National Endowment for the Arts Announces The NEA Education Leaders Institute
Modeled on successful Mayors' Institute of City Design, Institute will convene arts education stakeholders
May 15, 2007
Washington, DC -- With the increasing emphasis on core school subjects such as reading and math, art teachers and art programs are struggling to maintain a place in the regular school schedule. Today, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announces the NEA Education Leaders Institute, a new program that will help increase the commitment of school leaders, state legislators, and policy makers to enhance the quality and quantity of arts education. The NEA Education Leaders Institute will gather teams of school leaders, legislators, policymakers, educators, professional artists, consultants and scholars from up to five states at a three-day conference, to discuss a shared arts education challenge, and engage in strategic planning to advance arts education in their respective states.
The Institutes will commence with a pilot session in March 2008. The Arts Endowment will partner with the Illinois Arts Council to select the five participating states, determine the agenda and plan and implement the NEA Education Leaders Institute. Each state will supply a team of seven members including state department of education officials, governor's cabinet members, superintendents, district-level school leaders, artists, and arts advocates. These state teams will discuss a shared arts education challenge, such as school schedules, assessment, leadership in arts education, curriculum development, and standards. 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.
"This institute will provide a forum for pioneers of education design to reflect on the role of the arts plays in a nation made healthy by broadly educated citizens," said NEA Director of Arts Education Dr. Sarah B. Cunningham. "In addition to serving the arts, arts educators and educators, we look forward to inviting experts from beyond education to contemplate and design ideal education opportunities that draw on, build from and expand arts learning for American children."
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. Many mayors testify that they have emerged from MICD with a better understanding of how design affects civic well being as well as tactical ideas to create lasting city design solutions. 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 develop and implement this new program. The Illinois Arts Council has broad experience with state and local government collaborations, and ample 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 Arts Endowment and the Illinois Arts Council will convene one NEA Education Leaders Institute in March 2008, with up to two institutes per year after that. Using the Mayors' Institute as a model, the NEA Education Leaders Institute eventually will reach school leaders from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories.
With this announcement, The NEA Education Leaders Institute will begin its outreach to state education leaders and arts advocates nationwide. For information on the NEA Education Leaders Institute, call 312-814-6762, e-mail email@example.com, or visit www.state.il.us/agency/iac/.
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National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency