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Arts Education Policy: A look at the year ahead

Date: 02 March 2016

It is a new day for the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) and one that Education Commission of the States  is elated to help lead!  Beginning in January 2016, Education Commission of the States assumed the role as the cooperator for AEP and is now working directly with the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education as well as all AEP partner organizations and the AEP Advisory Committee.

The education policy world has changed dramatically with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the next year of implementation will include dramatic changes as the federal and state roles are challenged on many levels. For arts education policy, there are many areas that AEP will be monitoring to help our partner organizations  better understand the changes and how it can effect meaningful outcomes in arts education practices across the country.

It is important to remember that while ESSA changes the federal and state roles, there is even more change taking place in the states.  In 2015, more than half of the chief state school officers that lead state education agencies were new in their jobs.  On the legislative front, more than 30 percent of the chairmen of State Legislative Education Committees were new in the role.  This transformation of leadership positions creates a great opportunity for arts education leaders, but will also require some significant adaptation for arts education proponents and how they engage with new policymakers in new roles.

To help with this continual world of change, AEP is excited to release the State of the State of Arts on Thursday so make sure to check and for its release. The report looks at major arts education policy changes enacted in 2015 and provides an opportunity to better understand what happened in many states and how those policies could help you in your work.   Along with the ArtsEdSearch and ArtScan, AEP will continue to provide policymakers across the country with real time access to major arts education research studies and focused analysis on the arts education policies that are being implemented in states. We’re also looking forward to the State Policy Symposium this Saturday in Washington, D.C.  If you’re not able to join us, make sure to check out the online conversation during the event with #StatesofChange2016.

Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits