TAA Talks is a project of the Tennessee Arts Academy Alumni Association leadership team, which includes its president and three statewide regional representatives. The TAA Talks podcasts seek to amplify the voices of the Tennessee Arts Academy community. Since 1986, the Tennessee Arts Academy has been America’s longest-running premier summer program for arts-based professional development in art, music, theatre and dance, and arts leadership. The Academy is held annually for six days in July on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Eligible participants include K–12 arts specialists, classroom teachers, and administrators from all 95 Tennessee counties. Spaces are also available for out-of-state participants, artists, college professors and pre-service teachers. The mission of the Tennessee Arts Academy is to provide exceptional quality professional development that includes training and access to cutting edge methodologies and resources, as well as support and encouragement through community and renewal. For more information you can visit the website at www.tnartsacademy.org or call the TAA office at 615-460-5451. The Tennessee Arts Academy Alumni Association was established by the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation in 2009. The Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation is a 501c3 organization whose mission is to aid and assist in the Tennessee Arts Academy's growth and expansion. The Alumni Association’s president serves on the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation Board of Directors.
"The Acceptance Piece: How Art Education Can Change Their World" with David Reynolds
David Reynolds, TAA Art Facilitator, shares how art gives kids "life tools" that can help them create a better world. He also gives some really great advice for new & pre-service teachers! David has taught for twelve years and is currently the Elementary Visual Arts teacher at Moore Elementary in the Franklin Special Schools District in Franklin, TN. He serves as Commissioner for the City of Franklin Public Arts Commission, Association Representative for the FSSDEA and TEA, and Tennessee Arts Academy Facilitator. David has presented at the national and state levels, serves as FSSD District representative, and received the Distinguished Service to the Profession Award from the Tennessee Art Education Association in 2021. His classroom work is centered around acceptance and creativity.
"The Power of Creative Choice is Priceless" with Darlene Tanner, TAA Alumni Association West TN Regional Rep
Darlene Tanner, one of our West TN Regional Representatives for the TAA Alumni Association, encourages us to unlock the power of choice in fine arts classes! She is a visual art educator who teaches K-5th Grades at University School of Jackson in Jackson, TN. Born to missionary parents, she grew up in Japan, and her journey led her to Tennessee where she studied art at Union University. She and her husband David have raised three children and a llama business, served as Master Gardeners in their community, and built a geodesic dome!
"Celebrating Failure with Your Students" with Michelle Tripp, TAA Alumni Association Middle TN Regional Rep
Michelle Tripp, TAA Alumni Association Middle TN Regional Representative, reflects on the power of theatre education and shares some fruitful finds that make performances easier for directors in 2022! Michelle grew up in the Middle Tennessee area and now lives in Murfreesboro. She will begin her 25th year of teaching this upcoming school year and has taught theatre, film, and speech at Page High School in Franklin for the past 14 years. When she is not directing a school or community theatre production, she enjoys spending time with her family and experimenting in the kitchen on new dishes.
"Letting Go to Grow" with William Bodley, TAA Alumni Association West TN Regional Rep
William Bodley, Jr., TAA Alumni Association West TN Regional Representative, reflects on the 2021-2022 school year, and shares with us what strategies he's keeping and which ones he's letting go. William has served as the band director at Treadwell Middle School in Memphis, Tennessee for nine years. Originally from Mobile, AL, he attended Alabama A&M University and continued his education at the University of Memphis studying saxophone. After volunteering at middle and high schools during his time as a performance major, he realized he loved teaching and decided to plant roots in Memphis as an educator. William is also a saxophonist in the 129th Army Band.