AEC is thrilled to announce not one, but two exceptional keynote speakers for Regional Arts Education Day, which will be held this year on October 8. This year’s theme is Honoring Tradition, Demanding Progress, a theme both keynote speakers have embodied throughout their rich and varied careers.
The first keynote speaker is vocalist, educator, and composer Anqwenique Wingfield. Wingfield’s versatility as a musician is reflected in a range of performances and compositions including lead roles in operas such as Mozart’s Don Giovanni and self-composed interdisciplinary opera A Love Supreme. In addition to working as a consultant, Director of Education at the Pittsburgh Festival Opera, teaching artist with organizations such as Gwen’s Girls, and Studio Director at BOOM Concepts, Wingfield is also the founding director of The Groove Aesthetic artist collective. Her contributions to the region’s arts scene span genres and age groups and serve as a model for artists and educators in Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.
The second is Eric Booth, who was keynote speaker at the 1998 Arts Education Congress that eventually gave birth to AEC. Booth has drawn attention and helped give viability to teaching artistry as a career. Beginning as a stage actor, Booth performed both on and off Broadway as well as on television before turning his efforts first to business and then to arts education. He has taught at Juilliard, Stanford, NYU, the Kennedy Center, and elsewhere. In addition, Booth piloted teaching artist programs and certifications and delivered the keynote lecture at the first UNESCO arts education conference in 2006. AEC is extremely excited to welcome Eric Booth back to Pittsburgh on the 20th anniversary of the Arts Education Congress.
Both of these speakers have made it their mission to remove barriers to the arts, empower educators, and contribute both artistic works and valuable knowledge to the field. Their work perfectly encapsulates the theme of Honoring Tradition, Demanding Progress – both artists have worked within and pushed the boundaries of time-tested artforms while maintaining an uncompromising focus on making arts education better for young people. AEC hopes you’ll join us this fall for what promises to be an exciting Regional Arts Education Day!