Tuesday, April 17, 2012

IJCAIP Advisory Board Member, Johnny Saldana receives 2012 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association

IJCAIP Press Release, April 17, 2012

"Ethnotheatre Research from Page to Stage" by Johnny Saldana Receives AERA Award

IJCAIP, Advisory Board member Johnny Saldana has been awarded the American Educational Research Association's Qualitative Research Special Interest Group (AERA QR SIG). award for his book "Ethnotheatre: Research from Page to Stage" (Left Coast Press, 2011).

Johnny Saldana is recognized as a leader in North America in qualitative approaches related to ethnotheatre or "ethnodrama". He is a professor of theatre at Arizona State University's School of Theatre and Film and author of "Longitudinal Qualitative Research: Analyzing Change Through Time" (AltaMira press, 2003); "Ethnodrama: An Anthology of Reality Theatre" (Alta Mira Press, 2005); "The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers" (Sage Publications, 2009) and "Fundamentals of Qualitative Research" (Oxford University Press, 2011).

I was pleased to receive a copy of this book a few months back and I have found it invaluable as a resource and as a teaching text that carefully explains ethnotheatre methodology with supportive examples and accompanying photographs. This book will represent a model for others who might wish to study methods for converting research data into transformative drama for social change.

I have included below a report about the book written by Kakali Bhattacharya, Chair of the AERA QR SIG Outstanding Book Award Committee:

“. . . the committee identified Johnny Saldana’s text Ethnotheatre: Research from page to stage as the winner of this award for several reasons. While we are at the political intersection of discourses suggesting what is and is not scientific inquiry, how qualitative research measures up to such reductive standards of scientific inquiry, it is far too easy to stay locked in a binary relationship of “us versus them” where qualitative researchers are continuously trapped in trying to legitimize their work.

Saldana opens up possibilities for qualitative inquiry, with guidelines and paths should the researcher resonate with them, to create legitimate spaces of discourse within and outside of qualitative inquiry instead of operating from a place of oppression and victimhood under the current accountability and audit culture. Saldana’s work invites researchers brand new to ethnodrama and experts returning to frame and reframe performance first and foremost as an art. His steadfast commitment to plays as an art form encourages his audience to engage data as that which can be transformed into embodied experience. His exercises and suggested readings leave a pragmatic trail for his readers to follow as they explore possible connections between the production of a play and voices in data. His frank discussions about the challenges of moving from intellectualized dialogue to character involvement demand that researchers reflect deeply on their commitments to epistemological beliefs and where they locate knowledge. For Saldana, knowledge construction is the transformation of research findings into a well-written script.

Often when researchers offer suggestions, guidelines and pathways to a methodology, such moves are seen to be prescriptive, perhaps reductive and restrictive to the vast possibilities within qualitative research. However, Saldana’s work should not be read as such. It takes an acutely insightful researcher, theorist, and a practitioner to be able to highlight one’s own process of developing a methodology of data collection, data analysis, and representation while maintaining a layered multiplicity to one’s work. Saldana is a gifted performer and thus lends an expert voice to ethnodrama. Even through such lending of an expert voice, Saldana opens up multiple possibilities of ethnodrama in qualitative inquiry. This text will continue to serve both students and practitioners of qualitative research in addition to being a text that many will return to for guidance, insights, and framing and reframing of their work. For these r
easons described, the Outstanding Book Award committee is proud to announce Johnny Saldana’s text Ethnotheatre: Research from page to stage as the winner this year.”

IJCAIP Advisory Board Profiles: Nick Nissley

Nick Nissley, Ed.D.
Dean of Business, Cincinatti State,

IJCAIP Advisory Board Member Nick Nissley, EdD, is currently Dean of Business, Cincinatti State. In his leadership role, in one of his many projects, he is collaborating with Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center, to convene and host a community gathering along with select arts-based learning facilitators, to explore through a ‘Conversation Café’-like methodology (that also incorporates the CAC space/arts/exhibits), how the CAC might shape a future 'offering' to the community (e.g., position itself as a 'front porch' of the city - a 'commons space' – that enables arts-inspired dialogues, in service of imaginative possibilities). This project, being initiated by the CAC’s forward thinking leader, Raphaela Platow, will position the Contemporary Arts Center as: a space for reflection and dialogue, where the public can engage with artists, scholars, and each other around contemporary issues … remaining the place where opportunity transcends boundaries … an open cultural forum where people gather to gain exposure to new ideas and where art is a means for people to connect to each other and to the world outside.

Nick also invited singer/song writer Barbara McAfee (recent author of Full Voice: The Art and Practice of Vocal Presence) into the College following a painful strike, engaging the arts as a vehicle for healing. Nissley reports, “Together we practiced giving voice to what we care about, as well as simply listening to one another, and experiencing the joy of being heard."

Dr. Nissley is also recognized for his pioneering work internationally in the practice of arts-based learning in management education and leadership development. He was formerly The Executive Director, Leadership Development at the Banff Centre, Alberta. Under Nissley’s skilled leadership, The Banff Centre’s public programs, customized offerings, and Aboriginal programs developed a world-wide reputation for inspiring creativity in leaders from many disciplines.

Nick Nissley is an accomplished academic whose formal education includes a Doctorate in Education from George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., and an undergraduate degree in geology and mineralogy from Ohio State University. He has been a professor in the department of organization learning and development at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, where he served as co-chair, department of organization learning and development, and program director for the master’s program in human resource development. Nissley has also held affiliations with the College of Business, Management Center, and Center for Nonprofit Management at the University of St. Thomas. While in academia, he consulted and presented to a variety of client organizations, including schools, government, for-profit, non-profit, and faith-based communities, local, regional, national, and international audiences.

At the center of Nick Nissley's research is applied imagination – helping individuals, organizations, and communities transform themselves through learning as they confront real-world challenges.

Over the past 10
years, Nick has helped define the field of arts based learning in management education. Story and narrative in the workplace is a special interest. In a recent article in "Issues and Observations" Nick Nissley writes, "the business world in recent years has shown increasing interest in the narrative lens and more specifically in the relationship between leadership storytelling and organizational change."

“In these times of economic distress, we should take a lesson from the pages of our history books – economic adversity can inspire extraordinary innovation, if we choose to engage the arts as enablers of business creativity.”

Nick Nissley, Journal of Business Strategy

Nick Nissley's interests in the arts, education, environment, and social service has led him, over the past fifteen years, to serve on the boards of organizations including: Editorial Advisory Board for Aesthesis: International Journal of Art and Aesthetics in Management and Organizational Life; Editorial Review Board for The Journal of Management and Organisation (Special Issue: Re-Conceiving the Artful in Management Development and Education); the Arts and Business Council’s Creativity Connection National Advisory Board in New York City; Minneapolis’s Springboard for the Arts; the Minnesota Association for Continuing Adult Education; the Hershey Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania; Duquesne University’s Capital Region Campus Advisory Board; and, presently in his home of Banff, he serves on the Board of Directors for Banff’s Mineral Springs Hospital and the Whyte Museum of The Canadian Rockies, as well as the Canadian Rockies Public Schools’ Futures Planning Advisory Board.

As an artist, Nick has also performed semi-professionally with Playback Theatre working as an actor on stages in Canada, Denver, London, and Krakow. He continues to engage with Playback Theatre, serving on the International Centre for Playback Theatre’s Strategic Action Plan Steering Committee.

Monday, April 16, 2012

IJCAIP Advisory Board member, Robert Kelly keynote speaker at Creative Teaching and Learning Conference, Dalhousie

We are pleased to announce IJCAIP Advisory Board member Dr. Robert Kelly who acted as associate editor on our CAIP Research Series, will be featured as a keynote speaker at the upcoming Creative Teaching and Learning Conference at Dalhousie University, May 2, 2012. We have attached the announcement below:

Keynote Speaker

May 2, 2012

Dalhousie University is delighted to welcome artist and educator Robert Kelly as the keynote speaker for the 2012 Dalhousie Conference on University Teaching and Learning.

Robert Kelly, Ph.D.,
University of Calgary

Educating for Creativity

Educational environments that value collaborative creative practice, design thinking and intrinsic motivation balanced with discipline competency have become an imperative for passionate, sustainable and engaging educational cultures of the future.

This keynote presentation will explore how an educational culture of creativity can be implemented across the educational spectrum. This presentation will include Robert Kelly's new research and ideas on creative development in this field from his latest volume Educating for Creativity ( in press) including numerous profiles of schools from around the world where creativity is a primary rationale for education. The vocabulary and principles of creativity theory and creative development will be explored as well as is the nature and dynamic of idea generation and evolution. Strategies for assessing creative development will also be discussed.

How do we as educators develop our own creative maturity to enable educational environments conducive to creative development? Take a journey around the globe from the Kaospilots in Denmark to Stanford's D School while exploring the nuts and bolts of how to bring the concept of creativity into daily educational practice. Bring your ideas and a sense of humour while we explore the notion of teaching and learning creatively and more importantly the concept of learning to create.


Educator and artist Robert Kelly is an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts and an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. His research is focused on developing a comprehensive approach to developing an educational culture of creativity that ranges from examining educational practice from around the globe to transforming curriculum design and teacher education and practice. His recent book Creative Expression, Creative Education: Creativity as a Primary Rationale for Education and his new volumes Educating for Creativity (in press) and Creative Journey: Developing Personal and Professional Creativity (June, 2013) span the breadth of his research focused on transforming educational culture. He is also associate editor for two research volumes from the International Journal of Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice CAIP research series entitled "Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice Inquiries for Hope and Change" (2010) and "Creative Arts in Research for Community and Cultural Change" (2011).

Robert has pioneered new programs in teacher education focused on creativity in educational practice. These programs debut across western Canada in the summer of 2012 in the new Interdisciplinary Masters of Education program at the University of Calgary, the Summer Institute of Creativity in Educational Practice at the University of Manitoba and the Summer Institute in Education: Creativity at the University of British Columbia - Okanagan. These programs engage educators in first hand creative development. These exciting, new initiatives establish a clear vocabulary and understanding of creative development strands that lead to creative maturity through writing creatively, creating across the discipline spectrum, design thinking and designing educational spaces for creativity in educational practice.

As artist, his conceptual Minutia installation, currently working its way across Canada and now showing at Dalhousie Art Gallery as part of the “Unbound” enhibition,consists of eleven books of concrete poetry on lecterns, based on the sentence fragment “the first time I heard the sound of a page turning.” His other bodies of work include his intensely painted Concept of Raven series and his latest outdoor installation, The White Noise Project.

Robert has received several awards for teaching excellence and is featured on the University of Calgary's Great Teachers website. He has done numerous keynote presentations, lectures and workshops on the various dimensions of the concept of creativity across Canada and internationally and is known for his insightful, humorous anecdotes from his life as a career educator, designer and artist.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

At the End of Life, Non Fiction Essays About the Death Experience

Review C.L. McLean, Publisher International Journal of The Creative Arts in Interdisciplinary Practice IJCAIP

At the End of Life, True Stories About How we Die,” published by Creative Nonfiction Books, Pittsburgh, edited by Lee Gutkind, Founding Editor of “Creative Nonfiction” and Writer in Residence at The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is a provocative collection of 21 true stories written by health professionals and laypeople, stories that bear witness to personal experiences of death.

These essays are no easy read. They do not turn away from the facts about death but rather, through the candor of the tellings and the art of storytelling urge us to stay, read on and learn.

The literary non-fiction essays presented in this book provide facts in the context of compelling stories that take the reader on living personal journeys through the death experience. Presented from multiple perspectives the book explores topics such as contending with illness and loss, bearing witness, professional and patient communication, dealing with death within the healthcare system, seeking alternative places to die, finding acceptance and letting go.

At its heart, “At the End of Life, True Stories About How We Die” is a book about love, courage and human survival. We read and we see ourselves grappling with the gravity of what is required of us and we learn how to fight for the dignity of our fathers and mothers. We suffer with the writers through their experiences and know what it is to live through death and carry on.

The book “At the End of Life, True Stories About How We Die,” represents a literary and sacred act of human service as editor and writers share the gift of knowledge, the authenticity of truth and the transformative potential of human experience to help others learn about how we die.