Springfield Regional Arts Integration Conference


The Kennedy Center defines arts integration as an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate an understanding of one subject through the use of an art form. It is through this creative process, students can connect evolving objectives in each area of study.

SRAIC attendees will discover foundational arts concepts, teaching strategies, and curricular connections in engaging sessions that dive into music, dance, theater, visual arts, and more. Participatory workshops will make arts integration accessible for everyone and demonstrate how this method can enhance any educator's approach to teaching. This conference is appropriate for teachers, principals, school district administrators, and partnering arts organization staff and teaching artists.

The 2023 SRAIC conference included two days of sessions with . . .

Kassie Misiewicz

Developing Concentration and Cooperation Skills Through Drama

Kassie is a professional Theatre for Youth director, actor and John F. Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist. She received her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Theatre for Young Audiences from the Arizona State University and her BA in Theatre from the University of Notre Dame.

Kassie is the Artistic Director and founder of Trike Theatre: Northwest Arkansas’ professional theatre for youth and families. For the past 15 years, she has been implementing arts integration residencies with PreK-8th grade students, coaching teachers, training teaching artists and building cooperative, creative, kinesthetic classrooms wherever she goes.

Kassie lives in Bentonville, Arkansas and loves to travel with her family: Dan (husband), Maeve (18) and Rowan (16) and have spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen.

Imani Gonzalez

Building Reading Comprehension Through Sound and Rhythm

Imani is a professional world/jazz vocalist, National Kennedy Center teaching artist, and children’s author. Her voice is featured on many of the National Geographic Television’s Explorer Series soundtracks, including the Emmy nominated Jane Goodall: “My Life with Chimpanzees.”

Imani has taught in the DC public school system and in private schools as a traditional world music teacher. She has had the honor of performing, touring, and recording with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for eight consecutive years. Follow this link to hear her performing with him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOnpyErMwnk

She is a 2016 through 2023 grant recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. Since 1989, Imani has held the distinction of being the first and only American woman who tours and records with the traditional Ghanaian ensemble ODADAA. She has written two children’s world books entitled, Dhimiki and Iyipo Aye with sing-along compact discs, which received rave reviews from teachers, students, universities, and libraries. The Washington Post has called Imani “One of the most important vocalists of all times.”

Genevieve Kroenke

Genevieve Kroenke is a K-8th art teacher in Springfield Public Schools. She has experience as a classroom teacher in grades 3-5. Genevieve has a BS in Elementary education with a minor in Art. She is currently working on her Masters in Art Therapy. Genevieve is passionate about engaging all students in creative processes so they may express themselves and find success through arts integration.

Kate Baird

Kate is a visual artist. She was the Museum Educator at the Springfield Art Museum from 2013 to 2021, and is a founder of Placeworks, which offers arts programming for rural school districts in southwest Missouri. Kate began her career in arts education nearly 15 years ago at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, where she also taught for the Rubin Museum and the Kentler International Drawing Space. She holds a BA in Cultural Studies from Swarthmore College and an MFA from the University of Chicago.

Jennifer Murvin

Jennifer Murvin is a writer, teacher, and indie bookstore owner at Pagination Bookshop. She has had her essays, stories, and comics published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including American Short Fiction, The Sun, and Longleaf Review. Jen is also an Assistant Professor of English at Missouri State University, where she teaches creative writing and literature. She holds an MA in English from Missouri State and an MFA in Nonfiction from Pacific University. Her book SHE SAYS will be published this year by Small Harbor Publishing.

Elise Ferrer

Essential Yoga Studio in Springfield, Missouri is proud to share RYT-200 Hour Yoga Instructor Elise Ferrer with the Springfield Regional Arts Council for the Arts Integration Conference! Essential Yoga Studio has been in the Springfield community for the past 15 years and offers daily yoga classes, private yoga instruction, workshops, and trainings.

Elise has taught with Essential Yoga Studio for the past several months under its new ownership. She leads classes weekly while also teaching at other Studios in the community. Elise is a "bonus mom" who is self-driven and believes that a disciplined yoga practice helps us become who we are meant to be; she sees the commitment and structure she puts into her time on her mat pour out into her daily life. Elise believes that there is a yoga practice for everyone if they choose to seek it.

The 2023 SRAIC Keynote Speaker 

Dr. Allison Fleetwood

Residing in Springfield with her husband and two daughters, Dr. Allison Fleetwood holds a doctorate in educational leadership, curriculum, and instruction from Evangel University as well as a master's and a bachelor's degree in theatre education from Missouri State University. With seventeen years of teaching experience, the majority of which has been spent in the Nixa Public School District in Nixa, MO, Fleetwood has taught high school 9-12 Drama, Acting, Dual Credit Theatre, Advanced Acting, and Dance. Fleetwood has created a partnership with the community to provide support to the Nixa Chamber of Commerce, Least of These Christian County Food Pantry, The Salvation Army, and Nixa Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The highlight of Fleetwood's time in the classroom is her leadership of the Nixa Public School District’s first ever Arts Integration Initiative, which focused on high levels of professional development for all teachers from elementary to high school to integrate the arts into their curriculum. She implemented the program with the same hands-on delivery she uses in her theatre classroom, modeling how to integrate the arts in ways teachers may have never dreamed. 

She has taken her research, knowledge, and experience and is sharing it across the district as well as leading workshops across the nation on how teachers can begin integrating the arts. Fleetwood stresses how the arts help all students access curriculum in purposeful ways to help them achieve their maximum potential, develop a love of humanity, an obligation to community, and find joy in living their authentic life!

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