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UT Arts Symposium to explore multisensory literacy, learning

The University of Toledo School of Visual and Performing Arts will present a dialogue focused on multisensory literacy and learning in its 2018 Arts Symposium Monday, Feb. 19, in the Thompson Student Union.

People are bombarded daily by a cacophony of stimuli signaling each of their senses. Most often, they involuntarily react to their senses without fully engaging the experience.

The symposium topic discussions will explore how to develop a fuller understanding of human sensory messaging systems, using them to enhance our human experience, as well as strategies and educational approaches that can be utilized to heighten sensory awareness, improve sensory literacy, and enhance learning.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Sara Diamond, president of OCAD University, formerly known as the Ontario College of Art and Design. Located in Toronto, the institution bills itself as Canada’s “university of the imagination.”

She recently was honored as one of Canada’s 150 leading women. Since her appointment in 2005, she has led OCAD University’s evolution to a full university, helping to build its transdisciplinary and research-creation research capacity and infrastructure; integrating STEM subjects; creating its Digital Futures Initiative; launching the Indigenous Visual Culture Program; strengthening its approach to inclusion; and growing its undergraduate and graduate programs in studio art and design.

Diamond is a researcher in media arts history and policy, as well as visual analytics. She has created wearable technologies, mobile experiences and media art. She is an appointee of the Order of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Academy of Artists.

Her talk, “Steam+D — 21st-Century Knowledge,” will take place at 4:15 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

Titles of other sessions include “Shared Fantasies: Becoming Political, Becoming Pedagogical,” “Studio Matrix System: Identifying Motivation and Setting a Course for Creative Artists With Disabilities,” “Multisensory/Multimodal Learning in Community Programs,” and “A Picture’s Worth 500 Typed, Double-Spaced Pages: The Use of Infographics for Improving Student Writing.”

Lance Gharavi, associate professor and artistic director of theatre at Arizona State University, will discuss “Truth, or Something Like It: Science, Art and Narrative” at 10:30 a.m. in Thompson Student Union Room 2592.

An experimental artist, scholar and early pioneer in digital performance, Gharavi specializes in collaborating with transdisciplinary teams of artists, scientists, designers and engineers to create original and innovative works of media-rich, live performance.

He collaborated with EarthScope — the largest solid Earth science project funded by the National Science Foundation — to write a children’s book about earthquakes. Other projects include an ongoing initiative in robotics and performance, a production about the physics of the Earth’s deep interior, and a game-based investigation into the sociology of human space exploration.

Read more about the 2018 Arts Symposium and register for the free event at utoledo.edu/al/svpa/symposium.