Crystal Bridges Day 2

Reflections on the day…

Yesterday was a long but meaningful day that ended in the most wonderful way, which you will hear about at the end for obvious reasons. 😏

We started off the morning from some of our SAL mentors as they shared their stories. We began with the always inspiring Wanda Knight, or Wakanda as she referred to herself– the social justice warrior. She used the metaphor of a butterfly metamorphosis to describe her story. ” How does one become a butterfly?…What the caterpillar calls the end the butterfly calls the beginning.” Her story though different than mine, was quite relatable, especially the idea of one transforming into a leader in ways that are unexpected but seem like it was meant to be.

Next, we heard from Enid Zimmerman who spoke about the need for communities of art educators who become empowered, have opportunities to collaborate and build networks, and to speak out, take initiatives, and become influential. With everything in the world changing all the time, we have to know ourselves and our story in order make the big changes we wish to see and to be able to empower others. Besides Enid being motivational, she is also a hoot to hear from and delivers much humor in her stories.

And finally, we listened to Bob Sabol’s story. Bob reminds me so much of my own dear friend who’s name is also Bob, so I find him quite endearing. Bob spoke to us as if we were his students and he were reading to us the story of his life, all while delivering powerful lessons throughout his time line.

Bob’s lessons with my annotations:

1- I’m making all of this up as I go along …fake it til you make it! I know this one well!!

2- sometimes leaders start being leaders before they know they are …ive never been much of a follower.

3- leaders have to have courage to do what they know is right …I need to work on my courage and stop being so damn awkward!

4- leaders have to understand that they are not always in control of those they lead ….I feel pretty sure that I get this, and I don’t want to be in control of everyone.

5- leaders have to do the best the best they can with what they have …teaching in the school district of Philadelphia has allowed me to understand this quite well.

6- leaders need to learn from other leaders …doing that right now! But also I have had some pretty amazing women leaders in art ed to learn from – shout outs to Lauren Stichter, Lynne Horoschak, Diane Wilkin, Robin Brewer, and Lisbeth Bucci

7- leaders have to believe in what they’re doing …I am where I want to be. I always wanted to be an art teacher and I believe in the power of art. And I want to be a strong leader in my field who can identify other leaders, lead other leaders, and know when to step back.

8- leaders have to prepare the next generations of leaders as their first job …working on that. I do want to get better at identifying and finding the potential in new leaders and helping them Rise up.

9- all leaders follow former leaders and then they become former leaders …those same names above! And I hope one day I am on someone’s list as an inspirational leader.

10- all of the experiences you have in your life are helping to prepare you for becoming a leader …I see that now. At times, the struggles make it hard to see how they are shaping me, but I see that now. And I want to get my story down!

In the afternoon we were given a chance to explore the Frank Lloyd Wright house originally built in New Jersey and donated and rebuilt here in Arkansas. This is the Bachman-Wilson house, and I kind of love it. I love the retro style and retro feel of it but mostly I love the thought of constriction into openness that Wright expresses in his architecture. I especially love the the secrets the house holds like the hidden compartments for storage. I’m a sucker for that.

Also during the day we learned about and discussed Emotional IQ. We started by doing a “weather check in” for how we are feeling. My check in was total eclipse… I know, I know- I had to be extra. But, hear me out, it makes sense and coincidentally, connected with the evening.

My total eclipse is a feeling of mystery and awe. And trying to take in something amazing in such a seemingly short time. Like seeing an eclipse, this is such a unique experience that I feel overwhelming joy to be a part of.

At dusk last evening, we gathered at the James Turrell Skyspace and experience what felt like a rainbow of sky eclipses. The sky is visible through the oculus and as you can see in the below photos, there are lights in the dome that completely change the experience and the color or the sky. Total eclipse of the heART.