2014 National Forum







View the 2014 National Forum Schedule

The Arts Education Partnership is Pittsburgh bound for its 2014 National Forum on Arts and Education: Preparing Students for the Next America in and through the Arts on September 11-12, 2014. Some of the nation’s most influential leaders will convene to explore arts-centered solutions as states and school districts across the country implement higher learning expectations aimed at ensuring America’s young people leave high school ready for college, careers, and citizenship. AEP believes the arts can lead the way for change during this seminal moment in American education.

Registration and Hotel - Register Now!

The Marriott City Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh welcomes you as the official hotel of AEP’s National Forum, and offers attendees the special rate of $159/night. Book your stay online or call 412.471.4000.

Registration Rates:

  • August 25 - September 10- Late Registration: $300

Registration includes:

  • Access to all sessions of the National Forum
  • Admission to National Forum Receptions
  • Continental breakfast, lunch, and networking breaks
  • Roster of attendees and resource materials

Registration Policies:

  • Single-day registration is not currently available for the 2014 National Forum.
  • Registration for National Forums is on a first come, first served basis.
  • General registration may end early if the meeting sells out.
  • Late registration may not be available if the meeting sells out. On-site registration is not guaranteed.
  • AEP is unable to provide refunds after general registration closes

Guest Speakers

Dr. Jane Chu, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts

Be among the first to welcome Dr. Jane Chu as the 11th chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has been at the forefront of the country’s efforts to revitalize communities and build bridges to cultural understanding through the arts – something Chu has impressively demonstrated in her role as President and CEO of the $413 million Kauffman Center for the Arts in Kansas City.

Chairman Chu will bring greetings to AEP Forum attendees on Thursday, September 11.

Keynote Address & Book Signing by Bill Strickland

Perhaps as iconic to Pittsburgh as Andy Warhol, Heinz Ketchup, and Mister Roger’s Neighborhood is the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and the man behind it, William (Bill) Strickland. You won’t want to miss this powerful lunchtime keynote address with Bill Strickland, President and CEO of the nonprofit Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) and Bidwell Training Center (BTC). Strickland is the author of Make the Impossible Possible – a book dedicated to inspiring others to dream bigger.

Strickland has created in the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) a safe and astoundingly beautiful oasis where youth flourish in afterschool arts experiences, and life-long learning empowers its community members – his national model of urban renewal and youth arts education is being replicated across the United States and throughout the world.

National Forum attendees will enjoy a lovely reception with live student demos at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild at 6:00 pm on Thursday, September 11.

Opening Plenary: The Role of the Arts in Closing the Opportunity Gap for Student Success

Thursday, September 11 at 10:00 am

Academic achievement and educational opportunity are inextricably linked when it comes to creating the right set of conditions for student success. As a nation, we will fail to raise levels of achievement for all students unless we ensure that every student is given an equal chance to learn and succeed.

What does the latest research say about why educational disparities exist based on family incomes, race, or ethnicity? What policies and practices are most effective in providing all students with equitable access to quality educational opportunities and resources – including those related to learning in and through the arts? And what role can arts education research, policy, and practice play in helping to close the current opportunity gap?

  • Michael Cohen, President, Achieve
  • Caroline Hendrie, Executive Director, Education Writers Association (moderator)
  • H. Richard Milner IV, Director, Center for Urban Education; Helen Faison Professor of Urban Education, University of Pittsburgh
  • Hilary Pennington, Vice President for Education, Creativity and Free Expression, Ford Foundation

Opening remarks by Chris Minnich, Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers

A Spotlight on Pittsburgh and the Keystone State

Friday, September 12 at 10am

The future of education is unfolding before us and Pittsburgh is on the cutting edge of remaking learning for all students. A kaleidoscope of perspectives, challenges, and new ideas emerge in this colorful conversation on how the arts can contribute to rethinking the use of time, resources, and technology to customize learning experiences for young people.

  • Ron Cowell, President, The Education Policy and Leadership Center
  • Dennis Creedon, Deputy Chief, Academic Enrichment, School District of Philadelphia
  • Linda Hippert, Executive Director, Allegheny Intermediate Unit
  • Jane Werner, Executive Director, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Moderated by Kristine Sorensen, Reporter/Anchor, KDKA-TV

Concurrent Sessions

AEP is pleased to announce  21 concurrent sessions that will be presented at the AEP National Forum on topics including Common Core and the arts, arts integration, teaching artist professional development, the Maker Movement, STEM to STEAM, and so much more.

National Forum Planning Partner

We are proud to partner with the Arts Education Collaborative (AEC) who will lead local planning efforts to make this a successful convening. The Arts Education Collaborative was established in 1998 to respond strategically to regional needs and to pursue opportunities that provide sustainable solutions to advancing arts education. The AEC supplies professional development to arts educators and develops programs and services that respond to assessed needs for providers of the arts.

National Forum Sponsors














National Forum Media Partners




WQED Pittsburgh