I’m over-the-moon to announce the National Art Education Association has selected me to receive the 2018 Distinguished Service Outside the Profession Award. Looking at the list of previous recipients, which includes Jacqueline Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller, and a host of governors, senators, and CEOS, is humbling. I have a deep love and respect for art educators so to receive this nod from them is truly lovely. I see this as recognition of arts-based research and less about my own work. Although the NAEA doesn’t invite acceptance speeches, please know when I accept this award in March I will be doing so on behalf of the arts-based research community.
It’s been an embarrassment of riches as I also learned Research Design has been honored by the 2017 USA Best Book Awards (hosted by American Book Fest) as an “honored finalist” in the category Education/Academic. I wanted to write this book for nearly twenty years. It was a total labor of love and I feel it’s the most important book of my career. I’m thrilled for this recognition. I extend a spirited thank you to the entire team at Guilford Press. They are the best of the best and this book would not be what it is without their talent, time, and generosity.
With lots of travel at the end of the year, Ningbo, China was a highlight I’ll never forget. I was honored to deliver a keynote address at the 6th World Chinese Art Education Symposium. It was an extraordinary experience of pageantry unlike anything I’ve been a part of before. Media lined the giant ballroom as we spoke. There was even a drone flying in the room. I was thrilled to meet with Li, the Chinese publisher for Method Meets Art and grateful to do some media promo in advance of the release. I’m forever grateful to Tihao Zeng, my guide and translator on this journey.
Despite the highs, this has been an overwhelmingly difficult year for me. I suffered a serious and painful injury to my spine which forced me to cancel a host of book events. I underwent surgery, lifestyle changes, and continue with daily physical therapy. Politically and socially, it’s also been enormously challenging. With so much darkness, I’m more grateful than ever for the rays of light. Wishing you all a peaceful end to 2017 and triumphant 2018.
Love and light,