Are you interested in working with an instructor with an education background and over 20 years experience in the arts/nonprofit sector? Contact Barb: barb.whitney.art@gmail.com

Barb has proudly served as faculty in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and within the Arts & Cultural Management and Museum Studies Department at Michigan State University.

By training students in both civic engagement and academic learning, she fosters their understanding of the day-to-day operations, which are integral to making a nonprofit mission a reality.outsidesnyphi_fall_0Courses:

  • Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, 292-B
    • Arts and Innovation: Community Engagement through Experiential Learning
    • Fall 2017, Fall 2019 – facilitates civic engagement experiences for students at local arts institutions hosting students as volunteers.
  • Michigan State University – Arts & Cultural Management, 271.74
    • Introduction to Arts & Cultural Management, Spring 2018
  • Michigan State University – Arts & Cultural Management, ACM 462
    • Promotion and E-Commerce in Arts and Cultural Management
  • Michigan State University – Arts and Cultural Management & Museum Studies, ACM 869
    • Advocacy and Policy
    Barb with Marketing students.jpgPhoto: MSU Arts & Cultural Management and Museum StudiesStudents will always have a special place in my heart. I was deeply touched by their stories of WHY the arts and their spirit of generosity toward one another. Teaching, in many ways, is a labor of love. Creating presentations, coursework, and rubrics is only one component of this compelling craft. Supporting students to develop an intrinsic love of learning and create connections with one another is powerful stuff, indeed. Stay tuned to watch this bunch make waves as their ripple effect on the world grows! 

Barb’s Teaching-Learning Philosophy

Teaching and learning can be an inherently positive experience based on mutual respect and information exchange. I set high expectations for how students can achieve excellence by outlining learning goals and expected outcomes at the outset of each course. My background in K-12 and community arts education informs my practice, and I strive to establish expectations and shared values immediately upon convening with students within the classroom setting.

My interest in teaching, in part, is to inspire and motivate students by sharing my passion for arts and culture. As a nonprofit arts leader, I am an active practitioner in the nonprofit sector. I am eager to share my knowledge, skills, and experiences. As a leader with connections to the arts and cultural sector locally, statewide, and nationally, I willingly share a network and resources for those students who wish to engage. My work as an instructor at Michigan State University includes courses in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and the College of Arts & Letters’ Arts & Cultural Management Department. Courses include Arts & Innovation: Community Engagement through Experiential Learning, Introduction to Arts & Cultural Management, and Promotion and E-Commerce in Arts and Cultural Management. I encourage active class sessions and collaborative practices. I provide insight based on best practices and practical experience, and I stimulate conversation. Regardless of whether students continue in the arts or nonprofit sector, I hope to provide them a joyful foundation for continued understanding and learning about these subjects in their lives.

I consider teaching and learning a reflective process. I relish the opportunity to hone my craft as an educator. This is a reflective process for my students and for me. I ask for students’ feedback in how to improve my teaching and their learning, and I continually update coursework in response to this process. As a lifelong learner, I continually learn from my students. I require students to think critically, present both fact and opinion, and share their knowledge with their classmates. This information exchange is valuable for students’ discussions and to keep me abreast of current trends and influences. My research continues to inform my teaching. I am especially grateful for the arts education research of Dr. James Catterall, Dr. Howard Gardner, Dr. Amelia Kraehe, and Dr. Ryan Shaw. I am grateful to many who have influenced my practice, including the late Dr. Sarah Lippert from University of Michigan- Flint, Dr. Nora Evers from Kalamazoo College, colleagues from Detroit’s Herlong Cathedral School, and several fellow faculty members at Michigan State University including Steve Esquith, Joanna Bosse, Dionne O’Dell, Tina Newhauser, and Kirk Domer.

My courses offer many ways to engage and learn. While the courses use books and adhere to best practices, supplemental materials such support learning about current trends and influences. Research and required presentations offer students flexible learning within the arts, as honing topics of interest help students become intrinsically motivated. The arts offer an exceptional forum for experiential learning. Group discussions and work offer varying perspectives, civil discourse, and teamwork. In some cases, my courses include students from varying majors, interests, and life experiences. I involve students in out-of-class experiential learning and reflection. This may provide a first opportunity in the arts, which can shape their lives and futures as engaged citizens.

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