Fine Arts Day

Fine Arts educators joined together for a day of collaboration, reflection and meaningful connection. Keynote speakers Jen Rafferty (author and educator) and Ekow Nimako (international artist).

Fine Arts educators across Central New York came together Nov. 4 for one of the first collaborative events for the group since the pandemic.

OCM BOCES and TST BOCES joined forces to provide a full-days’ worth of training and collaborative opportunities at the OCM BOCES campus in Syracuse. Band teachers, music teachers, art teachers and more were able to create meaningful connections across curriculums, grow their professional network and learn from their colleagues.

The lineup of trainings was extensive and offered choices as well as not one, but two prestigious keynote speakers.

Internationally exhibiting LEGO artist Ekow Nimako is a Ghanaian-Canadian who combines a multidisciplinary and formal arts program. He has exhibited works in Canada, Germany, Korea, Dubai and the United Kingdom. He explores afrofuturism, africanfuturism and black narratives through unmistakable figurative aesthetic that transcends the iconic medium.

Educator and Author Jen Rafferty’s presentation “Tuning Up for Longevity: Navigating Burnout in Our Ever-changing World” resonated with veteran educators, many of which commented on how refreshing it was to have her open the day by saying, “Today is about you.” Rafferty is a certified emotional intelligence practitioner and is known for her energy, humor and expertise while presenting to educators. She encourages teachers to stay connected to their “why.”

“It was such a wonderful arts conference,” said Trumansburg Central School District art educator Cristin Johnson. “Thank you to TST BOCES and OCM BOCES for providing teachers like myself opportunities to grow and expand our skills.”