“This is your brain on Arts” – Keynote at the Spotlight on the Arts

Our keynote address will be delivered this year by Foad Afshar and Michael Ariel from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Melissa Ledo first met them at their session at the NAEA National Convention and was really inspired by their ideas. You will be, too!



The Keynote: This Is Your Brain on Arts

Making art incorporates more brain function than any other activity. Learn what is happening in the brain during creativity while enjoying this interactive presentation of learning activities that engage the whole brain.


Foad Headshot2Foad Afshar was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. He received his bachelors degree from University of Massachusetts, Masters from Harvard University and Doctorate from California Coast University.  Foad has been a lecturer, trainer, researcher and clinician since 1982. He is currently faculty of Psychology and Art Education at the New Hampshire Institute of Art as well as founder of CLEER Institute in Concord, NH. Foad has had several prominent appointments.  In 2010 was elected as the New Hampshire Psychological Association’s President. He is a nationally known speaker who seamlessly integrates his extensive knowledge of psychology, the brain, child development and the arts in his clinical, teaching and training roles.  He is a father of 3 children and husband to one wife.  He lives in Bow, NH and teaches courses in psychology, philosophy and Art Education at the NH Institute of Art.  He also has a small private practice in child and adolescent psychology in Concord, NH.

Head Shot for talkMike Ariel is a professional art educator, artist, and photographer. He has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and an MFA from Boston University.  He has been a public school art teacher for the past 25 years, and adjunct Photography Faculty at the New Hampshire Institute of Art for the past 20 years. His work is included in many private and public collections and he has lectured across the United States, including the last five National Art Education Association Conferences. He is the father of two adult children and married to one woman.