Today marks my sixth month as arts education director for the Kentucky Arts Council. As a veteran teaching artist with many memories in the field, stepping in as director has been a whirlwind of activity. Beyond learning how to manage four arts education programs, I have been trying to wrap my mind around the recent changes in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Arts and Humanities Program Review and the revised National Core Arts Standards. How will these changes affect our arts organizations and teaching artists? How can we help the schools?
Next week is National Arts in Education Week. As the arts council staff discussed the many changes in the field, we focused on how important our Kentucky Arts Partner (KAP) organizations are to the schools across the state. With the newer TranspARTation grant program, bus subsidies to arts organizations have become more important than ever. Field trips, hands-on arts experiences and guest artists now count in the Arts and Humanities Program Review. To be proficient in Demonstrator 3 “teachers must provide models of exemplary artistic performances and products to enhance students’ understanding of an arts discipline and to develop their performance/production skills.” KAP organizations provide rich arts experiences for Kentucky students.
How can we help strengthen that relationship? First, bring together business and education leaders to discuss what tomorrow’s youth need to bring to the workforce: the ability to be innovative and creative. Next, connect the dots between the benefits of arts education and 21st Century work skills. Then, inform our KAP organizations about the Arts and Humanities Program Review, and open up a discussion on how they can work hand in hand with their local school districts.
Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. to discuss how providing students with rich arts experiences today will help ensure tomorrow’s successful workforce. The symposium is offered during National Arts in Education Week, which was passed in 2010 by House Resolution 275, stating congressional support: “Whereas arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theater, media arts, literature, design and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.” The symposium is free and open to the public but does require registration.
Click here to sign up: http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Opportunities/conferences/EBlastCreativityInnovations.htm.
Jean St. John, arts education director