Material Conversations and Idea Formations

"I don’t really invent or start from scratch. I am a recycler or collagist bringing together ideas, people, and places. The combinations are infinite; the work never ending. It’s the ultimate matchmakers job!"

Amy Snider


Join us for our Spring Symposium at Educational Alliance and home to Teaching Beyond the Square’s Materials Center, as we delve into various processes of converting materials and discovering ideas for creative experiences in classrooms. The Symposium will begin with an open house at Educational Alliance Preschool, giving participants to opportunity to explore the classrooms, hear from teachers, and learn more about curriculum at this school which serves children ages one through four. Afterwards, we will gather together to cut, tear, tie, weave, wrap, hang, twist, knit, combine, and sew fabric. Using a variety of fabrics and tools, we will work to answer the question of how textiles, a material that is discarded in overwhelming quantities in New York City, can foster learning and development in our youngest learners. We will reflect on this question together during breakout discussion groups. Join us after the Symposium for refreshments in our Materials Center to continue the conversation.

Material Conversions and Idea Formations

General Public = $35
Members = $20
Students = $10

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*Students and members need to enter the appropriate discount code during checkout

Symposium Program

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017
Educational Alliance Preschool at The Manny Cantor Center
197 East Broadway
4:00 - 7:00pm

  • 4:00 - 5:00   Check-in, Open House at Educational Alliance Preschool
    and The Materials Center, Light Refreshments

  • 5:00 - 6:15   Textiles: Conversations and Transformations
    • Converting Fabric into Yarn, Ribbon and Rope
    • Weaving on Traditional, Homemade, and “Found” Looms
    • When Textiles Meet Light
    • Creating Spaces with Fabric
    • Sewing
    • Soft Books
    • Tiny Textile Sculptures
    • Fabric and Attachers
  • 6:20 - 7:00   Breakout groups: Age cohort groups
    • How do our perceptions of a simple material change when combined with tools and ideas?
    • What are some implications for pedagogical practices based on our experiences with transforming fabric?
  • 7:15 - 8:00   Reception at The Materials Center