#My2016 When Education and Creativity Collide----How to read a Dr. Allana Da Graca Post

Dr. Allana Da Graca

“You cannot be an educator and an artist at the same time,” said a close friend.  I heard this comment and snickered to myself.  I had heard this so many times before, but was able to form an arts collective at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, at the young age of 18. The student group Boundaries performed all over the Massachusetts region and was one of the most sought after college performance groups in town. This was an awesome experience. Unfortunately, this mission would leave me as the “Real World,” called and I harbored the words that shunned creative ambiguity to that of predictability.  Education was my passion that stemmed out of my first love for the performing arts. I started to teach with Lesley University, Westminster Schools (Atlanta, Georgia), and then switched to graduate learners at Walden University (online).

Although I loved to teach, I still desired for that outlet to create. I battled for the peace of my consciousness that I could subdue my raw talent (poetry, dance, theatre, song) in exchange for stability for a later time. My thoughts for creative ambiguity were re-charged when I listened to Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk, Do Schools Kill Creativity? As he mentioned the need for students to have a process of ambiguity, incubation, and introspection, I felt an inner-voice reminding me of the ideas I had for creating meaningful moments. How could I sum up all of my experiences of heading to London, Paris, Gabon, Portugal and Cape Verde in a manner that would be meaningful for my students? How could I merge my academic interests with those formative moments of dancing to hip-hop, singing Ella Fitzgerald and finding clues to persistence as a scholar practitioner? 

Ken Robinson, reminded me to take ownership of my process. Indeed-we can step out of our own box in efforts to ignite new aspects of our perception. We can offer so much more when we can find an authentic place for service. With this in mind, I have decided to share with you my three themes of focus for 2016.


#My2016 Bog posts will offer you insightful posts about three areas:


1. Learning in the 21st Century
Our students are smart and need to find intrinsic motivation. We have to propel our students to see our emerging globalization as an opportunity for intercultural awareness. These posts will feature interviews insights and reviews of talks and seminars.

2.  Performance Art, New Media and Internationalization

As the founder of Turning On the Lights Global Institute, Inc., I will feature international artists, tech companies, and innovative leaders who are finding ways to implement the arts within their given arena. TOL Artists will also be featured for the ANI blog posts.

3. Digital coaching


Thousands of Americans are dissatisfied in either their personal or professional lives. I will showcase a number of self-help courses that you can enroll in from the comfort of your home or workspace.

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