Program Outreach Coordinator
“experienced, creative, energetic”
Dani Kopoulos is professional teaching artist and arts education presenter and an award-winning solo performance artist and writer of creative non-fiction.
She received a BFA in multi-media performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and was an active member of the experimental theater and performance art community in Chicago throughout the late 80’s and 90’s. For her performance work she has received a John Quincy Adams Travelling Fellowship and Chicago Artist Assistance Program grant. She has presented solo performance pieces in England, Germany, Italy, and Canada. Dani has been a teaching artist for almost 20 years, leading drama, movement, writing, and video workshops and residencies for youth of all ages, in in-school, after-school, and community settings. She has taught theater integration in the schools with various arts education organizations in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago, developing programs, integrating curricula, directing student performances, conducting professional development workshops, and leading several Illinois Arts Council Arts-in-Education residencies. She worked closely with Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, and served as a member of the Youth Theater Coalition of Chicago. The video “Sometimes…,” which was made by at-risk teens in a summer youth program under her direction, won first place in a national festival. She was a presenter at Illinois Arts Council annual state-wide conferences, leading professional development workshops in arts integration.
She came to New York for graduate studies, completing an MFA in Creative Writing from New School University. Her essays and poetry have been published in several national literary journals and have won a variety of awards and competitions.
She was an after-school drama specialist for the St. Nicholas Neighborhood Preservation Organization, serving at-risk youth in Brooklyn, and was a regular presenting artist at their annual Family Literacy Conference.
She has been accepted to the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Artists-in-Education state-wide Artist Roster, in the disciplines of both theater and writing.
With Educational Arts Team she has taught theater integration workshops in Jersey City schools, as well as an after-school drama program at the Boys and Girls Clubs, and a teen video program at Camp Liberty.
Overview of Organization: Educational Arts Team incorporated in 1981 to improve literacy for low income urban students in low performing schools and provide positive cultural, social and recreational experiences in an outdoor setting during the summer months for local children. We achieve these goals through the two branches of our organization, Dramatic Impact, and Camp Liberty.
Dramatic Impact is our in-school literacy program, helping economically disadvantaged young people become better readers and writers, as well as, socially matured individuals. Independent researchers have documented how our literacy work has helped thousands of young people increase their academic achievement, and improve pro-social, cognitive and critical thinking skills.
During eight weeks of the summer Camp Liberty serves over 500 local children in a beautiful outdoor setting that provides artistic, cultural, social and recreational experiences for young people of diverse ages, races, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds.
What makes this organization unique and necessary? “From 2005 to 2014 our organization received funding for three United States Department of Education Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination projects in partnership with the Jersey City Public Schools. The project enabled us to hire independent evaluators to assess the effectiveness of using arts integration in classrooms from the 2nd to 7th grade. All three projects have been well documented both through published journal articles and reports to the United States Department of Education. Data from all three projects show the powerful changes that our program has made on large numbers of students academically, as well as affecting teacher pedagogy.”
Services provided by the organization: Family Literacy Events
Professional development for classroom teachers grades K through 8 on the use of arts integration in the language arts classroom
Drug Prevention and social skills workshops for students grades K to 8