Arts Are Core offers year-round professional learning opportunities in arts integration for K-12 teachers, instructional coaches, arts educators, and USU students. Participants learn key skills, build networks with other educators, and develop techniques and strategies for successful arts integration in all subject areas.

Arts Are Core provides professional learning opportunities in arts education through a generous endowment from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and a partnership with BTS Arts.


Fall 2023

The Art of Noticing: How the act of drawing can reveal information, meaning, and potential that first glances often overlook (K-12)

October 24, 2023   |   4:30-6:00pm 


Location: USU Logan Campus, Edith Bowen Laboratory School  
Alisa Petersen

Participants will experience three drawing exercises designed to spark curiosity and active observation. We will discuss how to use these activities to enhance learning in any subject. This workshop is about slowing down and looking closely. We will discuss how actively noticing what is around us can put us in the present and help us see what we often overlook. We will create drawings as a way of discovering what we are seeing.

Kinetic Writing: Using Storytelling and Creative Drama to Spark Writing (K-12)  

November 15, 2023   |   4:30-6:00pm 

Location: Online Workshop
Donna Washington


Learn how to use tableaux and improvisation techniques to translate the physical experience into a writing experience. Connecting the brain to the body is a useful tool in engaging students. In this workshop we will use storytelling and creative drama to create a presentation that can be turned into a writing project. Learn how to set up the creative drama space, how to compose the groups, mediate signs of domination in groups, encourage deep listening, and get the students on their feet!

The Artist: Donna Washington is an award-winning internationally known master storyteller, artist-educator, and author who has been performing for audiences of all ages for over thirty-five years. She has been featured at numerous festivals, schools, libraries, theaters and other venues around the world including Canada, Peru, Argentina & Hong Kong. During the pandemic, she presented over two hundred shows & workshops virtually online. In 2020, she co-founded the non-profit organization Artists Standing Strong Together with Master Storyteller Sheila Arnold for which they won a 2021 Oracle Award. Donna's eleven storytelling CDs have garnered thirty national awards. She has authored numerous articles about storytelling and education including her very popular blog Language, Literacy & Storytelling. 

She is also the author of five children’s books: Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa, A Pride of African Tales, The Story of Kwanzaa, A Big Spooky House, and award-winning Boo Stew. Peachtree Press is scheduled to publish her next picture book, Prak Fills The House, in September 2023. She travels all over the world performing and giving workshops. She lives with her husband and cat in Durham, NC. 

Learn more about Donna on her website!


Spring 2024

Evenings for Educators Workshop

Facing Fire: Using Art to Fire Up Your Classroom!

January 11, 2024  |   4:00-7:00pm 

Course No. 62852

Location: Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, USU Logan Campus 
Shannon Erickson, Chiara Sorensen and John Westenskow 

Fire as an omen, elemental force, metaphor, and searing personal experience – these are the subjects explored by the artists of Facing Fire in the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art’s fall exhibition. The artists of Facing Fire bring us incendiary work from active fire lines and psychic burn zones. They face fire, sift its aftermath, and struggle with the implications. Use the imagery from fire to create poetry, meaning, and memory. Teaching Artist John Westenskow will lead participants in creating a unique clay project to fire up their artistic skills!

Evenings for Educators is a free program dedicated to the professional development of elementary and secondary teachers across the state. Each Evening for Educators offers a unique theme and agenda that connects art to core standards. Experience keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, networking opportunities, light refreshments, and free educational materials! Teachers who attend can earn three USBE relicensure points per Evening or a USBE credit for completing five Evenings and a field test. Questions? Contact Elena Free, (801) 491-5714,

Credits: Facing Fire: Art, Wildlife, and the End of Nature in the New West has been curated by Douglas McCulloh and organized by UCR ARTS: California Museum of Photography. Artists include Noah Berger, Kevin Cooley, Josh Edelson, Samantha Fields, Jeff Frost, Luther Gerlach, Christian Houge, Richard Hutter, Anna Mayer, Stuart Palley, Norma I. Quintana, and Justin Sullivan.


Integrate Music into the Classroom Using Technology! (K-6)

March 20, 2024 | 4:30-6:00pm 


Location: USU Logan Campus, Edith Bowen Laboratory School
Presenter: Katherine Ross Hejazi-Far

Are you a classroom teacher who wants to integrate music into their lessons but doesn't know where to start? Are you a music teacher who wants to integrate technology into your classroom but doesn’t know how? Then this session is for you! We will explore different (and simple!) ways to use technology to go deeper with your lessons. We will discuss grade level standards that lend themselves well to using music as a tool for teaching. Katie will share tried and true resources to use both in the general and/or music classroom. Be sure to bring your computer or device to gain access to materials and activities for this session.