Professional-Development Workshops

Workshops provide an opportunity for conference participants to discuss new technology, enhance practical skills, develop business plans, explore teaching techniques, and much more. The small group format encourages dialogue with colleagues.

Workshops cost $20 for CAA members or $35 for non-members unless otherwise noted.* You do not need to register for the conference to participate in a workshop. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged as space is limited. On-site registration is available, space permitting.


*After February 7, 2018, 11:59 PM, professional development workshop enrollment is onsite only.

2018 Workshops:


Resume and Cover Letter Writing Workshop for Emerging Museum Professionals
Workshop Leader: Mattie M. Schloetzer, National Gallery of Art
Wednesday, 2/21/18: 8:30–10:00 AM, Room 512

Learn practical tips for crafting an effective resume. You will learn ways to structure and format your CV and use summary statements to market yourself. Examine methods to quantify your work experience to demonstrate impact and determine when to let go of previous work or educational experience. Attendees will edit both their own and their colleagues’ resumes during the session. Attendees should bring at least two hard copies—one for marking up, one for sharing with peers. During the latter part of the workshop, cover letter writing tips will be discussed. The target audience members for this workshop are early-career museum professionals.

Workshop Specializations: Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies

Required Workshop Materials: Two copies of resumes and cover letters and a notepad and pen or charged laptop for note-taking.


Registration cap: 40



Activating Museum Audiences and Cultivating Multicultural Engagement
Workshop Leaders: Giovanni Aloi, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Nenette Luarca-Shoaf, Art Institute of Chicago

Wednesday, 2/21/18: 10:30 AM–12:00 PM, Room 512

What are the challenges involved in working with museum audiences today? The topics covered include: structuring guided tours, delivering lunchtime gallery talks, working on private events, engaging visitors in gallery Q&As, and running academically-focused discussion sessions. Art historical knowledge can be productively mobilized to activate museum collections beyond the traditional clichés of the ‘museum highlights tour’. This workshop explores the issues involved in communicating complex and contemporary content to diverse audiences in ways that inform, empower, and engage.

Workshop Specializations: Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology, Non-Traditional or Alternative Career Paths

Required Workshop Materials: Note-taking materials.


Registration cap: 20



Strategies for Teaching Assistants: Demystifying a Successful Semester

Workshop Leader: Barbara Bergstrom, Bowling Green State University

Wednesday, 2/21/18: 4:00–5:30 PM, Room 512


Designed for graduate students who work as teaching assistants, this workshop leads attendees through a series of discussion prompts, visual engagements, and intra/interactive strategies in preparation for teaching undergraduate students. Though focused on earning degrees themselves, graduate students often embrace the demanding and complex challenge of teaching. This workshop aims to demystify several aspects of successful teaching. Workshop attendees will learn ways to prepare the nuts and bolts of a semester incorporating university policies and curricular expectations and designing a syllabus that can serve as a teaching tool. Among recommendations for ways to establish themselves as the classroom “expert”, attendees will hear how to set course expectations on the first day of class while building community among students within a large lecture hall or a small classroom. Promoting pedagogies that further deep learning, the body of this workshop will include several examples of oral, written, and visual teaching strategies to engage, mentor, and assess novice art students. These can include communicating using visual metaphors, assigning homework that applies to life outside of class, and designing peer evaluations for projects. Suggestions will also be provided for giving demonstrations and presentations and promoting students’ full participation within group projects and critique sessions. As research recognizes benefits of both personal and professional self-reflection, attendees will be prompted to consider how their own values, beliefs, and motivations for pursuing creative scholarship can tailor their roles as teaching assistants to the advantage of students. The workshop will conclude amid tips for developing a professional teaching portfolio and open Q&A.

Workshop Specializations: Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology, Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies

Required Workshop Materials: Note-taking materials.


Registration cap: 40



Success and Failures in Job Search and Faculty Hiring Processes
Workshop Leader: Mika M. Cho, California State University, Los Angeles
Thursday, 2/22/18: 8:30–10:00 AM, Room 512

As a faculty and the current department chair working at one of the most diverse universities in the nation and, moreover, as a recurring visiting scholar/artist at Austria’s Kunst University, I can readily attest to the biases of search/hiring committees. Regardless of the type of positions, be it faculty, administrative, or staff, one may conclude that blindness is better insight than the structured visions of many administrators and faculty committees. In this session, I will share my experience as a recruiter and likewise as an applicant regarding the search and hiring processes of full-time faculty in higher education.

Workshop Specializations: Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies, Networking and Career Promotion, Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology

Required Workshop Materials: Participants should not bring anything but themselves for full engagement. I will send the presentation material to the participants who wish to receive it after the workshop.


Registration cap: 40



Teaching 101

Workshop Leader: Steven Bleicher, Coastal Carolina University

Thursday, 2/22/18: 8:30–10:00 AM, Room 513

This class is designed for the new teacher and/or graduate student. It will discuss everything you need to know to approach your first teaching assignment and have confidence in the classroom or studio.

Workshop Specializations: Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology

Required Workshop Materials: None. The workshop leader will supply handouts.


Registration cap: 25



The Disconnect between Intention and Practice: Why Aren’t Faculty Hiring Guides and Administrative Initiatives Creating Diverse Departments?
Workshop Leaders: Flora Brooke Anthony, Independent Scholar; Christopher Bennett, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Thursday, 2/22/18: 10:30 AM–12:00 PM, Room 512

Nationally, colleges and universities have been trying to create more inclusive departments and faculty. Greater diversity means access to talent in unrepresented areas, enhanced problem-solving through the presence of a multiplicity of backgrounds and perspectives, and the renewed vigor and creativity known to come with it. Diversity guides and faculty resource kits are made available for searches. Administrative resources are allocated to educate search committee heads about the proportion of diverse faculty in comparison with peer institutions, and in relation to the student body. And yet, even with such initiatives, change is slow and (all too) limited. Problems with this existing approach to diversity hiring include the fact that familiarizing faculty with important issues revolving around diversity hires takes time, and ‘finding’ that time, and making a case for it, can itself be a challenge. While ideologically in favor of diversity initiatives, faculty searches often fall short when selecting candidates. Some may opt to see someone like themselves as the best fit. Or, perhaps the most diverse and exceptional candidates are chosen, but searches still fail when a variety of factors make attracting such talent itself a distinct challenge. How can we translate the desire to have diverse departments into reality?

Workshop Specializations: Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies, Networking and Career Promotion

Required Workshop Materials: Paper and pen.


Registration cap: 40



Business School for Artists
Workshop Leader: Amy Whitaker, New York University
Thursday, 2/22/18: 10:30 AM–12:00 PM, Room 513

This session will introduce business as a creative design medium and give participants a holistic framework for creating a business plan. This workshop is intended for working artists, practitioners, or others who would like a liberal arts introduction to business. Having both a MFA and a MBA, Amy has taught variations on this interdisciplinary workshop to artists and designers for more than ten years at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, SVA, CCA, and RISD. Amy is also a business strategy mentor to grantees of the Joan Mitchell Foundation and a former mentor to the TED Fellows. She is an assistant professor at NYU in Visual Arts Administration.

Workshop Specializations: Funding: Grants-Fellowships-Fundraising-Scholarships, Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology

Required Workshop Materials: A pen or pencil and an open mind. Think ahead about a project you are working on that you’d like to use as a running example for yourself throughout the workshop. Handouts will be provided or can be downloaded ahead of time.


Registration cap: 40



Moving Forward Past Contingency: Retooling for the Job You Want
Workshop Leaders: Susan Altman, Middlesex County College; Michael Aurbach, Vanderbilt University, Emeritus
Thursday, 2/22/18: 2:00–3:30 PM, Room 513

This workshop is for both studio artists and art historians looking for permanent positions in academia. We will discuss the logistics of the job search including practical approaches to finding a full-time position, preparation of application materials, preparing for interviews and the campus visit, and strategies to maximize your experience and strengths. Participants will bring their application materials (cover letter, CV, etc.) and leave the workshop with a concrete plan to facilitate or revise their job search. Whether you are new to the job search, or working part-time in a small or large department, this workshop will prepare you for the next step in your career and help you to use your diverse academic experiences to reach your professional goals.

Workshop Specializations: Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies

Required Workshop Materials: Participants should bring a charged laptop and any materials that they use for their job search.


Registration cap: 30



Life after the Classroom: Finding Your Way as a Professor Emeritus
Workshop Leader: Anna Novakov, Saint Mary’s College of California
Friday, 2/23/18: 8:30–10:00 AM, Room 512

Academics spend their professional lives moving through the tenure and promotion process and anchoring their daily activities around students, the academic calendar, the classroom, and their research. What happens when you decide to leave teaching and become emeritus faculty? This workshop is a practical, interactive session devoted to imagining your post-university future, identifying your skills and assets, and creating a rewarding, liberating, and unexpected new life. Utilizing a shared inquiry process, we will move from large-group to small-group exercises, partnering work and individual, personalized workshop activities. The session will conclude with guided networking opportunities between colleagues.

Workshop Specializations: Non-Traditional or Alternative Career Paths, Marketing and Branding, Networking and Career Promotion

Required Workshop Materials: None.


Registration cap: 25



Strategies for Letters of Recommendation
Workshop Leader: Ellen Mueller, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
Friday, 2/23/18: 8:30–10:00 AM, Room 513

We will cover the basic structure and guidelines for writing letters of recommendation for individuals in a variety of situations (students applying for jobs/scholarships/grad school, colleagues applying for academic jobs/non-academic jobs/residencies, including when recommenders ask you to write your own letter of recommendation). We will identify ways to streamline the letter-writing process, including providing guidelines to students and colleagues for requesting letters of reference, and establishing a basic letter format to follow for various scenarios. We will also address ways of limiting unconscious bias, avoiding jargon, and troubleshooting difficult letter requests. Participants will be encouraged to arrive prepared to compose a letter of recommendation during the workshop (bring a copy of the person’s resume of major accomplishments to reference for content). Everyone should be ready to share the generic context of their letter (Is it for a student they have known for four years or one semester? Is it for a major grant or an academic job?). Workshop participants will provide feedback to each other as we go through the letter-writing process. Participants are also encouraged to bring any tools/templates they would like to share with the group. We will create a shared online folder of various resources and notes generated during the workshop.

Workshop Specializations: Networking and Career Promotion, Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies, Funding: Grants-Fellowships-Fundraising-Scholarships

Required Workshop Materials: Charged laptop/tablet for typing, word processing software, materials for writing a letter of recommendation (bring a copy of the individual’s resume to reference for letter-writing), and note-taking materials.


Registration cap: 20



Interactive Design with the Arduino Microcontroller
Workshop Leader: Jenn Karson, University of Vermont
Friday, 2/23/18: 10:30–12:00 PM, Room 512

An electronics platform, the Arduino is based on relatively easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone (designers, inventors, musicians, educators, artists, makers, architects, scientists, and researchers) interested in making interactive projects, prototypes, and tools. Design with the Arduino gives one the ability to define inputs and outputs like sensing, light, sound, and motion. In this short workshop we’ll explore its founding philosophy and provide hands-on time for building simple circuits and interactions. We’ll also discuss how the Arduino and similar technologies are integrated into higher education art courses. You do not need any previous experience or knowledge to take this workshop. We encourage everyone who is interested to join the fun!

Workshop Specializations: Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology, Materials-Art Making Techniques-Studio Practice

Required Workshop Materials: Participants will need to bring a charged laptop and download the Arduino IDE in advance of the workshop Provided by the instructor: Five Arduino kits (two participants per kit).


Registration cap: 10



Getting that Gig: Researching Opportunities and Writing Applications
Workshop Leader: Kate Kramer, University of Pennsylvania
Friday, 2/23/18: 10:30–12:00 PM, Room 513

Wondering how that MFA is going to help get that elusive full-time position? This hands-on workshop intends to give insight into the application process for gigs in higher education, museums, or other arts organizations. It will demonstrate how writing job applications is less difficult if position descriptions and institutional profiles are well-researched. We will first focus on the participant’s priorities, areas of expertise, career stages, and general understandings about the kinds of institutions in which they have interest. We will then survey standards and website sources associated with arts and education industries. The next step will be to analyze position postings and content on institution websites. This hands-on portion—careful readings of position description criteria, as well as organizational missions, values, keywords, and management—will take up the bulk of the workshop. During the concluding sections, we’ll review the research to see if the jobs still seem relevant to the individual participant’s goals and we’ll spend some time outlining next steps. Participants should come prepared to: define the scope of their search; research job openings; analyze position descriptions and institutional profiles; and assess their compatibility. The job search can be a daunting endeavor, especially for those new to a field. This workshop seeks to bring the search closer to home, to something the soon-to-be or recently matriculated MFA student can feel more comfortable with and more confident about. Together, we can develop research strategies that can be applied to future job searches as well as other opportunities in the arts.

Workshop Specializations: Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies, Non-Traditional or Alternative Career Paths, Funding: Grants-Fellowships-Fundraising-Scholarships

Required Workshop Materials: Charged laptop, pen or pencil, note-taking materials, and curiosity.


Registration cap: 25



Open-Source Digital Publishing with Quire

Workshop Leader: Greg Albers, J. Paul Getty Trust

Friday, 2/23/18: 2:00–3:30 PM, Room 512

In this workshop, participants will get hands on with Quire, a new open-source digital publishing framework from the Getty, aimed at scholarly and visual publishing needs, and built for publication discoverability and longevity. Quire is built on a static-site generator which allows publishing in multiple formats, decreases dependencies and long-term maintenance issues, and keeps source content in a human-readable format; all while still offering features like interactive maps, deep zoom images, linked citations, audio and video figures, and more. Participants will learn Quire basics including: getting up and running with basic command line tools; converting and editing content in Markdown and YAML (the two plain-text workhorses of the static-site world); the use of shortcodes to add rich content and interactivity; simple theme and style customizations; and publication hosting and distribution options.

Workshop Specializations: Publishing and/or Editing, Technology and/or Software-Specific Training

Required Workshop Materials: Charged laptop. Those without a laptop will be paired with others to follow along during the workshop.


Registration cap: 40



About Teaching: Rethinking the Traditional Critique
Workshop Leader: Mariah Doren, Parsons School of Design, The New School
Friday, 2/23/18: 2:00–3:30 PM, Room 513

In this workshop we will share, discuss, and test new ways of thinking about the critique of our students’ artwork. We will start with an overview of how traditional critiques are run, the anxiety that students have about them, and why we do it this way. We will discuss the role of assessment broadly, including the difference between formative, summative, and developmental assessments. We will also spend some time looking at how the idea of originality is often presented to students, and how meaning construction and objective assessments sometimes work at cross-purposes during critiques. I am interested in how this traditional format and the narrative that goes along with it seem to be an impediment to a more open dialogue about possible meanings in our students’ work. If our hope is that our students’ art practice includes discovery, experimentation, unfolding meanings, and building value, we need to disengage its practices from linear expectations of originality, ideals of progress, and long standing traditions of assessment. We need to move toward something else. If the goal is to open up a dialogue, to separate a conversation about meaning from a tense performance of public judgment, how is this done? We will model critique formats I have used, some that colleagues have shared and hopefully, some that participants bring to the table.

Workshop Specializations: Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology, Materials-Art Making Techniques-Studio Practice

Required Workshop Materials: Paper and pencil or pen for quick drawing.


Registration cap: 20



Image Making/Image Taking: Using Copyright and Fair Use for Artists and Art Historians
Workshop Leaders: Emily M. Lanza, Library of Congress; Nathan Budoff, College Board, Puerto Rico and Latin America Office
Friday, 2/23/18: 4:00–5:30 PM, Room 512

This workshop will provide participants with the opportunity, through collaborative, discussion-based exercises, to learn about various copyright issues relating to making and using visual images. In particular, it will address what is copyrightable, the benefits and procedures related to copyright registration, and the options and responsibilities related to licenses (including Creative Commons licensing) versus relying on fair use. The workshop will equip professional artists and art historians with the practical tools to respond to these copyright questions as they affect their work.

Workshop Specializations: Legal Issues or Estate Planning, Publishing and/or Editing, Documentation-Digitization-Archiving Strategies

Required Workshop Materials: None.


Registration cap: 30



Building Relationships with Galleries and Museums for Artists

Workshop Leader: Michael Azgour, Stanford University

Friday, 2/23/18: 4:00–5:30 PM, Room 513

This workshop engages fine artists by posing fundamental questions and discussing effective practices for establishing relationships with galleries and museums. We consider how to build an exhibition record based on individual goals as personal experiences are shared with the group. Participants gain insight into practical methods of locating galleries which are the best fit as we examine the application process, approaching institutions and keeping track of progress. Maintaining gallery representation, developing relationships with museum curators, and alternative paths, such as online markets and offering reproductions, are also covered. Finally, participants consider their own interests as we discuss building experience over time. Useful online resources are distributed to help participants get started.

Workshop Specializations: Networking and Career Promotion, Job Search: Applications and/or Interviewing Strategies, Non-Traditional or Alternative Career Paths

Required Workshop Materials: A notebook for taking notes is recommended. Workshop materials (handouts) will be provided.


Registration cap: 40



Using Canvas to Teach Art History
Workshop Leader: Michele Wirt, College of Central Florida, Citrus Campus
Saturday, 2/24/18: 8:30–10:00 AM, Room 512

Adapting your art history course to Canvas for use with f2f or online classes offers an alternative to the traditional slide lecture with research paper(s) course. Student projects in multiple file formats are readily uploadable and gradable within Canvas. Additionally, the Turnitin feature allows instant plagiarism detection in all student written work. Links to art history text(s), full text articles, primary source material, powerpoint/prezi, video, audio, images, projects, assignments, discussion boards, assessments, a host of apps, and much more is possible. E-text is also available and linkable depending on the publisher. Example student projects featured in this workshop will include mock exhibition catalogs, world arts tour brochures, and spoof remakes. The workshop consists of demonstration and/or hands-on practice with using Canvas as a learning management system for art history courses.

Workshop Specializations: Pedagogy-Educational Strategies-Teaching Methodology, Technology and/or Software-Specific Training, Technology and/or Software-Specific Training

Required Workshop Materials: Charged laptop, access to Canvas/Instructure, and/or note-taking materials, syllabus.


Registration cap: 40



Take Your Show on the Road
Workshop Leader: Reni Gower, Virginia Commonwealth University
Saturday, 2/24/18: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Room 512

Based upon strategies learned through my experience as an artist-curator of award-winning traveling group exhibitions, this workshop is organized as a six-point checklist/interactive discussion. It will address (concept to completion) taking your show on the road. Concrete prospectuses and catalogs will be shared. To avoid potholes and sticker shock, a well-crafted project is worth the effort. With fine detailing and a dedicated pit crew you can avoid obstacles and steer to success.

Workshop Specializations: Networking and Career Promotion, Marketing and Branding, Documentation-Digitization-Archiving Strategies

Required Workshop Materials: Curatorial ideas, optional written curatorial concept (200 word max.), questions, note-taking materials.


Registration cap: 40

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