Arts Up Front

Registrations CLOSED

Please contact Renee on 6142 0480 for last minute enrollments. Sessions are limited.

Conference will take place Saturday 29 February 2020 at CIT Reid

Registration fees include coffee/tea on arrival, 1 keynote presentation, 3 workshop sessions, morning tea, lunch, limited edition conference swag bag and access to conference workshop resources during and after the event.

  • Permanent/part-time/contract teachers - $140
  • Organisation - $140
  • Casual relief teachers - $120
  • Pre-Service Teachers- $100
  • Presenter - $90

To help you make informed choices about your time at the Arts Up Front Conference each workshop will identify the focus year levels which it is targeting. You are welcome to attend any workshop of your choice, even if they are not the ones you teach. Please select workshops which you feel will be most useful or enriching to you throughout the school year.

The conference day will run in the following format:

8.30-9am Registration, coffee- dont forget to bring your keep cup! 
9.00am Welcome and keynote presentation by Robyn Ewing
9.45-11.15am Session 1 workshops 
11.15-11.40 Morning tea
11.45-1.15pm Session 2 workshops 
1.15-1.45 Lunch
2-3.30pm Session 3 workshops, conclusion of conference.

Keynote Presentation 

  • Robyn Ewing

Robyn Ewing AM is Professor Emerita, Sydney School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney. Passionate about the role that the Arts can play in transforming learning, Robyn and has a commitment to innovative teaching and learning at all levels of education. She particularly enjoys working with educators interested in reforming their curriculum practices and has worked in partnership with Sydney Theatre Company on the School Drama co-mentoring teacher professional learning program to develop teachers’ confidence and expertise in using drama rich pedagogy with literature to enhance students’ literacy since 2009. The experiences of early career teachers, teacher education, curriculum reform, early literacy development, children’s literature and the role of reflection in professional practice are other research interests. She is an Honorary Associate, Sydney Theatre Company, a board member of WestWords, Visiting Scholar at Barking Gecko and a past President of both the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association and the Primary English Teachers Association Australia.


Session 1

  • Cyanotype with PhotoAccess

Creating Cyanotypes with PhotoAccess

Cyanotypes (also known as blueprints) are one of the world’s oldest photographic processes. Discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842, Anna Atkins became the first artist to use the technique creatively when she made a series of cyanotype photograms documenting her fern and seaweed collection. This workshop introduces participants to the safe and accessible cyanotype method and explores its potential for student projects investigating and recording local environments.

After an introduction to cyanotype history, materials and method, you’ll learn how to create cyanotype papers by mixing photosensitive emulsion and coating papers. After a short walk to collect materials, you’ll explore creating photograms through placing and layering botanicals on the emulsion coated papers. You’ll expose these to sunlight, considering exposure times and how to judge them, then wash the prints to realise their striking blue colour. There will be opportunities to try out different materials (such as Perspex, solid shapes and acetate drawings), and discussion will consider how cyanotype-making can be integrated into projects researching and interpreting local flora.

Focus year levels: Secondary

  • CD Drypoint Etching With Leona from S&S

Participants will learn the process of Drypoint etching on to recycle materials. Etching plates will be old CD’s used to create and print interesting and accurate images.

Participant will view the printing process and explore the required materials to make this a safe and effective classroom task. Participants will print their own designs and have hand on experience to ensure they understand the potential of the materials and techniques.

Focus year levels: Upper Primary, Secondary

  • Watercolour Studies with Isla Patterson

A practical workshop in traditional watercolours. Come and create a wonderful scene from the Murrumbidgee river and explore watercolour techniques you can take back to your classrooms- for all classroom settings

Focus year levels: Primary, Secondary

  • Dance Pop Culture for Teens with BomFunk Studios

Dance Pop culture for Teens.

Engage teens with popular trends and dance styles. A practical session to learn short hip hop, Kpop and musical theatre routines that you can take straight into your classroom for exercises, training or assessment.- Best suited for upper primary and secondary classroom setting, however all educators welcome

Focus year levels: Upper Primary, Secondary

  • Comedic Communities with Juliet Moody

Unlock your inner silliness and discover a creative storytelling process along the way…

A practical workshop, chock full of activities and games you can take back and adapt for your own classes. Discover how to create comic characters and stories, as well as the stylistic elements of a hilarious comedy performance. Many teachers struggle with comedy – it can seem like an unknowable art. In this workshop, we will work together to unlock our “inner-funny” through a range of improvisation activities and comedy games. A graduate of Tim Ferguson’s ‘Cheeky Monkey’ comedy course, Juliet has more than a few tricks up her sleeve to bring the fun and funny into the Drama classroom!

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.” Amy Poehler

Focus year levels: Secondary

  • Singing for everyone with Katharine and Susan

This will be an engaging and active workshop jointly facilitated by experienced Canberra music educators Katharine Finlayson (ACT IMP Classroom Music Program, IMP Choral Program, President Kodaly ACT) and Susan Curbishley (Orff Schulwerk ACT Leader, Classroom Music Workshop Facilitator and Mentor, Catholic Education).

Katharine and Susan have a wealth of experience to share in this workshop which will highlight the importance of singing and the ways in which singing enriches and underpins all aspects of music education. During the workshop participants will experience some simple vocal techniques designed to develop your students singing skills as well as a range of fun games and activities to encourage students to practice their singing.

The workshop will also include instrumental activities to accompany students’ singing, simple part work experiences and choral repertoire.

Focus year levels: Primary

  • Using Drama Rich Pedagogy to Enhance Literacy with Robyn Ewing

A practical workshop using drama rich pedagogy to enhance literacy in the classroom

Focus year levels: Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary

  • Environmental Studio with Jackie Neill

How can we embed critical and creative thinking about Sustainability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Perspectives and Histories across our classroom days, in particular through the Arts?

This workshop provides an opportunity to collaboratively create with curiosity in an outdoor setting using found nature.  I will share my journey of finding ways to enrich our learning communities in personal Connection to Country, in critical thinking about our local history and in questioning the dominant paradigm, through layered, engaged, embedded and sustainable learning opportunities.

Please bring a hat and a water bottle to the workshop. Workshop is held outside.

Focus year levels: Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary

Session 2

  • Piccinini Skywhales with National Gallery Of Australia Educators

This session is an exciting opportunity to develop and practice strategies for utilising works of art in the classroom as stimuli for response. The session will explore a range of approaches to observing, analysing and responding, by looking, writing, talking, drawing and moving then move into a creative art making activity.

National Gallery Educators will introduce an on-site gallery program ideal for local primary schools, Patricia Piccinini Skywhales: every heart sings. This is an exhibition and program in the Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery available in Term 2 and 3 that will celebrate Patricia Piccinini’s hot-air balloon sculpture Skywhale. The story of the Skywhale family will offer a starting point for discussions about empathy, family, community and caring for each other. This program also touches upon science concepts of ecosystems, adaptation and sustainability, as well as the interaction of Art with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Immersive and sensory experiences in the gallery will be complemented by creative activities in the studio.

Session will be presented by Educators from The National Gallery of Australia

Focus year levels: Primary

  • Ceramic Narratives with Joanne Searle

A constructed narrative

Explore the potential of the ceramic surface as a canvas to construct a simple or complex layered narrative. Using hand drawn and stock decal transfers, participants can explore collage and drawing to intervene onto reclaimed plates from landfill. This fun and easy process does not rely on an existing drawing practice and is suitable for all ages.

Focus year levels: Primary, Secondary

  • Low-Fi Animation for the Classroom with Sui Jackson

This class discusses the digital potential of any student that can draw and doodle, and expands hand drawings into basic digital stop motion animations. We will be hand drawing, and using a freeware app on any device, to bring a series of images into animated glory.

Please bring a device which can take photographs to this session

Focus year level: Secondary

  • Latin Dance with Salsabor

In this 1.5 hour workshop, you will learn the basic and fundamentals to two of Latin America’s most popular dance styles. Learn some valuable critical and creative thinking skills to take back to your classroom which are fun! Learning to dance also requires personal and social skills as these dances are normally danced in a social gathering, at social dance events or in a classroom with other people - some you know, others you may not. Due to the attention and/or focus required to learn to dance, it takes students to a place where their worries are forgotten. It’s been proven to give increased body awareness, cardiovascular endurance and muscle toning. Last but not least it’s great for your mental health.

Salsa is one of the most popular Latin dance styles with it’s origin in Cuba and South America. Today it has influences from many dance styles and countries, and is a global phenomenon. Become immersed in the conga beats and get hooked on the joy this music and dance will bring to your life.

Authentic Merengue is one of the simplest Latin dances to learn. The beat is clear and the rhythm constant. As with Bachata, the other popular Dominican dance, the emphasis is on simplicity in step patterns rather than drama and style. Dancers employ few if any turns. When turns are used, Merengue's turns are casual walking steps rather than the spin turns seen in Salsa.

Focus year level: Secondary

  • Devising Theatre with Peter Wilkins

Devising theatre will focus on creating a short piece of theatre inspired by the collection of a cultural institution. The process is applicable to any approach to devising original work or adapting literary or historical material for example. Participants will select an example of a collection from a museum. This may be a character, an event or an object. Ten facts will be provided, and the task is to use those ten facts to develop an original piece of theatre that tells the story of that item in a theatrical style that could incorporate drama, dance, physical theatre, verbatim theatre, music or song for example. An example of a stimulus is attached with a step by step approach to devising museum theatre.

Focus year level: Upper Primary, Secondary

  • West African Drumming With Dan Garetz

West African Percussion using djembe and dundun drums.  Participants will receive cultural information about the instruments, tuition on making the sounds from the drums and then learn a simple arrangement to a traditional West African rhythm.

Focus year levels: Primary, Secondary

  • Boom Whack Opera  PART ONE with Gary France

“Boom Whack Opera” Part 1 SESSION 1 FOCUS Years K to 6

International Educator, Gary France will guide you on a journey through the world of Boom Whackers, Resonator Bells, and much much more. We will explore “All Things Colour” as we build a Boom Whacker Cage from which “No Rhythm can Escape”

This session will be sponsored by Promusic Australia, RBI International and the Groove Warehouse

Focus year levels: Primary

  • NatureArt Lab with Josie Cosgrove

Slow down. Look at nature. Find your inspiration in the natural world. Join me for an inspiring, creative session where you'll learn how nature and art can be combined to create unique, beautiful and captivating artistic images. Find out why mindfulness, immersion in nature and art are so important for your health. Whether you're a complete beginner or an accomplished artist, you will develop your skills of observation, drawing and appreciation for our natural environment.

You will be provided with your very own visual diary. Bring a pen, pencil or other sketching materials and enjoy some drawing and observation time!

Focus year levels: Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary

Session 3

  • WORKSHOP FULL Screen Printing with John Hart  


Workshop Summary: Classroom Friendly Screen Printing with John

In this workshop participants will learn the basics of screen printing on fabric, including how to create and print simple paper-cut stencils and how to heat-set fabric inks for wash and wear.

This process is very user friendly and requires little specialist equipment. However, participants will also be given information on how to use specialist print equipment to create more complicated prints using photographic imagery and multiple colours.

Focus year levels: Upper Primary, Secondary

  • Gelli Plate Printing with Leona from S&S

Participants will explore the world of mono-printing using safe and reusable gelli plates. Through exploration participants will learn how to get the best out of their gelli plate, and how to keep it in top condition for reuse year after year. Participants will learn how to create layers, textures, stamps and patterned designs in this hands on workshop.

Focus year levels: Primary

  • WORKSHOP FULL Indigenous Dance Workshop with Emma Laverty


Please join me for a thought provoking and grounding session of movement-based activities enriched with Darug language that have been tried and tested across various age groups and learning abilities. All activities can and have been used as a steppingstone to further learning for students in a range of subject areas. Dress comfortably and be ready to dance barefoot and carefree!

Focus year levels: Primary

  • Canberra Youth Theatre

Working with theatre director, acting teacher, and Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Theatre, Luke Rogers will take participants through a series of practical exercises and directorial techniques that you can apply to help get the best out of your students in the drama classroom or rehearsal. Luke will provide a toolkit of exercises on creative play, script analysis, scene work, and improvisation.

Exercises will explore students’ imaginative responses to text, how images and language work together to express meaning, and exploring empathy through performance. Participants will develop skills in directing and teaching drama to young people, empowering them to explore their creatives selves, discover new ways to helps students make imaginative choices in performance, and develop an ensemble of young artists.

Focus year levels: Primary

  • Investigating the creative process with Mr Tim

Come and discover how to create a performance piece with your class regardless of your musical or dramatic ability. Work though practical activities and discover how to turn them into performance items while uncovering the pedagogy underneath and learn how to engage a class following simple easy to use steps.

Focus year levels: Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary

  • Boom Whack Opera PART TWO with Gary France

Boom Whack Opera Part 2 SESSION 2 FOCUS Years 6 to 12

International Educator, Gary France will guide you on a journey through the world of Boom Whackers, Resonator Bells, and much much more. We will explore “All Things Colour” as we build a Boom Whacker Cage from which “No Rhythm can Escape”

This session will be sponsored by Promusic Australia, RBI International and the Groove Warehouse

Focus year levels: Secondary

  • Circus skills with  Pip Scott

Work through the basic shapes of human pyramids and learn several formations you can take and safely teach your students in class. Learn how this is used to teach collaborative skills and respectful relationships. If time permits, we will look at the techniques to teach 3 ball cascade juggling (even if you can’t juggle, you can still teach it!) and how it is used to teach resilience and persistence in students.

Comfortable clothing required to meet the physical elements of this session

Focus year levels: Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary

Sustainable Design in Arts Practice Wearables Project

Sustainable practice in the future of the Arts is an important consideration, especially in today’s world of climate change and inbuilt obsolescence.

When teaching large groups of students, teachers are certainly already resourceful when it comes to reusing and recycling resources for the classroom. With limited budgets, it certainly helps to tick a few boxes in how a project will be received, how it will be a teachable moment and how easily accessible the resources are to obtain.
Come along for a hands on workshop to create a well designed and functional wearable object from a aluminium can.

Focus year levels: Secondary

For further information please contact the conference organiser, Renee Newton. or 6142 0480