Meet our 2021 Keynote Speakers
Thursday Keynote: Patty Bode
Rooted in anti-racism and anti-bias activism, Dr. Patty Bode weaves a tapestry of teaching and leadership in PK-12 public schools, higher education, and community settings. Her goal to equip teachers and professors to prepare their students to be full participants in our multicultural democracy defines her work. She has worked in public schools for over 20 years as an art teacher, curriculum leader and middle school principal, and in higher education settings for over 10 years as a professor, director of art education programs, and assistant dean. Patty has intersected this work with museums, neighborhood centers, juvenile justice institutions, and city streets. In each setting, she focuses on innovative teaching, curriculum transformation, and social justice leadership through art integration and community partnerships. She has received several awards from the National Art Education Association (NAEA), and from other organizations such as the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME), and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). She has published widely. Her 2018 book is co-authored with Sonia Nieto, the 7th edition of Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural Education, which is used by teacher education programs nationally and internationally. Patty is currently the Coordinator of the undergrad and graduate programs of Art Education at Southern Connecticut State University.
Friday Keynote: Vanessa German
Vanessa German is a visual and performance artist based in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Homewood. Homewood is the community that is the driving force behind German’s powerful performance work, and whose cast-off relics form the language of her copiously embellished sculptures. As a citizen artist, German explores the power of art and love as a transformative force in the dynamic cultural ecosystem of communities and neighborhoods. She is the founder of Love Front Porch and the ARThouse, a community arts initiative for the children of Homewood. Her work is in private and public collections including Everson Museum of Art, Figge Art Museum, Flint Institute of Arts, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, David C. Driskell Center, Snite Museum of Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College. German’s fine art work has been exhibited widely, most recently at the Figge Art Museum, The Union for Contemporary Art, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Flint Institute of Arts, Mattress Factory, Everson Museum of Art, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Studio Museum, Ringling Museum of Art and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Her work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’sAll Things Considered and in The Huffington Post, O Magazine and Essence Magazine. She is the recipient of the 2015 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, the 2017 Jacob Lawrence Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 2018 United States Artist Grant and most recently the 2018 Don Tyson Prize from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.