Portrait of an Arts Advocate: Baba Jubal Harris

Baba JubalBaba Jubal Harris
Teaching Artist

Baba Jubal Harris, BSEd. is the founder of the Ohio Heart Beat Drum Circle. He is the 2015 recipient of the Ohio Heritage Fellowship, and is a master teaching artist with the Ohio Arts Council’s Arts Learning program. Harris is a member of OAAE’s Artists in Schools roster.

Q: How did you participate in the arts as a child?

A: As a child I danced, played percussion, trumpet, French horn and flute. I enjoyed drawing, photography and woodworking. I participated in art class at the Cincinnati Museum of Art. I performed in school band and orchestra throughout grade school.

Q: Describe your favorite “a-ha moment” in arts education.

A: My favorite “a-ha moment” came when I realized that I enjoyed teaching the arts as well as performing. I discovered I had the ability to integrate the arts into academics and make learning very enjoyable.

Q: How do you practice creativity in your own life and / or what inspires you?

A: The simple joy of allowing myself to be creative inspires me to discover more. It allows me to collaborate with people who are innovative, inspiring and creative. I meet these people in all walks of life every day and each one of them inspires me. I practice creativity by sharing my creativity.

Q: Name one puzzle, or problem, you are working on in the field right now.

A: One puzzle I am working on right now is how to help parents, administrators and educators gain an appreciation for the fact that the arts are not separate from academics but are an integral part of the whole learning process.

Q: Name an arts educator who impacted you and how they influenced your younger days.

A: Dr. Chuck Davis, Baba Ishangi, Fotala Borde, and Mrs. DuPrist were arts educator who impacted me, may they rest in peace. They showed me by their example what excellence requires. They taught me how to give “peace, love and respect to everybody” through the arts.

Q: What can the average person do to advocate for more and / or stronger arts education in local schools?

A: Talk to school board members, administrators, teachers and parents about the value of the arts in your child’s life and in your community. Address issues in the arts and arts education that have an impact on people’s lives. Vote for candidates who work to provide your child with high quality arts education. Attend performances and art shows at community schools. Develop good relationships with merchants in your community who support the arts and art education. 

The Portrait of an Art Advocate is a monthly feature profiling an OAAE member active in advocating for arts education in Ohio.  If you’d like to submit your information, or to learn more about this feature email akruse@oaae.net.



About OAAE

It is the mission of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to ensure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. We believe that: * All children in school must have quality arts education provided by licensed arts educators * All Ohioans have the right to expect quality arts education * All arts programs must have adequate resources * All arts and cultural organizations and artists have a critical role in arts education Learn more at www.oaae.net.
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