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The EdTA Advocacy Update, February 5, 2014 edition

By James Palmarini posted Feb 05, 2014 4:45 PM



Welcome to the bi-weekly EdTA Advocacy Update,

February 5, 2014 edition


The Advocacy Update is where you can find state and national news about theatre and other arts education




EdTA Community Launches: The Educational Theatre Association has launched Community, a new network for theatre education. In a welcome post, EdTA Julie Woffington called Community “a new online resource that allows you to network with others passionate about theatre and education; share best practices and individual challenges; and access and contribute to a variety of shared resource libraries.” Among the first communities is Advocacy.


New drafts of the 2014 Core Arts Standards: The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards has posted new, downloadable drafts of all disciplines’ standards, including theatre, in preparation of a final public review beginning February 14 and ending on February 28. An open dialogue around the draft theatre standards has begun on the EdTA Advocacy Community Page.  

The Democracyworks student essay competition deadline is February 15: The competition is accepting entries from students who are members of EdTA’s International Thespian Society. The winning essayist and a chaperone earn a trip the Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. March 23-25. This year’s prompt is “What advocacy have you done or do you plan to do on behalf of arts education in your school, district, or state and how did it or will it make a difference?  




Arts Advocacy Day 2014: Registration is open. AAD annually convenes advocates from throughout the country for training and lobbying for strong public polices and funding for the arts and arts education. 


National Endowment and Arts Education funding restored to 2012 level: Congress has approved spending bill that includes $146 million in support for the NEA and $25 million to fund national models that improve arts learning in schools.


2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards: The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is accepting applications for the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards until February 10.

National Endowment for the Arts Awards $25.8 Million in Grants: National Endowment for the Arts' Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa has announced that 1,083 grants totaling $25.8 million will be awarded to organizations and individuals across the country in the categories of Art Works, Challenge America, and Creative Writing Fellowships.  


Alabama: Program brings arts, education to prison (The University of Alabama Crimson White)


California: Fate of LA Unified arts programs remain in limbo (LA School Report)


Illinois: Chicago Public Schools hires 84 arts teachers (Chicago Tribune)


New York:  New Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina visits arts-based MS 223 in the Bronx (New York Daily)


Massachussetts: 4 Takeaways on Arts Funding In Boston Public Schools (WBUR)

Missouri/Illinois:  Arts and Education Council Announce $30,000 in awards (Broadway World)


New Jersey: Arts become a focus of state school performance report cards

(Press of Atlantic City) 

Oklahoma: Art funding cuts proposed (Oklahoma Gazette)


Rhode Island: RI gov urges more funds for schools, arts, bridges (Washington Times)




U.S. Department of Education Resource on K-12 Reform References Arts Education (USDOE): The USDOE “Bookshelf” provides resources to the public on a variety of education topics, including arts education. For example:  

  • Students who had arts-rich experiences in high school showed higher overall GPAs than students who lacked these experiences.

  • Arts-engaged high school students enrolled in competitive colleges—and in four-year colleges in general—at higher rates than students with low arts engagement.

  • Low-income students with arts-rich experiences in high school were more than three times as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree as low-income students without arts-rich experiences in school.

The Art of thinking like a scientist (ASCD Express): Lisa Yokana writes about how learning in the arts helps students develop skills and competencies to be better scientists. She says, "Through the arts students learn to observe, visualize, manipulate materials, and develop the creative confidence to imagine new possibilities. These skills and competencies are also essential to scientific thinking and provide a strong argument for transforming STEM education by integrating the arts."


The Case for Arts Education (blog) Douglas Landwehr, a Wisconsin educator writes in his blog, “What kind of education are we giving to a generation by eliminating early and consistent exposure to the fine arts? The lessons lost at that age create deficits in creativity, in discipline, concentration, and self-confidence. The loss is not just in those classrooms, but in all of us.”  

Probing Question: Is a liberal arts education relevant in today's society? (Penn State News): In the 2012 movie Liberal Arts, one character asks another "So, what was your major?" The other replies, "I was English, with a minor in history, just to make sure I was fully unemployable." While the joke gets a laugh, it also points to a serious societal debate: Is a liberal arts education still relevant in today's economy? Absolutely yes, says Steven Sherrill, associate professor of English and integrative arts at Penn State Altoona.



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