Karen McClellan is Executive Director of Arts Can Teach, bringing artist educators and dynamic arts processes in Dance, Visual Arts, Music and Drama to enliven learning in classrooms and community. A professional cellist, Karen performs around town with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, SoCA faculty, 4th Wall Music and in rock/pop duo Front Row Cello with singer-guitarist Ted Lamont.
How long have you been a part of ACWR?
I joined the ACWR Board in Spring 2017. Sue Cole, an Artist also on the Board shared the ACWR opportunity with me and highly recommended it. She was right – it’s a great experience!
What made you want to get involved with ACWR?
Windsor has a vibrant arts community. I wanted to learn more about other art forms and how to support our region’s innovative emerging artists and arts organizations. I help create professional development and work opportunities for artists in schools and community settings. I wanted to contribute an arts in education lens in
my role on the Board.
Are you an artist? Can you tell us about your work?
I have two creative sides – I’m a cellist who has been fortunate to play for many years with the Windsor Symphony and in other arts performances. I also view my work for Arts Can Teach as a creative outlet. I get to collaborate with talented dance, drama, music, and visual artists, helping them weave the arts into teaching classroom subjects such as Math, Language and Character / Empathy. The work is very creative and is always changing.
Do you have a favourite local artist, arts collective/organization, mural, art space, or creative project in the Windsor region?
I have a growing list of favourites! Current highlights that come to mind: the return of the Coffeehouse Combo at Phog Lounge Sunday nights (live music!), Windsor Feminist Theatre/Nadine Deleury’s Letters to Grace project, Yakonikulanestka Evangeline John’s artist residence at Artcite Inc., the dynamic, inclusive programming at the Art Gallery of Windsor… the list goes on.
How has the pandemic changed the way you work?
Arts Can Teach was built on a foundation of in-person partnerships with artists and teachers. This year we facilitated all classroom lessons online, with the artists visiting classes from their home studios. It was a challenging learning curve for sure, and I admire the artists for taking it on. It will be such a treat to return to in-classroom teaching!
What inspires you?
Live performances and exhibits, absolutely. I’m also inspired to see artists, arts organizations and communities coming together and collaborating in new and exciting ways. It’s a transformative time for the arts in Windsor-Essex.
What do you want people to know about ACWR?
The ACWR is an inclusive, welcoming space and a resource for artists in all art forms.