2016 AEP National Forum


Nearly 200 arts and education experts convened in downtown Denver on Oct. 5-7 for the 2016 Arts Education Partnership National Forum: The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success. Click here for our social media coverage.

Forum Resources










Kickoff & Opening Session

Watch the video recording (part 1)
– Welcome from Jeremy Anderson, President, Education Commission of the States
– Opening remarks from Jane Best, Director, AEP
– Video welcome from Secretary John King, U.S. Department of Education
– Remarks from Doug Herbert, Supervisor, Arts Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education
– Greetings from First Lady of Denver Mary Louise Lee

Watch the video recording (part 2)
– Student performance from El Mariachi Junvenil de Bryant Webster

The Art of Denver’s Civic Spaces and Creative Partnerships

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Art provides the setting for celebration, social interaction, economic exchange and cultural expression that is critical to thriving civic spaces. Research demonstrates that student-centered, community-focused learning supports academic achievement and civic engagement, while promoting arts-integrated opportunities. Collaboration between civic and arts education supports the development of informed and active young people as they engage in their communities and contribute to neighborhood revitalization and health.Hear from a panel of Denver’s arts education experts on how creative partnerships engage youth in identifying, developing and animating civic space through both visual and performing arts. Learn how the showcased projects have redefined and expanded education leadership by engaging the public and business sectors to build a case for arts education as a contributor to community vitality and student development.


Jan Brennan – Project Leader, National Center for Learning & Civic Engagement, Education Commission of the States

Stephen Brackett – Vocalist, Flobots, Co-founder and Board Member, Youth on Record
Rick Griffith – Member, Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs, City of Denver
Devin Urioste – Fellow, Youth on Record
Barth Quenzer – Visual Arts Curriculum Specialist, Denver Public Schools

2016 AEP National Forum Spotlight & Day 2 Opening Session

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– Remarks from Jane Best, Director, AEP
– AEP Young Artist Award Presentation presented by Jay Seller, Executive Director, Think 360 Arts for Learning
– Video greeting from Jane Chu, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
– Remarks from Ayanna Hudson, Director, Arts Education, National Endowment for the Arts

The Every Student Succeeds Act: Opportunities for the arts in education

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Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) presents new opportunities for states to exercise greater flexibility as they work within the law. This flexibility bolsters the decision-making authority of states and encourages community engagement as states and districts work to address the teaching and learning needs of students. As these new policies are implemented across the country, promising prospects exist for the arts within other educational priorities.Hear from a panel of experts working to expand educational opportunities for all students, advance programs that strengthen and support educator effectiveness and improve state and district accountability systems. This discussion also explores the role and contribution that the arts can play in ensuring that all students have access to the well-rounded education envisioned in ESSA – one that prepares them for success in school, work and life.

Najean Lee – Director of Government Affairs & Education Advocacy, League of American Orchestras

Loretta Goodwin – Senior Director, American Youth Policy Forum
Sharmila Mann – Director of the K-12 Institute, Education Commission of the States
Lynn Tuttle – Director of Content and Policy, National Association for Music Education (presentation)

Closing Keynote Speaker – Paula Kerger

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As the longest serving president in PBS history, Paula Kerger brings unique insight to leadership in the 21st century and the role of the arts in shaping education in America. Under Kerger’s leadership, PBS has been growing its audiences across genres and platforms. In particular, she has made strong commitments to the arts, high-quality educational content for children and the classroom, diversity and the use of new digital platforms to bring public media into the lives of all Americans. Kerger is regularly included in the Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100,” an annual survey of the nation’s top women executives in media. She is a director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is vice chair of the board of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.