Every two years, the Joint Arts Education Conference brings together Arizona’s teaching artists, educators, arts administrators and arts education advocates to explore key areas and trends in education and the significant role arts educators play in the academic, social and personal success of students.

JAEC 2018: Creative Youth Develop Conference on Creative Youth Development

“I hope that the attendees are able to learn about the different ways they can learn to better serve their students and understand the ways in which young people have to maneuver not only the educational system, but the world. And even though this is only a one day conference, [I hope] this will spark a conversation between young people and adults about power, shared leadership, and accountability.”

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2018 Joint Arts Education Conference

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
El Conquistador Tucson

This year, the Arizona Commission on the Arts and Arizona Department of Education have enlisted a highly qualified cohort of experts on creative youth engagement strategies to lead the planning and presentation of JAEC.

Composed entirely of young people from throughout the state, ages 15-18, the JAEC Youth Advisory Board is guiding Arts Commission and Department of Education staff in a collaborative effort to provide Arizona educators, administrators, and teaching artists an opportunity to explore the potential of student-centered learning and develop culturally responsive curriculum.

Conference attendees will acquire new tools and knowledge to support the creation of programs rooted in the principles of creative youth development (CYD), a recent term for a longstanding theory of practice that integrates creative skill-building, inquiry, and expression with positive youth development principles.

The 2018 Joint Arts Education Conference will be held the day before and at the same location as the Arizona Department of Education’s ESSA Conference (formerly known as the Title I MEGA Conference). Those interested in attending both conferences can bundle their registrations and save!

Register for JAEC

Cost: $100/person


Register for JAEC & ESSA

Cost: $350/person


Nicole Amri is the program director of SAY Sí, a national-award-winning creative youth development program. Amri currently serves on local and national committees such as city-wide collective impact initiatives: SA2020 and Excel Beyond the Bell SA and national groups: the ARE (Artists for Racial Equity) Network and National Advisory Committee to the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. Her artwork predominantly explores human rights issues with a focus on interpersonal relationships and societal conditions. Amri received a BFA in Painting and a BA in Communication: Public Relations from University of Texas at San Antonio. She is also a 2006 SAY Sí alumna.

Jon Hinojosa is an artist masquerading as an arts administrator who serves as the Artistic | Executive Director of SAY Sí, a national award winning, creative youth development program for urban students. The tuition-free program encompasses 6 distinct multidisciplinary arts programs, including visual, performing, film, and game design. SAY Sí is situated in a 26,000 square foot facility in San Antonio’s Cultural Arts District.

Jon has presented and facilitated learning at numerous conferences and symposia on the value, tangible evidence, and the transformative power the arts have on urban youth. Jon also serves as a trustee for the National Guild for Community Arts Education, helping lead their Creative Youth Development initiative.

He hopes his legacy will be inspiring and educating the next generation of our nation’s creative leaders.

Thameenah “Ty” Muhammad is part of the staff of Rising Youth Theatre as an Apprentice Artist, a crier during movies, a teaching artist at Create Academy and Glenview College Prep H.S. (the school I graduated from!), a lover of mint ice cream, a sophomore at Phoenix College, a believer in aliens, an activist with the #Demand2Learn Campaign, wishing she could be eating sushi all the time, and is interning at the Arizona Commission on the Arts! I have a fire in my heart to help the world the best I can, whether that’s during a protest or by smiling at everyone I meet.

JAEC 2018 Program

Contents include

  • conference agenda,
  • breakout schedule and session descriptions, and
  • information on keynote speakers and Youth Advisory Board members.

JAEC 2018 Map

A map of the conference center at El Conquistador Tucson featuring all conference-related locations.



Presidio Registration

Registration and Breakfast


Turquoise Ballroom

Welcome; Power Dynamic Conversation


Turquoise Ballroom

Group Rallying Call


Breakout Session 1


Breakout Session 2


Breakout Session 3


Turquoise Ballroom


  • Ty Muhammad, Rising Youth Theatre
  • Nicole Amri and Jon Hinojosa, Say Sí


Breakout Session 4




Turquoise Ballroom

Youth Panel Discussion

Breakout Sessions

Attendees will rotate through all breakout sessions. Each attendee has been assigned to a group; your group assignment can be found on you name badge. Use the chart below to determine your breakout session rotation.

Title The Importance of Centering Youth Voice Social Justice Isn’t Just US Intersectionality: What are my students carrying with them? Beyond the Eurocentric Curriculum


Presidio Ballroom I


Presidio Ballroom IV




Joshua Tree


Breakout 1

Pink Group Orange Group Green Group Blue Group

Breakout 2

Blue Group Pink Group Orange Group Green Group

Breakout 3

Green Group Blue Group Pink Group Orange Group

Breakout 4

Orange Group Green Group Blue Group Pink Group

The Importance of Centering Youth Voice

Through youth-driven discussion this session takes a deep dive into the role of young people in their education. Participants will be invited to take a step back, reflect on systems of accountability within the classroom, and explore Hart’s Ladder of Participation and Creative Youth Development. Joined by current school students, attendees will collectively create methods to dismantle tokenism and effectively engage youth as the leaders they are.

Beyond the Eurocentric Curriculum

Artistic curricula across the United States are based on Eurocentric ideals and principles. To truly advocate for students and their full education, educators must implement a more diverse and inclusive curriculum as they hold themselves accountable to centering the voices of their students. Through activity and discussion, this session explores how educators can better engage and empower students by implementing culturally inclusive practices.

Intersectionality: What are my students carrying with them?

Not all of a young person’s problems can be classified under one facet of discrimination. The term Intersectionality was coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe the complex, cumulative manner in which the effects of different forms of discrimination combine, overlap, or intersect. With an emphasis on gender and identity, intersectionality analyzes the student as a whole being. During this session participants will acquire the tools required to step back and evaluate a student’s intersectionalities.

Social Justice Isn’t Just US

The Handbook of Social Justice in Education identifies the “three pillars” of social justice education as equity, activism, and social literacy (Ayers, Quinn, & Stovall, 2009, p.xiv). Social justice work requires that educators be prepared to create space for student voice and action, and not simply focus on the artistic or aesthetic component of the project. When students understand inequity and have the tools to work towards a more just world, they see why their education truly matters.

JAEC Archives

Connect & Respond

Monday, October 24, 2016
Herberger Theater Center, Phoenix AZ

How do we move from traditional skills-based instruction in the arts to a new educational paradigm that requires all students to CONNECT their artistic work to personal, societal, cultural, and historical contexts? How do we empower Arizona’s students to RESPOND to the world around them through critical analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of intent and meaning? Do the new Arizona Academic Standards in the Arts simply provide permission to dabble in these uncharted waters, or are we, in fact, mandated to develop new and innovative ways to reach our students?

Designed to bring together Arizona’s arts education community for a full day of professional development, this year’s Joint Arts Education Conference focuses on connecting and responding to the New Arizona Academic Standards in the Arts, the evolution of Arizona’s youth demographics, and the design, creation, and sharing of tools and resources to develop cultural competency, systemic equity, and increased access and participation across all artistic dimensions.

Keynote Speaker

Deron Hall has developed and implemented multi-million dollar initiatives & programs executed by schools, community centers, community development corporations, major orchestras, and others. He has spearheaded partnerships with various top-tier universities and arts organizations to forge shared value across many metrics.

As a Graduate Research Fellow at the University of Cincinnati, he studied replicable and sustainable intervention programs for at-risk youth which led to the cultivation of various education programs within area organizations. He was featured on the front page of the Cincinnati Enquirer sparking the conversation “Can Music Rescue a Life” stemming from his work as the Executive Director of COR Music Project, a Music Teacher Fellowship serving nearly 1000 students each school day.

He has presented on behalf of the United States Department of State International Visitors Leadership Program with Community Arts Center Directors from Dakar, Senegal, Africa, and with prominent arts executives from Baghdad, Iraq representing the Ministry of Culture, University of Baghdad, and the Iraqi National Symphony. A lifelong learner, he holds a Masters Degree in Music from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and and Executive Diploma in Arts and Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania.

He currently serves as the Director of Partnerships and Operations for the Memphis Music Initiative where he drives operational and organizational excellence through leading the comprehensive operations strategy, securing global partnerships, developing and cultivating grantees, and driving the performance management processes.


Deron Hall
Director of Partnerships and Operations
Memphis Music Initiative: Empowering Youth through Music

Conference Materials

Conference Program

2016 Conference Program

Breakout Session Materials

Artistic Literacy and the New Arizona Academic Standards in the Arts

ADE Artistic Literacy For All
OMA Assessment Planning Page: The Planets – Jacob Landi
OMA Assessment Planning Page: Multiplication Torn Collage – Trista Tamura
OMA Lesson Plan: The Planets – Jacob Landi
OMA Lesson Plan: Multiplication Torn Collage – Trista Tamura


7:30 – 8:30am
Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30am
Morning Keynote and Panel

The morning keynote and panel is sponsored by Arizona Citizens for the Arts and the SP3 Initiative, and is open to the general public. For more information and breakfast forum only registration, visit http://azcitizensforthearts.org/equity-access-forum/

Keynote Speaker: Deron Hall


Dr. Deborah Gonzalez, Chief Academic Officer, ASU Preparatory Academy

Dr. Michael Kelley, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Arizona State University

Jaclyn Roessel, Public Programs and Education Director, Heard Museum

Alex Tuchi, Youth Artist, Rising Youth Theatre

Paula Alvarado, Youth Artist, Rising Youth Theatre

9:30 – 10:00am
Coffee Break and Networking Opportunity

10:00 – 11:15am
Breakout Block A

11:30am – 12:30pm

12:45 – 2:00pm
Breakout Block B

2:15 – 3:30pm
Breakout Block C

3:45 – 5:00pm
Breakout Block D

Presenting Partners

Arizona Commission on the Arts, Arizona Department of Education and Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture


Hosted by
Herberger Theater Center



Yesterday, our board chair, Mark Feldman, visited Yuma to speak with the city council and witness the Mayor's proclamation of October as Arts & Humanities Month! Thanks to our friends at Arizona Citizens for the Arts, Yuma Art Center, and City of Yuma Parks and Recreation for arranging a great day in Yuma, which included visits with Yuma Orchestra Association, Arizona Western College Foundation, and lunch with Douglas Nicholls, Yuma Mayor, and Russ Jones.#NAHM #AmericansfortheArts #NationalArtsandHumanitiesMonth #yumaarts #azarts ... See MoreSee Less
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