2017 AEP State Policy Symposium

On March 18, 2017, AEP, along with Americans for the Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, welcomed more than 140 national and state leaders from the arts, business, cultural, education, philanthropic and public sectors at the 2017 AEP State Policy Symposium in Washington, D.C. To view the 2017 AEP State Policy Symposium agenda, click here. Click here for our social media coverage.



Welcome and Opening Remarks
Jane R. Best, Director, Arts Education Partnership (presentation)

Panel Discussion: Navigating the Changing Political Landscape for Education

Between November 2016 and November 2018, states will hold elections for nearly three-quarters of the governors’ offices, all 13 elected statewide school leaders and thousands of state legislative seats. Leaders in the education field expect unprecedented change in these offices and should prepare to increase efforts to build relationships, educate stakeholders and implement new policy ideas. This session will take a closer look at navigating this changing political landscape.

  • Moderator:
    Jeremy Anderson – President, Education Commission of the States (presentation)
  • Panelists:
    Aaliyah Samuel – Director of Education Division, National Governors Association
    Tim Storey, Director of State Services, National Conference of State Legislatures


Lessons from the Kennedy Center: Optimizing opportunities for arts education through partnership, strategy and impact.

        • Mario Rossero – Senior Vice President, Education, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (presentation)

          Panel Discussion: Federal Funding for the Arts in Education – What is working?

          The implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) holds great promise and opportunity for expanding access to a well-rounded education – including the arts – for young people across the country. In this session, hear from a panel of experts on how states are already incorporating the arts into their implementation of federal policy, explore lessons learned through the implementation of such a program and look forward to how states can build on these successes in their own implementation of ESSA.

                            • Moderator:
                              Brian Sponsler – Vice President, Policy, Education Commission of the States
                            • Panelists:
                              Karen Campbell – Director, Office of Supplemental Educational Programs, New Jersey Department of Education (presentation)
                              Monique Chism – Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education
                              Dale Schmid – Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator, New Jersey Department of Education (presentation)


          WORKSHOP #1 – Incorporating the Arts Into State- Level Accountability

          ESSA opens the door for states to reconsider the measures included in state-level accountability systems. Whether in school- and district-level report cards or in state ESSA plans, states have the ability to include arts-related indicators as part of their accountability structures. This session explores how Kentucky included the arts in their state accountability processes and ways that others can learn from Kentucky’s process.

          AEP 2020 Action Agenda Priority Area #1 – Raise Student Achievement and Success

                              • Kyle Lee – Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, Kentucky State Department of Education (presentation)


          WORKSHOP #2 – Strengthening Educator and School Leader Capacity for the Arts in Education

          A key to making the arts a part of every child’s educational experience is ensuring that all educators and school leaders are prepared to establish an integrated arts education program and, through shared leadership and building the capacity of the arts leadership team, include the arts as strategies in addressing broader school-wide issues. This session shares how Turnaround Arts: Minnesota builds on the success of the national Turnaround Arts program to provide teachers and principals with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully incorporate the arts throughout their schools and discuss opportunities to include the arts across other states.

          AEP 2020 Action Agenda Priority Area #2 – Support Effective Educators and School Leaders

                              • Pam Paulson – Senior Director of Policy, Perpich Center for Arts Education (presentation)
                              • Emily Pytell – Manager of Implementation and Early Childhood, Turnaround Arts


          WORKSHOP #3 – Exploring Arts Education Outside the Bells

          Arts education programs occur both within the school day and outside of the bells. Although generally focused on school-based education, ESSA also opens up opportunities for afterschool, summer and other out-of-school arts learning experiences. How do states utilize the openings and approach the arts in expanded learning opportunities? Hear from the Afterschool Alliance on how their members engage the arts in education programs and discuss ways that those strategies can be implemented across the country.

          AEP 2020 Action Agenda Priority Area #3 – Transform the Teaching and Learning Environment

                              • Erik Peterson, Vice President, Policy, Afterschool Alliance (presentation)


          WORKSHOP #4 – Building Diversity in Arts Education Leadership

          Developing capacity and focusing on diversity has long been a priority for leaders in the arts education field, but identifying actionable approaches and tangible solutions continues to pose challenges. Hear how the Sphinx Organization in Michigan developed programs focused on intentional inclusion to ensure the next generation of leaders in the field reflects the communities served. Learn from an in-depth discussion of examples and suggestions for how your organization can build a diverse and inclusive leadership team.

          AEP 2020 Action Agenda Priority Area #4 – Build Leadership Capacity and Knowledge


          This event was made possible in part through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts.