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Eric Booth to speak in Sonoma on arts education

Eric Booth spoke in front of an El Sistema-inspired orchestra and the parents of participating students earlier this year.

Eric Booth spoke in front of an El Sistema-inspired orchestra and the parents of participating students earlier this year.

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

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The public is invited to attend a lecture and brief concert highlighting El Sistema, the youth orchestra program currently established at El Verano Elementary School.

The program, “A Vision for Sonoma: the community development possibilities of El Sistema,” will be presented at 6 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, at the Sebastiani Theatre, 476 First St. E. Internationally-renowned arts education leader and “El Sistema” advocate Eric Booth will introduce the Sonoma Valley community to the inspiring social development and orchestral program that began in Venezuela. Booth will discuss the potential of El Sistema in Sonoma and the vision for a community network of youth orchestras. The night will conclude with a brief performance by the Valley Vibes Orchestra, the El Sistema program at El Verano school. A suggested minimum donation of $5 will be collected at the door.

The following night, Tuesday, Booth will speak from 6 to 8 p.m. on motivation and creative learning in a free event open to the community at the Presentation School, 20872 Broadway. He will discuss how creative engagement can – and should – be present in all learning situations, both in and outside of schools, and will describe how intrinsic motivation, increasingly viewed as an essential force behind mastery and life-long learning, can be cultivated in children.

Booth will offer his perspective on a variety of subjects, including:

• What do learning environments that promote curiosity and creative thinking look like?

• How to nurture essential skills of creative engagement, such as flexible thinking, empathy, brainstorming, inquiry and multi-sensory learning.

• What we can learn from arts education about fostering intrinsic motivation and creativity.

• Why creative engagement and intrinsic motivation are key to flourishing in life and work.

Booth will spend the day on Tuesday, Dec. 10, conducting workshops with faculty, parents and students of the Presentation School. He is an artist, entrepreneur, author, teacher, consultant and speaker who started his career as an actor, appearing in many Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. In arts learning, he has taught at Juilliard, Stanford University and Lincoln Center Institute, among others, and held a chair on the College Board’s Arts Advisory Committee. He consults with various government, arts, business and education organizations on creativity, teaching artistry and innovation work, and he serves as a senior advisor to the El Sistema-inspired music movement in the U.S. He has written five books and dozens of articles on arts and creative learning, and more information about his work can be seen at ericbooth.net.