Led by Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Ryan Hourigan

Many teachers have noticed an increase in the number of students on the autism spectrum included in their classrooms. The arts provide a terrific pathway to reach and teach these students. In addition to exploring questions about the science of autism and how it affects people, this session will provide strategies to help students with autism learn and experience the arts. In this workshop, you will discuss how the arts help improve communication, support cognitive and memory strengthening, and promote positive emotional behavior and socialization. Sensory challenges and practical classroom adaptations for working with students with autism in music, art, theater, and dance classrooms will be shared.

Kennedy Center Arts Integration

The Orpheum Theatre Group (OTG) is proud to be a Kennedy Center Partners in Education Team, in collaboration with Shelby County Schools. Through this program, OTG brings Kennedy Center teaching artists to work with teachers across the Mid-South. These arts integration specialists provide educators with the tools and strategies to transform classrooms. 

Arts integration, as defined by the Kennedy Center, is “an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form.” Arts integration learning has shown to increase literacy, raise test scores, and help develop key communication skills. In short, arts integration makes learning fun while creating more enthusiastic, creative, and empathetic students.

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