National Endowment for the Arts Selects Kentucky to Participate in Education Leaders Institute
FRANKFORT, Ky. – While there is increasing support for arts education in the K-12 curriculum, it remains on the margins in many schools. To help put more muscle behind the mandates for arts education, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the first round of applicants selected to participate in the Education Leaders Institute. Five teams from states across the country will receive NEA support to discuss arts education challenges at the first Institute, March 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.
The NEA Education Leaders Institute will convene the five teams, which are comprised of school leaders, legislators, policymakers, educators, professional artists, consultants and scholars. The Kentucky team will be led by the Kentucky Department of Education with representatives from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Kentucky Educational Television and Lindy Casebier, a former state senator, executive director of the Arts and Cultural Heritage in the Commerce Cabinet and Oldham County educator.
“The Arts Council is honored to be a part of the Kentucky team because arts education is a very important program area in our agency,” said Kentucky Arts Council Executive Director Lori Meadows. “This opportunity to collaborate with other states to find ways to strengthen arts education policy will have long-lasting benefits for the commonwealth as a whole.”
The five teams were selected by a panel convened by the NEA in partnership with the Illinois Arts Council. These state teams will discuss shared arts education challenges, such as assessment, leadership in arts education, curriculum development, and access to arts learning. As participants exchange ideas, plans for innovative partnerships and programs are expected to emerge, coupled with renewed commitment to arts education at the school-district level. A professional evaluation firm will conduct an independent assessment of the workshop, and an executive summary of the evaluation findings will be available to the public.
The NEA Education Leaders Institute is modeled on the successful Mayors’ Institute of City Design (MICD), a 20-year partnership program of the National Endowment for the Arts, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the American Architectural Foundation. Since 1986, more than 700 mayors and hundreds of design professionals have attended design institutes dealing with urban planning issues such as downtown and waterfront developments, transportation, housing, schools, and public facilities. The NEA Education Leaders Institute seeks to give leaders a similar platform to school leaders, legislators and policymakers to discuss the challenges of arts education and develop concrete strategies to strengthen their states’ arts education policies and programs.
The NEA is working in cooperation with the Illinois Arts Council to implement the Education Leaders Institute. The Illinois Arts Council has broad experience with state and local government collaborations, and expertise in arts-in-education issues. The Council will partner with the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Illinois Arts Alliance, a statewide advocacy agency. The first NEA Education Leaders Institute takes place in March 2008, to be followed by a second institute in the summer of 2008.
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Funding for the work of the Kentucky Arts Council is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.
NEA Learning in the Arts
Since its inception in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has not only maintained support for arts education programs in and outside of school, but has provided leadership in the federal sector and among arts, education, business, and government organizations to develop and sustain an agenda for arts education improvement. The agency has led efforts to make the arts a part of the core education for all pre-K through grade 12 students and to increase opportunities outside of school settings for additional arts learning. The Arts Endowment provides direct grants in Arts Learning, collaborates in federal, state, and public-private partnerships, and conducts research on arts education for the K-12 community and lifelong learners.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The NEA is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts – both new and established – bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
The Kentucky Arts Council invests in programs that develop vibrant communities, provide lifelong education in the arts and support arts participation. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government.