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Commission Continues to Cultivate Arts Essential to Learning

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By Ann Brown, Director of Arts Education –

At the Commission’s fall quarterly meeting, I reported on the continued progress toward Goal 3 of the Commission’s 2015-2019 strategic plan: Thriving TN Arts & Culture. Under Goal 3, Arts Essential to Learning, the Commission’s first objective is to foster arts education for all Tennessee children and youth.

Key strategies and actions to date include:

  1. Work to assure that every public school student has access to high-quality arts education in school.
  • Lesson Plan Database: Ongoing Developed online database to house and disseminate arts-integrated lesson plans for statewide access to all educators. Lessons are searchable by subject areas and aligned with state curriculum standards. Partners include Knox County Schools, Murfreesboro City Schools, Bartlett City Schools, Shelby County Schools, and teaching artists. Database Link
  • Poetry Out Loud: Ongoing – Provides curriculum guides and school support to enable students to learn about their literary heritage through memorization and recitation. Program Link
  • Student Ticket Subsidy: Ongoing – Funds school partnerships with teaching artists and arts/cultural organizations for exposure-based and in-depth learning opportunities aligned with state curriculum standards and assessment strategies for 100,000 students. Grant funds awarded in 95-98% of TN counties annually. Program Link
  • National Arts Education Data Project: OngoingExploring partnership with TDOE, CMA Foundation and Quadrant Research to gather, analyze, report and disseminate school-level data on the status and condition of arts education in Tennessee public schools. Project Link
  • Nashville Arts Magazine: Understanding Access to Arts Education: July 2017 Published article on measuring access to arts education. Article Link
  1. Strengthen alliances of arts, education and community leaders to address arts education policy and practice.
  • Tennessee Arts Academy: July 2017 Participated in week-long Arts Leadership, Administration and Assessment track to develop leadership strategies for district arts leaders on Fine Arts Standards, diversity & inclusion, and arts education policy and practice. Conference Link
  • TN Arts Education Coalition: Ongoing – In absence of a statewide arts education alliance and State Education Agency Director of Arts Education, organizing a working group of arts education leaders to address arts education opportunities and challenges to ensure a high-quality arts education for all Tennesseans. Webinar on new Fine Arts Standards in March 2017.
  • Arts Education Teacher Training Grants: Ongoing – Funds arts alliances in implementing professional development to improve teacher practice. Guidelines Link
  • Americans for the Arts Webinar: Every Student Succeeds Act Implementation Progress – Part 1: Forming a Team: September 2016 – Presented on panel sharing efforts on forming effective working groups for ESSA. Webinar Link
  1. Support arts specialists and teaching artists as integral to arts learning.

Arts Education Teacher Incentive Grants: Ongoing – Funds educators’ professional development to increase knowledge and skills in arts education and arts-integrated instruction. Guidelines Link

Teaching Artist Cohort – Tennessee Arts Academy: July 2017 – Coordinated team of roster teaching artists and arts organization representatives to attend the Tennessee Arts Academy and develop pedagogy. Conference Link

Teaching Artist Roster: Ongoing – Re-designed online searchable database of 100+ teaching artists and institutions that offer arts learning opportunities on the continuum from high quality, exposure-based performances to in-depth arts education residencies in schools. Roster Link

Tennessee Arts Academy: July 2017 – Presented on grant opportunities for the attendees at this annual conference for arts education specialists. Conference Link

 

The second objective under Arts Essential to Learning is to increase capacity of educators and artists to engage the arts to boost student outcomes.

Key strategies and actions to date include:

  1. Support and promote arts integration initiatives.
  • Arts Education Arts360 Grant: Ongoing – Designed new whole-school arts integration, multi-year $55,000 grant to improve instruction and increase student outcomes through arts integration. Guidelines Link
  • Value Plus & Arts360 Schools: Ongoing – Supports network of Title I public schools with demonstrated history of carrying out arts integration. Program Links VPS and Arts360
  • Arts Education Community Learning Grants: Ongoing – Funds innovative arts integration projects in communities and non-traditional school environments. Guidelines Link
  • Workshop on Tennessee Armillary Sphere Sundial Teacher’s Guide: June 2017Coordinated workshop on the Guide for 40 teachers led by teaching artist Cherri Coleman at the Tennessee State Museum. Teacher’s Guide
  • Nashville Arts Magazine: Ring in the New Year with Arts Education Grants: January 2017Published article promoting grant opportunities for educators. Article Link
  1. Foster 21st century learning skills through the arts.
  • Poetry Out Loud: Ongoing – Provides training for teachers to utilize POL Teacher’s Guide to develop 21st century learning skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking through poetry recitation and analysis as well as implementation of classroom and school poetry recitation contests. Resources Link
  1. Facilitate professional development for teachers and artists.
  • Arts360 Cohort at Tennessee Arts Academy: July 2017 – Partnered with Tennessee Arts Academy to provide training for Arts360 and Value Plus teachers in arts integration. Conference Link
  • The Art of Tennessee Workshop: June 2017 – Provided professional development for 40 arts specialists and classroom teachers in partnership with the Tennessee State Museum on art work of Tennessee artists at the Tennessee Residence. Agenda Link
  • Nashville Arts Magazine: Mapping Teacher Training in Tennessee: May 2017 – Published article emphasizing the importance of professional development and promoted eight grantees’ conference offerings. Article Link
  • Nashville Arts Magazine: The Art of Tennessee – Resources for Teachers: June 2017Published article promoting Commission resources for educators including traditional and visual arts. Article Link

 

The third objective under Arts Essential to Learning is to facilitate innovative community arts learning for life-long learners, PK-12 out-of-school time and underserved populations.

Key strategies and actions to date include:

  1. Foster targeted community education initiatives and partnerships to reach diverse populations.
  • Poetry Out Loud: Ongoing – Establishes strategic partnerships with schools such as the Tennessee School for the Blind to ensure access to the Poetry Out Loud. Strategies include hiring teaching artists trained to work with students with disabilities, translating poems in the POL program anthology to Braille, and analyzing scoring criteria from the perspective of participants who are blind. Additional partners include National Endowment for the Arts and VSA TN. Program Link
  • Funds for At-Risk Youth Grant: OngoingProvides funding for schools and arts/cultural organizations to implement arts-based after-school or summer camp programs in which majority of participants are children in grades PK-12 and who are considered at-risk. Guidelines Link
  • Nashville Arts Magazine: Making Poetry Accessible – A Wrap-up of Poetry Out Loud: April 2017Published article on reaching diverse populations through Poetry Out Loud. Article Link
  1. Cultivate high quality arts education in Tennessee’s arts and cultural organizations.
  • Arts Education Community Learning Grants: Ongoing – Funds innovative arts education and arts integration projects in communities and non-traditional school environments. Projects must take place during out-of-school time and are targeted to learners of all ages. Guidelines Link
  • Arts Education Mini-Grants: OngoingFunds roster artists facilitating short-term, hands-on learning experiences in arts and cultural organizations. Guidelines Link
  • Teaching Artist Cohort – Tennessee Arts Academy: July 2017 – Coordinated team of roster teaching artists and arts organization representatives to attend the Tennessee Arts Academy and develop pedagogy. Conference Link
  • Student Ticket Subsidy: Ongoing – Funds school partnerships with teaching artists and arts/cultural organizations for exposure-based and in-depth learning opportunities aligned with state curriculum standards and assessment strategies for 100,000 students. Grant funds awarded in 95-98% of TN counties annually. Program Link
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