Now What? An Action Plan for Advancing Arts Education


Join us for our closing plenary session centered on applying the key takeaways from the AEP Virtual Gathering to actionable policy recommendations developed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With a focus on turning the experience, knowledge shared, and networks engaged during the Virtual Gathering into action, this session features remarks from Sonia Manzano and John Lithgow, followed by a panel discussion on strategies to advance arts education. Let the energy of this closing panel discussion inspire you to make connections between learnings from the event and policy recommendations offered in a recent report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, consider ideas on how to use federal and state funds to reimagine more equitable arts education opportunities post-pandemic and galvanize the momentum generated during this year’s gathering to support our community of researchers, practitioners, advocates, artists and educators as we strive to ensure student-centered arts education is an essential part of education now and in the future.


John Lithgow, Actor and Chair, American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Arts
Mario Rossero, Executive Director, National Art Education Association
Porché Hardy, Program Officer, Wallace Foundation
Sonia Manzano, Actress and Author, American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Arts

Access additional 2021 AEP Virtual Gathering resources here.

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