Learning Journeys


This year’s Learning Journeys are limited to roughly 25 people each and are filled via registration on a first come first served basis. They are optional events and come at an additional fee of:

1 day: $100 USD

2 days: $140 USD

Register for the AIN World Conference 2017 and a Learning Journey (or two) on the AIN17 Registration website.

Register for a Learning Journey (or two) ONLY, email us.

Instructor Bios & Conference Schedule can be found at https://ain17.sched.com

The Learning Journeys are presented by AIN and bigSTORY


Tuesday, August 22: Learning Journey Day 1

Un-Fake the News:

Your chance to help Un-Fake the News! First, you’ll take a guided tour through the history of L.A., as experienced through the archives and classic art deco architecture of the L.A. Times, the city’s newspaper of record. You’ll lunch with Times management, and then participate in a workshop exploring the future of journalism in L.A., with Times employees. Bård Braende leads this unique endeavor.

Location: Los Angeles Times

Flyer (pdf)


Wild, Wonderful West:

Explore fresh histories and narratives at one of the largest urban parks in North America–Griffith Park! Join us for a unique day of play, storytelling, and culture. We’ll start the morning off in the park, warming ourselves up with improv games and activities related to history, story, narrative, and culture. Following lunch, we will get our own VIP tour of the Autry Museum of the American West. Some museums can be boring, stuffy, sterile, and irrelevant… but not this one! Voted “Favorite Museum” by Los Angeles Daily News Readers in 2014, 2015, and 2016, the museum is bringing stories of all peoples of the American West in fresh, entertaining ways. From singing cowboys to Latino political movements to their current highlight exhibit on PLAY, a super playful games and toys exhibit, this one-of-a-kind collection of art and iconography from the American West is like none other. After touring the museum, the staff has invited AIN to explore how applied improv can boost their efforts to deepen and honor the people and events usually ignored by common cowboy narratives. Learning Journey participants will join with museum staff in an actual AI workshop. This joint-workshop, run by Chris Esparza and Barbara Tint, will focus on exploring multi-cultural histories and building more inclusive, diverse learning spaces. You can look forward to a day of deep learning, playing, and expanding our collective stories.

Location: Autry Museum of the American West

Flyer (pdf)


Gangsta Garden & Cultural Exchange:

The L.A. story has been influenced by many cultures, one of the most profound being its African American roots. This Learning Journey takes you on a tour of two of South Central L.A.’s most storied venues, Leimert Park, a hub of African American culture in L.A., and Ron Finley’s ‘Gangsta Garden,’a world landmark in the food justice movement. Includes a sustainability-themed activity conducted by Toby Butterfield at the Gangsta Garden; and an improv jam session with local artists at the World Stage in Liemert Park that will be facilitated by Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher. And soul food. The journey ends with soul food from 5 to 6 pm catered by L.A.’s famed Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen.

Location: Gangsta Garden

Flyer (pdf)


Level-Up Applied Improvisation:

Do you work with (or want to work with) groups, organizations, and individuals, and add a ton of new activities, techniques, and concepts to your toolkit? Whether your focus is business, education, social/medical services or personal growth, this is the learning journey for you! Throughout the day, Alan Montague and Izzy Gesell will provide you with theories and exercises that you can use in your work.

Location: The California Endowment Center



Wednesday, August 23: Learning Journey Day 2

The Quest: Hollywood:

The Quest will help you become a more engaged listener, be more present, curious, and attentive, increase your self-awareness and be more open to new experiences, especially on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It will help you understand the significance of the larger patterns that unfold on the stage, in your life and the world. The skills learned during The Quest and the insights revealed as a result are truly powerful.
Described by participants as, “completely transformational”, The Quest is an improvisational structure developed by the legendary improv guru Del Close. Jeanne Lambin facilitates this incredible experience.

Presented in partnership with The Second City Hollywood.

TCL Chinese Theatre
Hollywood’s Walk of Fame
The Second City Hollywood

Flyer (pdf)


Disney Animation Studio Tour & Creativity Workshop:

It’s a dream Journey for fans of animation. You’ll first tour Disney’s newly-remodeled Animation Building, then participate in a lunchtime discussion and demonstration of applied improv with Disney artists in the Animation Studio Theater. Following lunch, you’ll participate in a workshop with Disney Animation’s communication team, facilitated by Mike Bonifer and Paul Z. Jackson. Your memorable Journey will conclude with a tour of the Walt Disney Studios, conducted by legendary Disney storyteller, Howard E. Green.

Location: Walt Disney Animation in Burbank

Flyer (pdf)


The Way of the Mindful Improviser:

Like many wisdom traditions, mindfulness and improvisation can help us slow down, get present, and connect authentically.

When woven together, mindfulness gains a playful, interactive expression and improv develops a well-grounded depth. Together, they cultivate the kind of courageous, creative, charismatic presence that helps us savor life’s blessings and respond artfully to life’s challenges.

This workshop, led by Ted DesMaisons, will offer a glimpse into the power that comes from combining these traditions. Together, we’ll create a safe learning lab that uses experiential exercises to sharpen self-awareness and revitalize relationship with the outside world. Well train the muscles of playful attention, dig into the power of “Yes, and,” retrain our reactions to so-called failure, and learn to connect with ourselves and others more resourcefully through acting coach Patsy Rodenburg’s “Second Circle” of awareness. And we’ll do all that while laughing a lot.

Please note: All levels of improvisation and mindfulness experience are welcome.

Location: The California Endowment Center.

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2019 AIN World Conference, New York on 8-11 August 2019.


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