Incite / Insight Board Perspective Summer / Early Fall 2018 13
magical moment .
During my early career , I found the American Alliance for Theater & Education ( AATE ) through a very dear colleague and friend . I was overwhelmed to find 350 people gathered at the 2000 San Diego Conference who spoke the same theater language I did , sharing lessons that inspired me and gave me access to the national voice of theater and education . Since then , I have found my renewal in every conference , Leadership Institute , and Theater In Our Schools ( TIOS ) event I ’ ve attended . At first , I was a sponge soaking in all the wisdom and knowledge of my new found mentors . Then as I developed deeper friendships and relationships , the conversations and debates renewed my passion and advocacy for theater education in my own community . I continue to be refreshed by connection with my national colleagues .
As I engaged more with the organization over the years as Network Chair , Awards Committee member , and the 2010 San Francisco Conference Co- Chair , I learned more about collaboration , communication and coordination . The action of doing was difficult , but my passion for the field sustained me through the responsibilities I didn ’ t fully understand or needed to learn At the time , lessons like reading hotel catering bills , making “ the ask ” for a large grant , writing for publication and analyzing financial statements seemed completely beyond of my world as an elementary drama teacher . But years later as I embarked on founding my own theater company – developing a board of directors , creating financial statements , reading contracts and grant writing – I am thankful for the experiences of my AATE journey .
My more mature self still loves a new pair of shoes , but now as I attend the AATE Conference as a board member , my colleagues and friends still inspire me , share something new or remind me of something old to work into my practice and refresh my craft . The fact that I still have so much to learn is as daunting as it is invigorating . My journey continues to unfold as times and jobs change .
As I reflect on the past several years serving on the Board of AATE , this too has been a journey “ back-to-school ” – learning new things , taking action , forging ahead , and trusting in the collective thought process of 15 amazing people . It has also been a lesson in trusting the process and has never been more meaningful than in the last six months . Serving with and leading the Board has been a test in collaboration as we embark on a journey to renew and refresh our dedication to the field and the advocacy that must be done in these trying times .
To those who will share the conference experience with us in Minneapolis , I hope you leave inspired and rejuvenated . For those of you missing conference this year , I hope your travels and summer experiences offer you a different kind of personal renewal . To every member of AATE , I hope you take the opportunity of a new school year ( or season ) to refresh your commitment to theater and education and practicing your craft with passion .
Stacey Ardelean is currently serving as the Board Chair of AATE , American Alliance for Theater and Education . She is the founding Artistic Director of Fuse Theater in the San Francisco Bay Area . Her work with Fuse includes theater for social justice projects with local partners and creating collaborative performative experiences in and with the community . She served as the elementary drama teacher for a Bay Area private school for seventeen years and now works freelance as a theater educator and director in the San Francisco Bay Area .
by Sobha Kavanakudiyi
was thrilled about being asked to
go to Puebla, Mexico during my
sabbatical year (2017-2018). So in April
2018, I packed a bag and set out to meet
my hosts at the Mexico City Airport. My
colleague had put me in touch with
Mauricio Pardo Ruiz, Coordinator of
Art Development, The School of Ballet,
Theater and Circus at the Instituto
Municipal de Arte y Cultura de Puebla
(IMACP), México, and I was lucky enough
to meet him while he was in New York
on a visit with students from his theater
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