Best Seat in the Islands | Daniel A. Kelin, II

As I sat in in the center of the newly-dedicated, freshly painted outdoor cement basketball court, surrounded by a couple of hundred local folks watching youth I had worked with perform, it dawned on me that these local audiences are truly the best audiences in the world.  At 7:00 pm on a Saturday night at the […]

The Stranger Called ‘Creativity’ | Daniel A. Kelin, II

During an intimate workshop I conducted with first grade teachers, I asked what they had noticed about their students’ participation in a recent drama-based residency.  One noted that she felt “so surprised to see the creativity of some kids come out that I didn’t know about.” I took the comment pretty much in stride, as […]

My Teaching Artist ‘Ohana’ | Daniel A. Kelin II

As the dancer/teaching artist finished her demonstration with the small group of fellow dancers, she stretched her arm out, palm skyward, gesturing to one specific individual standing across the room from her.  “I always give thanks to one of my most influential mentors, MC.”  MC, a gracious and well-loved local teaching artist responded with, “It’s […]

Christmas in March | Daniel A. Kelin, II

As I finished a session with a class of second-graders today, I asked them to identify their favorite moments from class.  Amongst the ‘everything!’ answers and those noting the joy of being unusually physically involved during a lesson, one girl said, ‘Being the Christmas present.’ It’s true.  I bestowed upon her the title of Christmas […]

Enduring and Essential | Daniel A. Kelin, II

“I have a question for you.” This starts most of my residencies nowadays, followed by, “But you cannot answer it. Not now.”  I fashioned the opening to grab students’ attentions quickly. They always show greater interest in a question when they are not allowed to answer it. I also find having a question to dangle […]

I Write to Own | Daniel A. Kelin, II

While driving along the lava framed highway of Kona with a fellow teaching artist, we chatted about a series of just completed sessions. This was our first time working together with children and we had gained great insight into each other’s approaches and processes. During our drive he asked several insightful questions that opened me […]

Partners in Purpose | Daniel A. Kelin, II

Vanmark sat in the corner, his hoodie drooped far over his eyes. He volunteered no answers to questions. During the drama sessions he, like most of the other students, waited for others to stand first or looked about the room before making any choices and then usually contributed the minimum possible. Four years later, Vanmark […]

Artistic Perspective | Daniel A. Kelin, II

The fifth grade class worked with quiet intensity, spread about the classroom in small groups.  I kept my eye on one particular group, as two of the members’ were demonstrating difficulty in staying on task, while a third member, who regularly showed a propensity for being easily offended and walking off, teetered on the edge […]