SUU Leads Arts Ed in Utah with Kennedy Center Backing

Published: June 01, 2012 | Category: Arts

The Utah Alliance for Arts Education has been chosen to join the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAEN). A program of the Kennedy Center, KCAAEN is a coalition of statewide not-for-profit alliances for arts education to support policies, practices, and partnerships to ensure the arts are an essential part of K-12 education in the United States.

Southern Utah University—the State of Utah’s designated liberal arts and sciences university—first considered and plays a lead role in the Utah Alliance for Arts Education, now a national partnership in arts education with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. SUU has long been an advocate for arts education in Utah, creating and promoting policies, partnerships and creative programs throughout the state; the Utah Alliance will take such efforts on SUU’s campus and across the state to a greater level of influence.

With this partnership, the Utah Alliance for Arts Education is positioned to build a statewide network of resources, training and leading research on best practices in the field. The organization plans to provide for professional development and in-service training for arts educators and the arts education workforce; commissioning of literary, visual and performing art works in support of arts education; advocacy activities including media training, leadership training and advocacy toolkits; as well as the collection and dissemination of significant studies.

“The arts must be part of a complete education,” said Darrell M. Ayers, the Kennedy Center’s vice president of education. “With the Utah Alliance for Arts Education joining the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network, we look forward to working together to ensure that every child in Utah has the arts as part of their education.”

Raymond T. Grant, Southern Utah University's academic program officer who will lead the Utah Alliance for Arts Education effort said, "As the first state in the United States to establish an arts council, Utah has a distinguished history in the arts. The honor of being accepted into the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network allows us to champion ever more intently the vital role of arts education in the state."

As a member of the Network, the Utah Alliance for Arts Education will enjoy significant benefits including participation in arts education initiatives and awards programs, ongoing professional development including free national conferences, organizational memberships in national associations, executive coaching, participation in expert-led conference calls, and news and information services from Kennedy Center staff.

The KCAAEN is a coalition of 34 statewide, not-for-profit organizations that work to improve access to and quality in arts education for all children. Annually, the network confers the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and National School Boards Association Award upon one school board for support of arts education in its district.

In addition to Grant’s leadership role in the new Utah Alliance, board members from SUU include: Lisa Cluff of Art Works for Kids, Deb Hill, dean of SUU’s College of Education and Human Development, Jim McDonald, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Carrie Trenholm, the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Endowed Chair in Elementary Arts Education at SUU.

About Education at the Kennedy Center

For more than 35 years, educational programming has been at the central core of the Kennedy Center’s mission. The Kennedy Center, along with its affiliates/partners (the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Opera and VSA), offers inclusive educational performances and programs in the arts to people of all ages. The educational resources focus on producing, presenting, and touring performances and educational events for young people and their families; school- and community-based residencies and other programs that directly impact teachers, students, administrators, and artists through professional development; systemic and school improvement through the arts and arts integrated curricula; partnerships; creating and providing educational materials via print and the Internet; the development of careers in the arts for young people and aspiring professionals; and strengthening the management of arts organizations.

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