celebrated the release of
the new Ohio Teaching Artist Roster. This tool is designed for use by the public, particularly educators, to assist in identifying teaching artists who can lead high-quality, arts-integrated, creative opportunities that are aligned with academic content standards. I want to acknowledge OAC Arts Learning Coordinators Jarred Small and Chiquita Mullins Lee and our partners at the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, OhioDance, VSA Ohio, and the Center for Arts Inspired Learning for working together to create the new roster and launch it on the web.

In case you missed the big news announced just last week, we’re already marking our calendars for a future road trip to Arts Impact Ohio 2020, the OAC’s biennial statewide professional development conference, which will be held in Akron May 6-8, 2020. For the first time since the conference was revived in 2016, arts leaders from throughout the state will convene in a location outside of Columbus to connect, share ideas, and be inspired by all that’s happening in the arts in Ohio. New in 2020, arts educators and teaching artists are encouraged to attend an arts education preconference discussing topics addressing impactful learning strategies, all for the benefit of Ohio's PK-12 students. We’ve selected the John F. Knight Center as our conference site and will partner with ArtsNow to bring a focus on the arts in Akron and the region. I look forward to the OAC investing in Ohio’s arts sector by offering a unique and engaging professional learning event in Akron.
Registration is open
, and now’s the time to take advantage of early bird savings!

As we strive to reach our constituents statewide, I’m sure the odometer will continue to spin, and I’ll continue to be inspired by the depth and breadth of the arts in our great state. From an artist working in her studio to bustling performances and exhibitions, the arts are alive and well. Our arts sector is healthy and growing, our support for the arts is strong, and creative opportunities abound. So, when we see each other on the highway, honk and wave hello!

Until next time,
Donna S. Collins signature
Donna S. Collins
Executive Director

Featured photo: University of Findlay Vice President of Advancement Dr. Marcia Latta and Ohio Arts Council Executive Director Donna S. Collins at the Fridays at Findlay Executive Speaker Series. Photo courtesy of Donna S. Collins.

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