Eliza was born into a family of artists and seekers and has spent her life exploring these two aspects of herself through what she came to call creative consciousing. Her work with children evolved from arts play and cultural studies, to nature explorations and social emotional experiments, and then back to creative play, often now integrated with more materials and ideas, but sometimes with a lot less. She is a champion of connection-based “process over product”, and truly loves her play and making with children.
Eliza worked for a decade in Chicago’s arts education arena, serving as Director of Education at Hyde Park Art Center, the city's longest standing contemporary arts institution. At HPAC, Eliza managed studio and community outreach programs, annually serving over 2,000 children. She also led arts integrated professional development for Chicago Public School teachers. Additionally, she worked with Chicago’s Center for Arts Policy, organizing the Youth Development Through the Arts conference. She has also spoken at the Illinois Arts Education Association and the Art Institute’s Art Education Masters Program.
In the last ten years Eliza continued this work in Israel, founding The ARC to bring together artists and community audiences to advance creative work with children. As Director and lead teacher, Eliza runs four sites as well as mobile initiatives for ages 3-9, hosting Creative Expressions afternoons, Creative Explorers days, and Tel Aviv’s largest English language holiday Creativity Camps and the Creative Discovery Field Trips. Eliza also supported the founding of Vertigo Dance Company’s Eco Arts Village and co-founded and led five years of the 300 family-strong Halloween festivities in Tel Aviv(!)
Eliza is an artist, dancer, writer, producer, certified yoga teacher, trauma-informed trained mindfulness practitioner, cultural dreamer, lover of cities and nature, serial collaborator, connector and community builder. She holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences focusing on Visual Culture Studies from the University of Chicago, and two Bachelors degrees in International Studies and Comparative Religious Studies from Trinity University (summa cum laude). She also holds her own two children, daily when she can catch them(!)
Presentation on "Creative Consciousing":
Eliza Duenow, from The ARC in Tel Aviv, shares the evolution of her work with children, integrating three powerful underdogs in education— Art, Play and mindful “Consciousing” work.
She and her tribe of Teaching Artists work with children ages 4-8 in camps and afternoon programs. They focus on social emotional attunement by investigating materials and ideas through small group felt sense experiences.
Because they are situated outside, nature plays a big part, and being city-centered, street debris is a favorite medium. They also try to maintain a healthy sense of creative irreverence with urban interventions that often invite the public to engage with the childrens work.
Their projects seek to provoke a sense of play, flow, and reflection. Eliza will walk folks through a symbolic day of tuning into their senses, enjoying visual fodder from ARC program documentation, and playing through a creative ideation activity.