AEP Equity Working Group Resources 

A Learning Community for AEP Partners and Affiliates

Overview of AEP Equity Working Group

AEP working groups convene partner and affiliate organizations to generate and disseminate knowledge, effective practices and policy and practice deliverables around a specific topic or issue at the forefront of the arts education field. The AEP Equity Working Group brings together arts and education organizations committed to advancing equity to gather, study and share models of practice and lessons learned on the topic of equity in arts education. Chaired by AEP advisory council member the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), the AEP Equity Working Group consists of interested AEP partners and affiliates invited to participate in a volunteer capacity.

As of 2020, AEP’s working group re-centered as an inquiry-based learning community for AEP partners and affiliates with expertise and/or interest in diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA). Through this revised model, AEP provides capacity building resources for members to explore DEIA issues together, with a secondary focus on producing deliverables. This direction considers the group’s feedback on the value of dialogue and activities to deepen understanding of strategies and tactics to move DEIA work forward in their respective organizations. This also supports AEP’s new strategic mission which places greater emphasis on building leadership capacity and knowledge for arts education leaders.

Group Structure and Membership

The equity working group is structured as an inquiry-oriented learning community. This group consists of leaders from AEP partner organizations and affiliates seeking to learn about diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) and leaders with expertise in DEIA focus areas.

As part of this work, AEP will seek assistance from experts to serve as speakers and technical support providers for the group as needed.

To learn more or join AEP’s Equity Working Group contact AEP Engagement Specialist Erika Hawthorne.

AEP Working Group Products

Below you’ll find a list of our current products related to the equity working group to assist you in your research and work:


The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) was established in 1995 through a unique interagency agreement between the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, an agreement that has continued unabated since that year. The founding organizations continue to provide support and promote AEP as the nation’s hub for individuals and organizations committed to making high-quality arts education accessible to all U.S. students.

In 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education selected Education Commission of the States to serve as the new host organization for AEP.

Click here to see a history of AEP milestones.