Looking Back and Looking Forward: 25 Years of AEP

This plenary session takes a trip down memory lane in recognition of AEP’s 25th Anniversary. Featuring speakers who paved the way for AEP alongside individuals who are blazing a trail for the next 25 years of arts education, they share the biggest successes of the last 25 years, the opportunities missed along the way and their ideas and plans for creating a more equitable and inclusive field moving forward. This session begins with remarks by Mary Anne Carter, chairwoman of the National Endowment of the Arts, and Christopher Rinkus, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

Dana Carr is executive director at Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Center, Inc., whose mission is to empower youth through the arts, academics and social development. She has served as an administrator, curriculum writer, mentor, teacher and instructional coach, giving her a diverse background of experiences to share. Dana holds a master’s degree in secondary education with certifications in arts integration, teaching artistry and organizational development. She is passionate about ensuring that all students have equitable access to a quality education that is inclusive of the arts.

Doug Herbert retired from the U.S. Department of Education in 2017, having served there as a special assistant on arts education and the arts education grant team manager since 2004. Between 1992 and 2004, he was director of arts-in- education (AIE) at the National Endowment for the Arts, having been the AIE assistant director since 1987. In both agencies, Doug’s responsibilities prominently included the initiation and curation of inter-agency collaborations and grants or cooperative agreements, including the Arts Education Partnership’s cooperative agreement beginning in 1995. Doug resides in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Chiquita Mullins Lee, an arts learning coordinator at the Ohio Arts Council, serves the needs of teachers, students, teaching artists, schools and community organizations through the Arts Partnership grant program and Ohio’s Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. She has served as chair and Mid-West regional coordinator for the Arts Education Working Group, in connection with the National Assemblies of State Arts Agencies and on the Arts Education review panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. Published nationally, her creative practice includes the performing and literary arts.

Terry K. Peterson served as the chief education deputy for a governor and the United States Secretary of Education. He co-found the Arts Education Partnership with Scott Shanklin-Peterson and forstered the rapid growth of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the E-Rate. Now he is the senior education advisor to the CS Mott Foundation and Riley Institute. He co-chairs the Afterschool Alliance and the White Riley Peterson Fellowship.US Secretary of Education Riley calls Terry “the King of Afterschool.” School visits across America keep him informed of current issues.

Scott Shanklin-Peterson chairs Engaging Creative Minds (ECM), which provides powerful student learning through arts integration in South Carolina. In 1987, as the South Carolina Arts Commission’s executive director, Scott initiated the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) partnership with the South Carolina State Department of Education, and she serves on it today. Later as deputy chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Scott helped include “arts”as a core subject and create the Arts Education Partnership, based on ABC’s success partnering with arts and education groups for better arts education policies, funding and programs.

Tia Thomas is an alumni of Baltimore School for the Arts and a rising freshmen at Towson University, majoring in theatre acting. Along with theatre, helping people is one of her greatest passions. She hopes to make a difference in children’s lives through the arts in her future.

Jamie Kasper, director of the Arts Education Partnership, works with over 100 partner organizations to support arts learning across the United States. Prior to joining Education Commission of the States, Jamie worked for Arts Education Collaborative in Pittsburgh and was previously the state arts curriculum advisor at the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Jamie is also an active musician who spends time on the weekends rehearsing or performing with various groups.

Dick Deasy served as the first director of the Arts Education Partnership from 1995 to 2008. Prior to that role, his career included serving as a senior administrator in two state departments of education, first in Pennsylvania and then in Maryland. In his earlier careers, he was a classroom teacher and a prize-winning journalist nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Author profile

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