Blog Posts for Arts Education Network

Arts Education Advocacy in a Post-Pandemic World

Posted by Mr. Tooshar K. Swain, Sep 12, 2022 0 comments

National Arts in Education Week is upon us, and it is a wonderful time to reflect on where arts education has been and where it can go with impassioned arts advocacy. K-12 arts students and educators have endured a rocky road through the pandemic, and their perseverance must continue as we head into a new normal of education in the United States. The arts improved the social and emotional well-being of students during the pandemic. In 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, 125 national groups including Americans for the Arts endorsed the Arts Education is Essential Statement affirming the need for all students to have access to equitable arts education opportunities in dance, media arts, music, and theater. The statement was prompted by concerns that cutbacks in staff, funding, and scheduling would put K-12 arts education subject areas at risk, particularly for the traditionally underrepresented, those with special needs, and students from low-income families. While schools throughout the country have resumed in-school learning and arts education programs are thriving in some communities, quality arts programs continue to be limited or not available at all in many schools. The renamed Arts ARE Education statement is a now full-fledged national arts education campaign recognizing that all pre-K through grade 12 students have the right to a high-quality school-based arts education in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. 

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Member Spotlight: Tamar Krames

Posted by Tamar Krames, Linda Lombardi, Jun 02, 2022 0 comments

The Washington State Arts Commission, ArtsWA, nurtures and supports the role of the arts in the lives of all Washingtonians. As the Arts in Education (AIE) Program Manager at ArtsWA, Tamar Krames oversees a variety of programs and partnerships with a focus on equitable access to quality arts learning. Krames is a multimedia artist, National Board-Certified teacher, and arts administrator. Supporting innovative, community-based practices in schools has been at the core of her work for the past 20 years. Current projects include managing Arts in Education grants, providing support for teaching artists and PreK-12 arts teachers, and amplifying the creative practices of youth and educators. Krames holds a Master in Teaching degree from The Evergreen State College and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. 

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Member Spotlight: Mehmet Dede

Posted by Mehmet Dede, Linda Lombardi, Mar 22, 2022 0 comments

The Hartt School at the University of Hartford offers conservatory-based training in music, dance, and theater that moves beyond conservative traditions. Assistant Professor of Music and Performing Arts Management Mehmet Dede is an internationally recognized award-winning music curator and festival producer with 20 years of experience in the culture space. In addition to his work at The Hartt School, he is also the Programming Director of downtown New York City music venue Drom. “My two decades of work as curator and entrepreneur have taught me a powerful life lesson that I apply to my practice as an educator: To stay curious myself and to teach curiosity to my students. I love sharing what I know with others who are equally curious about music, the arts, culture, business, and how they all intersect. Whether college age students or lifelong learners like myself, I believe we have much to learn from each other.”

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Member Spotlight: Priscilla Hopkins-Smith

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Dec 20, 2021 0 comments

Priscilla Hopkins-Smith is the Programs and Communications manager for Arts Ed NJ (previously the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership), the unifying organization and central resource for arts education information, policy, and advocacy in New Jersey. Hopkins-Smith is also the Director of the NJ Governor’s Awards in Arts Education, which is the highest honor that can be received in arts education in New Jersey. With over 15 years of experience in nonprofit communications and administration, Hopkins-Smith’s expertise lies in social media, events, outreach, and community engagement. As programs and communications manager, she works to propel arts education initiatives forward through the #ArtsEdNow campaign, strategic plans, programming, and collaboration.

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Member Spotlight: Ariani Huguenin

Posted by Linda Lombardi, Nov 29, 2021 0 comments

As Program Manager, Ariani Huguenin provides support for Cathedral Arts Project’s (CAP) direct service programs by ensuring Northeast Florida’s teaching artists and students receive the resources and support they need. Since joining CAP in 2017, Huguenin’s portfolio of work has included volunteer engagement, family communication, logistics coordination, and teaching artist support. “Arts education starts with technical skills and leads to life skills that empower students to know their worth and think creatively to problem-solve. At CAP, we have been able to track ‘Why The Arts’ matter through student attendance, behavior, and grade improvement. Quantifiable measures are wonderful, but the greatest impact of arts education is seen in the students that wanted to give up, but persevered and learned something new.”

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Creative Confidence and the Education Revolution

Posted by Camille Zamora, Sep 16, 2021 0 comments

Art-making seeds a certain bone-deep faith in one’s instincts, a deeply grounded sense of comfort that frees one up to try new things. Developing one’s artistry is an exercise in taking risks and living to tell the tale. Mistakes aren’t only tolerated, they’re expected. Built into the artistic process is the act of rough-drafting, rehearsing, reframing, “take-it-again-from-the-top”-ing. The voice will crack at some point as we seek our sweetest, most vulnerable sound, and our foot will falter occasionally as we attempt a new pirouette. Producing meaningful art means that we’ve given ourselves space to experiment, iterate, fall and fail and get up and try again. The opportunity to correct flies in the face of an educational system predicated on the right/wrong binary of standardized testing. It’s radically freeing to look beyond that binary, and creative confidence is the byproduct. With creative confidence in place, anything is possible for our students.

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