Professional Practice

Behind the Scenes of the AOEU Podcasts (Ep. 212)

In today’s episode, AOEU Podcast Director Tim Bogatz joins Nic to share stories about their respective podcasts and talk about what happens behind the scenes while recording. They share some of their best stories, talk about their favorite episodes, and some of the guests they love talking to. But before all of that happens, Nic has a big announcement you need to hear. Full Episode Transcript Below.

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Nic: Today, Tim Bogatz and I are going to have a conversation about what it’s like to be a podcast host for The Art of Education University. This is going to be actually probably one of my favorite podcasts because Tim Bogatz is one of my favorite friends. We have a lot in common and I can’t wait to talk to you about behind the scenes, what happens with our podcast, it’s going to be a lot of fun. This is Everyday Art Room and I’m your host, Nic Hahn. Welcome Tim, I’m so glad we got a chance to talk about this. This is going to be a lot of fun.

Tim: I hope so, Nic. I always love talking to you. Thanks for inviting me on and yeah, like you said, this should be a fun conversation.

Nic: Yeah. We were talking about what we wanted to discuss during this time and actually, Tim, will you go ahead and just share why we are doing this podcast?

Tim: You sure you don’t want to share it?

Nic: Okay. I will share it. Here we go. Very soon, I’m going to be stepping back from my role as Everyday Art Room host. And it was a very big decision for me because I enjoy this job so much, but it’s time to move on and just have someone else come into this position. I’m super excited about whoever is going to be taking this on next. We will find out probably altogether but yes, I am moving. I don’t… Not beyond, not changing, just letting this go. I spend two and a half years and I just really felt like it was a good time to make an exit. So Tim and I decided that we would have this conversation with all of you, because we thought it’d be fun to talk about what it’s like to be a podcast host for The Art of Education, what it looks like, the good, the bad, the ugly, everything in between. So does that sum it up?

Tim: Yeah, for sure. No, it definitely does. I think we should tell everybody that this is a very amicable split and we still like each other a lot. And this is not like Nic saying, “I’m done with you guys,” or me firing Nic, that’s not the case at all. It just… like you said, it’s time to wrap things up and it’s been yeah, almost two and a half years, which is a long, long time to host this podcast. But I think it’s worth celebrating, you’ve done some incredible work and I’m glad we can have this conversation to let people in behind the scenes and talk about what it’s been like for you hosting and just everything that’s out there for podcast hosts. So can I put a quick plug in really quickly?

Nic: Mm-hmm (affirmative) Please do.

Tim: Okay. So not just Everyday Art Room, but we’re going to be expanding lots of podcast offerings in 2022. So we’re looking for a host for the show, but we’re also looking for people to develop some new podcasts for next year. So we have a few things in mind, a few plans already in motion, but we’re looking for more. So if anybody wants to go to the AOEU website and check out the podcast host application, we’re definitely looking for more people. So anyway…

Nic: Well and let me expand on that. So we do have a third mini, it was a miniseries or… how did you describe that with our SEL podcasts that we did?

Tim: Yeah, I think miniseries is a perfect description and just eight episodes that dove in really deep to social emotional learning, which we thought was an important topic. Jonathan Juravich was a great host for that. And he found some fantastic guests, put together a great podcast and we’re looking to do more things like that. So if people have ideas for a quick series dealing with anything in art education, we’re open to ideas.

Nic: And so you’re looking for experts as well as people that feel confident or could see themselves in this role.

Tim: Exactly.

Nic: Got it. I like that idea. I think… I really liked Johnathan’s podcast. It was really done nicely and it’s nice and concise. You can go there searching for this one topic and just have this plethora of information, where you and I run a more random norm, is that it? Topic of conversation, it kind of more what’s happening in pop culture at the time. So yeah. That’s going to be a good addition, definitely.

Tim: Yeah. I hope so. And so, yeah. Like I said, we have some things planned. We also have lots of… yeah, just cool ideas coming but we are looking for even more ideas. So if there’s something that you think deserves a few episodes on a podcast, a topic to dive into, we’d love to hear the ideas. So I’ll encourage everybody listening to put an application if that’s something that-

Nic: Every single person. Wow, that’s going to be a lot of applications. But what does it look like to apply? What are you asking from people who are applying?

Tim: It’s pretty quick, we just want a rundown of what your idea might be, talk about shows, what you would want them to look like or sound like. We asked for a quick video just introducing yourself, so we get an idea of your presence on camera, on the microphone. And just a few short questions and if we like what we see, we’ll ask for a little bit more after that.

Nic: I love it. Yeah. That’s a really good way. And I like that idea of having the video because I think that does have to be your presence. So you definitely have a presence, not-

Tim: I was just going to complement your presence.

Nic: Yes. The love in this podcast, it’s going to be a lot today.

Tim: Hey, so let’s talk about what it takes to host a podcast, I don’t know, it’s a little bit of a grind to do it week after week after week, for sure. But can you just talk about, I guess from your perspective, what is the best part about hosting and what is… I don’t know if I want to say the worst, we don’t want to discourage people here, but what are some of the things that aren’t quite as appealing?

Nic: Yeah, sure, or the reality, right?

Tim: Yeah.

Nic: That’s what we’re talking about. The worst isn’t… There’s a lot of worst or worster things out there definitely. But yeah, let’s start with the best, okay? That’s the way this podcast generally runs for me. And I think the best part for me is just having this platform to discuss all the thoughts or the ideas or the questions, or the conversations that I have with other individuals who are running this exact same life, teaching multiple age groups specifically in the elementary. I just absolutely love having this platform that we can pretty much run in any direction that we feel fit. Of course, that’s been through much trust that has been built between AOEU and myself, and then also just having discussions. We definitely have a team of people that we bring ideas to and bounce ideas off from.

And what is wonderful with this team is that is… let’s say that there’s… I think there’s 10 of us in this group, and each of us have hundreds of contacts beyond. So that’s the really wonderful thing about our team and finding… like, “Okay, I really think we need to talk about classroom management right now,” and I bring it to the team and one person… Tim might say, “Oh, I know the top three people that you need to talk to.” And then maybe Sarah Kowalski is like, “Oh yeah, but then also add in this person and this person.” So also then moving me into the next thing.

I’m making a lot of connections and contacts with people all over the world and in doing so I’m learning from individuals, not just in my own content area but in my state, beyond my state and beyond our nation. It’s global, some of the people that we’ve talked to and learned from on this podcast. So I’ve definitely enjoyed those two things is connecting with people, having this place to talk about whatever is important at the time, as well as allowing people to have a platform as well to talk about their passions. So that’s been really exciting. Those are my three best. How about you? What’s your favorite parts?

Tim: I would absolutely echo two of those ideas. Number one, just being able to find people that are doing cool things in the art room or in education, or in the art world and just being able to elevate those ideas, I think it’s really cool to find people and be able to share their ideas with a bigger audience. And then secondly in conjunction with sharing that, as a host you’re learning at the same time like you said, it’s magical to move from, maybe a few teachers in your district and maybe a little bit with your state level conference and that’s all you talk to, but then all of a sudden the entire world is opening up to you and you’re learning from teachers in California, in New Jersey and literally everywhere in between. And like you said, all over the world and just being able to learn from so many different people is an incredible experience, and I think that’s maybe the best part for me of being able to host a podcast.

Nic: Yeah. Great connections. And what has turned out to be friendships in many cases, which is pretty fun. Yeah.

Tim: Okay. So let’s get real though. What are the things that are a drag for you? What do you not like so much when it comes to hosting?

Nic: Yeah. Well, as all of the listeners know for both Art Ed Radio and Everyday Art Room, this is a weekly show. And so because of that, think of any life that is being lived, there is ebb and flow of how busy you are or not, or even creativity wise. We have our lows with all of these things and that definitely sometimes has become a little overwhelming. Now I’m the type of person who really likes to have multiple show done ahead of time and have it all ready for Tim, who… Tim, you’re listening to my podcast prior to everybody else. But that weekly deadline is becoming a lot for me because I can’t even remember what I’ve talked about.

So like, oh, I have this really good idea. Oh wait, that was episode 103. Oh. But maybe I could… and we can revisit those conversations definitely. But coming up with fresh new ideas weekly has been a little… it’s just now, two and a half years later getting to be a little bit much. So initially it was really easy for me and I did a really okay job with that, but that’s getting a little bit more cumbersome. Planning and connecting with people because one of my favorite things to do with the podcast is I do have a lot of solo podcasts, but I really like interviewing. I really like discussing with other people, their passions.

And so in order to make that happen, you connect with the person and then you plan with the person and you go back and forth in emails or Instagram or whatever it is. There’s a lot of back and forth before the actual conversation happens. So and I’m really, really bad at time zones. So if they’re not… I was so excited to have this conversation with you, I said, “We’re going to meet at this time.” We both have the same time. We don’t have to say your time, my time. It was easy today. But time zones, that’s a hard struggle. And that’s a personal thing, I think. Do you have a hard time with time zones?

Tim: I don’t. My mind just automatically connects them like, “Oh, California, two hours earlier.” But I’ve learned in this job, not everybody’s brain works like that. And so yeah, it can be a challenge for sure. But yeah, no, I would again just say the same thing as you as far as being a drag, the weekly idea of coming up with new topics and finding people to talk to, and then making those connections is always difficult. And I think now when everybody is feeling so busy, possibly feeling burnt out, it’s really tough for me to ask for even more of their time, I feel bad about that, which I shouldn’t. People agree to do it, they know what’s involved and I shouldn’t feel bad if they say yes, but I still do, it’s tough to find people, it’s tough to ask for their time.

But at the same time it goes back to the idea of being able to connect with people, being able to share and elevate their ideas. And I think that’s valuable for everybody who listens, and so that’s just what I keep in mind as we’re going through the weekly grind of putting this all together.

Nic: Yeah. And I think that’s the thing, all of these… when we were brainstorming what’s the best, what’s the reality of things. There’s a solution for everything and I mentioned that team earlier. So even when it came to planning and we can talk about this again later, but when it comes to planning or coming up with the next idea, or even connecting with people, reaching out to The Art of Education University’s team is this amazing resource. So anytime we need a little extra help, we can just pop on and have that conversation with other people and people are there to help out. So it’s really… there’s solutions for all the problems, maybe not the time zone problem.

Tim: Hey, so can we talk about that now? Can you talk about just how you find guests or how you decide on topics?

Nic: Yeah, for me what my favorite thing is using Instagram. I initially had a blog and that’s how I became part of this bigger world than just in my classroom. And that started in 2010, but over time it went into Twitter for me. I was this Twitter nerd for a long time and then that has morphed into Instagram. So currently that’s where I find most of my guests, just following a very broad variety of people, reaching out to them if I think that they have this amazing website or this idea, or they’re seeing something that is interesting to me. And then sometimes putting out some polls, asking about a certain topic that has been very useful lately and people that respond, I might reach out to them and just say, “Hey, are you willing to tell me a little bit more about that?”

So that’s one way that I have connected with new people, but I have a long career of art education and I’ve been fortunate enough to go to NAEA conferences and be… like I said, part of different organizations, such as the K12ArtChat. And so I’ve had this opportunity to put my fingers and my feelers out there and meet so many individuals. And this has been a really fun time to say, “Hey, I know this person who does amazing stuff in their classrooms. I wonder if they’re able to have a conversation with us and the rest of the world and share their amazing ideas.” And so it’s been really fun to highlight my friends as well as the new people that are interesting to me on Instagram. How about you? What is your technique?

Tim: Same. I feel like I’m just repeating everything you said.

Nic: Yeah. You just keep saying same. All right. I like your answer. The next one first, how about that?

Tim: That’s fine. Now, you talked about how you were a Twitter nerd way back in the day, and I’ve never outgrown that, I’m still a Twitter nerd, that is my social media of choice and I have not made my way to Instagram, which I know is shocking as an art teacher. I still creep on there sometimes, but Twitter is where I find people. I like the discussion a lot more than I like the pictures, and so that’s just what suits me. And so, yeah, I find a lot of people from social media in that way and then like you said, through AOEU, I’ve been lucky enough to go to state conferences, go to national conferences, just make so many connections there and it’s been incredibly helpful to do that both for finding presenters for the NOW Conference and finding guests for Art Ed Radio.

And I think there’s a lot of overlap there sometimes where I’ll have a good podcast and say, “Oh, Hey, they would be great at the conference or they’d have a conference presentation, like we need to talk more about this on the podcast.” And so just being able to make those connections and develop those relationships is always a lot of fun, and definitely there’s just so many great art teachers out there, but it’s fun to make those connections with them and bring them on the show.

Nic: Yeah, for sure. And let me clarify, I still love Twitter but it’s been a while. You’re still rocking it if you’re on Twitter for sure.

Tim: Okay. Fair enough.

Nic: Yes, I will go ahead and say that is another perk of even being a guest on either of these podcasts or the podcasts that are offered through The Art of Education University is it does become somewhat of a springboard for other opportunities, such as you mentioned the Now Conference, that’s a big reason that I have let go of some of that guilt of asking for time is because a lot of times it leads to more opportunities for that individual. So that’s a good point. Hey, I’m going to let you talk about this next one first.

Tim: Okay. Sounds good.

Nic: Okay. How do you decide on the topics that you’re going to be talking about with your guests or on your own?

Tim: Oh, that’s a good question. Sometimes it’s just things that I’m interested in or things that I found online, whether I see a cool article and want to talk to the author, I’ve read a good book and want to talk to who wrote it, then that’s great. If I find good ideas on Twitter or teachers doing really cool things, like you mentioned with Instagram I can say, “Hey, can you tell me more about this? Would you be interested in doing an interview about this?” And so that can develop pretty easily. And sometimes it’s just what’s happening in the world and sometimes that’s heavy topics, but just a beginning or end of September, beginning of October, I just did a couple episodes on what’s going on in the art world, because there are just so many stories about Christo wrapping the L’Arc de Triomphe and fan like Jasper Johns and a guy who stole $84,000 from the museum and gave them empty canvases.

There’s just so many cool things going on that it’s fun to be able to talk about those. And that’s another cool thing with the weekly show, you can pivot really quickly and if there’s something big happening, you can talk about it immediately. So I don’t know. Would you to say same to those ideas like I did-

Nic: Same.

Tim: … or do you want to expand that?

Nic: Except not at all and that’s what I love about us. We have similar personalities as far as getting along and but also in a lot of ways, we’re very, very different and that’s what made our two podcasts a really good harmony to each other, because I have no clue what’s happening in the art world, none. And so I have to listen to your podcast to find out what… and I’m always like, “Oh, that’s a good one.” What I immersed myself in is the projects and the management, and the classroom. And that’s where I have most of my interests and so I think that’s where I’m looking. And so I think it’s really fun to have different personalities and roles like these because there’s always going to be someone who’s going to connect to you in some way. So I’m glad that you go there for your topics because I go to other places. Actually, I know we both… When you mentioned this, we are often looking at pop culture and what is happening socially in our culture.

And we address those issues right away, especially the big ones, that’s something that I’m very proud of in our podcasts is that we don’t shy away from some of the hard conversations. We have those hard conversations and we’re making sure that we are highlighting who we can, what we can, and saying the things that need to be discussed and finding the people to talk to about that. So that’s one of my favorite ways to look for topics, is just looking at the world even though we have different perspectives in how we look at the world, we’re both doing that in a similar way. Also, I’d like to mention I brought up our team a couple of times. So what would you call that team, a media team?

Tim: Yeah, or professional development team.

Nic: Okay. Yeah. And we have a group of, I don’t know, anywhere from six to eight people that are in this team, and we were able to get together in Milwaukee this summer and have conversations about, “Well, what is the most important things in art teacher’s worlds right now?” And that’s where the brain child of 1, 2, 3 ART.

Tim: 1, 2, 3 ART. Yeah, our YouTube series.

Nic: Our YouTube series. And that was put together with Lindsey Moss and Lindsey McGuinness, orchestrated the whole thing and made it really beautiful. And I’m so proud to be part of that conversation, that was the brainchild of that. And that was a really good conversation for both our podcasts and our… what we were doing in pro, what we are doing on flex, what we are doing on our YouTube, what we’re doing on Instagram live, all of those players were part of that conversation. And so we were able to feed off from each other and use the same resources, and talk about the same topics in many different platforms. So that was a lot of fun to find topics and work with our team.

Tim: Yeah, for sure. For sure. Okay. So while you were talking about just world happenings, reflecting on those in podcasts, it made me think back to a series of episodes you did right after George Floyd was killed. And I really… sorry to take this to a dark place.

Nic: No. We’re not afraid of that.

Tim: No. You did these incredible episodes that talked about, “Hey, here is the perspective from Minneapolis where I’m living, where this is happening right now.” And then you found people in your community to talk to, and then you found an episode that was all about, “Here’s what I’m trying to do to help heal my community.” And I think those were just a really powerful series of episodes and they’re maybe some of my favorite ones that you did, even if it is a difficult topic. So I don’t know if I want to call those favorites, but I think they are just so well done, something to be proud of. Do you have favorite episodes? Were those something that you were happy you did? You have other ideas that come to mind when you talk about some of your favorite ones that you’ve done?

Nic: Yeah. I can’t even… It’s really hard for me to peg specific interviews or conversations that I’ve had that are my favorite, but I will tell you that I end up choking up, almost crying more than not. And it’s because I do have such a passion in what I’m sharing on this podcast, and it’s probably the thing that I’m going to miss the most, is having this opportunity to speak to whoever you are out there, besides my mother-in-law who always listens and Tim Bogatz, but the rest you just have this conversation and be vulnerable in front of other like-minded people, or maybe not like-minded and that’s okay too. I’m glad that you’re listening and maybe rebelling against what I’m saying, I don’t know. But yeah, I don’t know. When I think about the interviews, of course, Peter Reynolds pops out right away because we had this really fun interview that wasn’t just Peter, it ended up being his twin brother Paul as well.

And we forced Paul into this and it was such a special conversation and really fun to bring in his brother whose so pivotal in his career, they really are joined together in what they do, so it was fun to have both voices involved. And also it was fun to have you with me in that conversation as well, because we got to share it. We got to-

Tim: I was going to say, just being able to observe that and sit back and produce and enjoy, it was a great experience. I love listening to those guys.

Nic: It was super fun. It was really fun. Yeah. So having those two, for sure. Sorry.

Tim: No, I was just going to ask, who else beyond that? Does anybody stand out to you as like, “Oh, I love talking to this person,” or, “Oh, we are friends now after doing this podcast.” Who are some of your memorable guys?

Nic: Yeah. For sure, it was fun to talk with my old friends and I don’t mean in age, of course. I’m talking in length. Yaz Gate in Australia is super fun to always talk with her. I talked to her on a regular basis just to see what’s happening in the grumblers of course with K12ArtChat, which just goes to show that Twitter’s still very cool.

Yes Twitter’s cool. One of my oldest friends is Don Masse, of course, I love speaking with him anytime. And it was really fun to have the conversation live on a podcast. Cassie Stephens joined me not too long ago and just give an update of what has happened since, because she was actually the original.

Tim: Yeah. Original Everyday Art Room host.

Nic: Yeah. Podcast host. So having her back on was a lot of fun, but just also meeting new friends like Kit Lang, who has worked with The Art of Education quite a bit as well. Joe Boat Flippeers, just a lot of fun. And really, we haven’t had a big conversation with him, just a little snippet, but man, I love that guy. He’s just a lot of fun.

And then of course, one of my favorite interviews and friendship sense is Candido Crespo, we have had hard conversations, not only in our podcasts but outside of the podcast, he has taught me a ton and I have just completely enjoyed being a little cheerleader on the sideline of what I see him posting on a regular basis on social media. So those are some highlights for me. Do you have… How long have you been doing Art Ed Radio?

Tim: Oh, my God. Forever, five years now, something like that. It’s been a long time.

Nic: So your very favorite one. Just choose one, just kidding.

Tim: Can I choose two at least?

Nic: Yeah. Okay, choose two.

Tim: Sir Ken Robinson is obviously just a career highlight. In 2017, I got to speak with him, he was keynoting our Now Conference. I got to fly out to LA and interview him in person. He was just the nicest man and probably the smartest person I’ve ever talked to in my life, and it was an incredible one for me. And then just a couple of years ago, right before the pandemic hit, I got to go to Brooklyn and go to CJ Henry’s Studio and interview her. It was such a cool experience to see all of her incredible colored pencil drawings up close, and she was just so much fun to talk to and hang out with. Those are definitely… excuse me, two of my favorites.

Nic: Yeah, for sure. I can… Yeah. I think if I got to fly to LA or something, that would be a favorite for me as well. Okay. I will tell you, sometimes it looks different how we do our podcast hosting, okay?

Tim: Okay. So, Hey, real quick. I know I’ve talked too much. We’ve gone way over time but-

Nic: Both of us have, yeah.

Tim: … I am curious before we shut this down, do you have anything else that you want to tell people about how great this job is and why they should apply for it?

Nic: Yeah. Actually, truly there’s a lots. There’s lots. This is an amazing platform. I do have people that reach out to me on a regular basis just saying, “Thank you for that. I appreciate that.” And I know for every one person that’s actually taking their time to send me an Instagram message. There’s probably more that are appreciative of the conversation that’s happening. I also absolutely love giving other people a platform to share their passions, that’s by far my favorite part is listening to others, giving them the space, giving them highlights and just celebrating what’s happening in other people’s worlds.

And then of course The Art of Education University’s team. I have always… I think I started… I don’t know the date that I started working with AOEU but it was before the U, I’ll tell you that. Long before the U, the university part of it. But I did teach classes initially and just to have this longevity with Jess, we were both bloggers and that’s how we met and started conversing. And I don’t know, I’ve just been with the team so very long and it’s been super fun to watch it grow and watch it develop, and watch it turn into what it is today.

Tim: Yeah, for sure. That’s very well said. So. Awesome. Well, Nic, I’ll get out of your hair now. Thanks for inviting me on to chat about all of this.

Nic: Yeah, no, it was really… It’s always fun to talk to you, Tim.

Tim: Oh, thanks.

Nic: It was really fun to talk about my job with someone who’s working a similar job. Tim Bogatz is just so much fun to talk to at any time, but then also to just have this conversation where we just basically said same the whole time. In a lot of words, we both feel passionate about what we’re doing. We both love this job and it’ll be super difficult to leave, but I know it’s time and I know The Art of Education University has lots of up and coming artists, art teachers that will just be able to share so many other perspectives.

And I’m very excited to see where this conversation goes in the upcoming weeks and months and years. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your life the last little bit, last two and a half years. It was absolutely a ride that I’ll never forget. Thank you so much.

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.