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Promising Practices in Arts Education

Date: 20 July 2016

The Arts Education Partnership (AEP), the newest center at Education Commission of the States, continues to be showcasing the promising practices of partner organizations and other practitioners across the country. This is a priority not only because partner organizations are doing incredible work but also because there is great strength in learning from the experiences and programs of others.

A powerful tool for sharing these promising practices for the arts in education is through AEP’s annual convenings. For example, AEP had the opportunity to feature the exciting work of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts’ program integrating the arts into STEM learning at last month’s Education Commission of the States National Forum on Education Policy. Participants in this breakout session were able to learn how this program, funded by U.S. Department of Education’s Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grant program, uses the arts to teach and reinforce early learning in math.

In addition, the AEP National Forum serves as a venue for arts and education stakeholders to come together to learn about effective practices, explore new research findings  and understand important policy implications. School leaders, policymakers, advanced practitioners and leaders from the arts, business, culture, education and philanthropic communities attend the AEP National Forum to learn about developing arts in education opportunities and to engage in a conversation that aids them in ensuring that all students have a well-rounded education.

The 2016 AEP National Forum, to be held on Oct. 5-7 in Denver, Colo., is focused on continuing the work of AEP’s The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success: A 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education. Registration is now open and a draft agenda is available with additional event details.

And, finally, highlights of new and exemplary practices are available throughout the year via AEP’s bi-weekly newsletter, the ArtsEd Digest. Subscribe to stay up to date on what is happening at AEP, the work of its partner organizations and opportunities for the arts in education community.

We hope to see you at the 2016 AEP National Forum in Denver on Oct. 5-7!

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