Arts in Education

Creative Connections Arts Educators’ Conference

Click HERE for a complete list of our 2018 Workshops and Teaching Artists!

Creative Connections is the Creative Arts Guild's annual arts educators' conference.

On Monday, October 29, 2018, the Guild hosted local arts educators from our 3 area school systems: Dalton Public Schools, Murray County Schools, and Whitfield County Schools for a full day of professional development.

The goals of Creative Connections are:

  • To offer accessible, local, quality professional development for our area arts educators
  • To offer opportunities for vertical teaming and cross curriculum/cross disciplinary discussion
  • To build and strengthen community partnerships by sharing resources across our three area public school systems
  • To support area arts educators so that they feel validated and celebrated and so leave Creative Connections refueled and eager to get back into the classroom and share the arts with their students


Creative Connections offers a wide variety of workshops taught by high quality arts educators and teaching artists from all over our region. Each conference participant was able to select two 1.5 hour workshops through the online registration process. For more info, please contact Creative Arts Guild Executive Director, Amanda Brown at 706.259.1974 or

About Creative Connections

Creative Connections was born from a re-visioning process of the Creative Arts Guild that began in summer of 2015. The purpose of our process was to ensure we are doing our best to serve our current community needs in the areas of arts in culture as our community stands today. One thing that came out of the yearlong process was our renewed focus on supporting working artists and our arts educators. As the Guild has always had a strong interest and focus on arts education for the art student, the opportunity to deepen that relationship and broaden arts exposure to all - through professional development for arts educators is an exciting new venture. The Creative Arts Guild worked very closely with a team of administrators and arts educators - with representatives from all of our area public school systems - who acted as an advisory panel during the development of the conference. Because of their guidance and input, we can be sure that the conference is geared towards the needs of our teachers. We look forward to hosting everyone again and to having a day of celebration, exploration and learning focused entirely around the arts! 

We - at the Creative Arts Guild - want this to feel like gas in the tank for our arts educators - something to nourish their minds and souls - so that they are ready to jump back into the classroom with some fresh energy – feeling supported, appreciated and celebrated for the work they do! We are honored to be your trusted resource for arts and culture in our community! Thank you!

2018 Keynote Speaker - Sponsored by O.N. Jonas Foundation

Karen Heid 

For over 25 years, Karen Heid has been teaching art. In that pursuit, she has had her own studio, has taught elementary school, middle school High School, and College. Outside of these traditional settings she has taught students from ages 2 to 92 in private settings. In fact, one of her first art jobs was with the Creative Arts Guild in Dalton Georgia as an art teacher and artist in residence.

Dr. Heid received a BFA in Painting Drawing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Berry College, and a Ph. D. in Art from the University of Georgia. She was hired by the University of South Carolina where she taught Art Education for 12 years. It was there she, was tenured and promoted.

Dr. Heid has written articles, book chapters, and has exhibited her own artwork in various venues. From this body of work some of her more notable publications appeared in top tier journals and books  such as, Studies in Art Education, Arts for LIfe Journal, Voices in Art Education, and Art Education Journal. Recently she was invited to illustrate a popular children’s book called Katie’s Cabbage. This book has won 3 national awards to date, and is in its 3rd printing.

Dr. Heid challenges old assumptions around traditional art instruction by embracing innovative approaches to teaching. Two of her most recent innovations include her Handheld Art Project and Art Play Studio. With the Handheld Art Project, Dr. Heid constructed a website and app full of lesson plans and images that give students access to museums that they would otherwise not likely see. Art Play Studio on the other hand, brought art making experiences to patients, families, and staff who are facing hospital stays.  Dr. Heid was able to complete both of these projects through over $250,000 in grants.

Having conducted research on aesthetics, creativity, and multi-age learning, she has returned to the 6-12 classroom at Davidson Fine Arts in Augusta, Georgia where she continues to inform her research and thinking, particularly in the areas of creativity and multi-age learning.