March 2005 Show Resources—Arts Education: Improving Students' Academic Performance
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Resources for Arts Education

U.S. Department of Education/Government Resources

Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII)

The Education Department's Office of Innovation and Improvement, much like an entrepreneurial foundation, makes strategic investments in innovative educational practices through two-dozen discretionary grant programs, including several arts-in-education programs.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)

The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. The Endowment is the nation's largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. The NEA offers many free publications of interest including "Imagine: Introducing Your Child to the Arts" a publication for parents.

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)

More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of Federally supported teaching and learning resources easier to find, including materials related to the arts.

President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities plays a key role within each Administration in identifying issues and developing initiatives in the arts and the humanities of critical importance to the nation.

Education Commission of the States (ECS)

ECS is an interstate compact created in 1965 to improve public education by facilitating the exchange of information, ideas, and experiences among state policymakers and education leaders. Recognizing the contributions the arts make to student achievement and economic development will be the focus of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's tenure as the 2004-06 ECS chairman.

Schools and Organizations Participating in the Broadcast and other Resources

Opening Minds Through the Arts

Opening Minds Through the Arts is an arts integration project currently being implemented in the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona. The OMA® Project was developed around brain-based learning theories designed to impact at-risk children and significantly increase student achievement. The goal of OMA® is to help all students succeed by actively supporting and positively engaging students in all subjects through the arts.

The National Association for Music Education

The National Association for Music Education strives to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.

Saluda River Academy for the Arts

Saluda River Academy for the Arts was established as a fully arts integrated and partial magnet school in 1999. The school offers educational excellence through innovative programs in the arts, academics, technology and physical development.

The Arts & Technology Academy

Charted in 1998, the Arts and Technology Academy Public Charter School in Washington DC, offers its students classes in dance, drama, music, visual art, computer science and Spanish. All students are encouraged to express themselves in non-traditional ways such as performing in a musical production and producing technology-based projects.

Mississippi Arts Commission

In 1968, the Mississippi legislature created the Mississippi Arts Commission as the official grantsmaking and service agency for the arts. Throughout the 1990s, the Commission broadened its scope and role to serve as an active supporter and promoter of the arts in community life and provide financial support in the form of grants for eligible arts programs and for the work of individual artists.

Partnering for Youth with Disabilities

Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Inc. (PYD) is committed to empowering young people with disabilities to reach their full potential for personal development. In 2004, PYD won the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Coming Up Taller Award for its innovative Access to Theatre program. Access to Theatre is an inclusive theatre arts program that brings together a diverse group of young people to create original productions and perform them for the community.

Arts Education Partnership (AEP)

The Arts Education Partnership is a national coalition of arts, education, business, philanthropic, and government organizations that demonstrates and promotes the essential role of the arts in the learning and development of every child and in the improvement of America's schools. The AEP has many publications of interest to schools, teachers and parents.

Americans for the Arts

Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. They are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE)

The American Alliance for Theatre & Education is the leading national professional organization for theatre educators, theatre artists, and educators who use drama and/or theatre in the classroom. AATE also sponsors Theatre in the Schools Month.

National Arts and Education Network

A program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ARTSEDGE—the National Arts and Education Network—supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience.

Educational Theatre Association

The Educational Theatre Association sponsors Theatre for Life Month. Taking place during the month of March, Theatre for Life is an advocacy and publicity campaign designed to build support for theatre at a local level.

National Art Education Association

The NAEA is a non-profit, educational organization established to promote art education through Professional Development, Service, Advancement of Knowledge, and Leadership. The organization also sponsors Youth Art Month.


No Child Left Behind

Helping Your Child Series

The Helping Your Child publication series focuses on providing parents with the tools and information necessary to help their children succeed in school and in life.

No Child Left Behind—Especially for Parents Page

On this site the U.S. Department of Education offers information about public school choice, supplemental services, testing and accountability, as well as parenting tips on reading and homework.

  • Tools for Student Success: Selected Publications for Parents and Teachers This catalog provides brief descriptions of a number of publications featuring the latest research and most effective practices in subjects such as reading, homework, and staying drug free, as well as information on how to obtain these publications in hard copy or online.

  • No Child Left Behind: A Parents Guide This is the essential guide for parents, and provides answers to questions about No Child Left Behind and what the law means for parents, in an accessible and easy to understand format.

  • Questions Parents Ask About Schools This pamphlet provides answers to commonly asked questions on topics such as Getting Ready for School, Monitoring School Work, Helping with Reading, and Working with Schools and Teachers.



Susan Sclafani is the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) at the U.S. Department of Education. She serves as the principal adviser to the Secretary on all matters related to vocational and adult education. Through OVAE's Preparing America's Future Initiative, Dr. Sclafani is working to mobilize effective and scientifically based state and local high school reform initiatives, support America's community colleges, and improve adult education programs.

Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas (via taped interview) is not just a recognized national leader on educational reform but is also a talented and experienced musician. Recently appointed Chairman of the Education Commission of the States, Governor Huckabee has made Arts Education the primary focal point for his tenure. He believes that music is connected to higher academic achievement, responsibility and provides self-fulfillment.

Debbie Allen (live from the Kennedy Center) is an acclaimed actor, dancer, choreographer, director, producer, author and a long-time advocate for arts education in our schools. Ms. Allen serves on the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities - a group that helps support the President's vision that cultural life contributes to the vibrancy of society and strength of democracy. She has had many featured roles on Broadway including Raisin, West Side Story and Sweet Charity among others. Throughout her long and distinguished career, Ms. Allen has received two Emmy's and a Golden Globe Award.

Joan Ashcraft is the director of the Fine and Performing Arts Department for the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD). In this capacity, she oversees the instruction of music, drama, dance and visual arts for 63,000 students in 108 schools. Dr. Ashcraft is the co-designer of the Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) Research Project, an initiative jointly sponsored and supported by TUSD, University of Arizona School of Music and Dance and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. The goal of OMA is to help all students succeed by actively supporting and positively engaging students in all subjects through the arts. Dr. Ashcraft has worked as a member of various district and state curriculum committees and has served as a member of the state design team for the Arizona Standards in Arts Education.

Anthony Jackson is the Principal and Chief Administrative Officer for the Arts and Technology Academy (ATA), Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. Chartered by the D.C. Public Charter School Board in 1999, the Arts and Technology Academy provides an academically challenging, technologically rich, student-centered learning environment. The Academy is managed by Mosaica Education, Inc. Advantage Schools and imparts a clear sense of responsibility to parents and students. The Academy serves roughly 615 K-6 students of which 98 percent are both African-American and considered low-income. The school's rising academic performance data has attracted the attention of and visits from members of Congress and the United States Department of Education.

Connie Boleman is a visual arts specialist for the Saluda River Academy for the Arts in Columbia, South Carolina. Among her many accomplishments, in 1999, Connie successfully engineered the transformation of Saluda River from a traditional neighborhood-based school to a fully arts integrated and partial magnet elementary school. Connie was recently designated a 2004 American Star Teacher by the United States Department of Education.

Michael Blakeslee is Deputy Executive Director at MENC: The National Association for Music Education. While working for MENC, Blakeslee has served as editor of the award-winning Music Educators Journal and of Teaching Music magazine. Mr. Blakeslee also served as editor of the National Standards for Arts Education: What Every Young American Should Know and Be Able to Do in the Arts. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Virginia, where he managed the electronic music lab. He is the composer of musical works for choral, orchestral, electronic, and chamber media, and is the author of articles on music and music education.

Lee Ann Powell is the Deputy Director for Mississippi Arts Commission. The Commission is the official grantsmaking and service agency for the arts for the State of Mississippi. The Commission offers a diverse range of arts education programs, including the "Whole Schools Project," a comprehensive school reform effort that uses the arts as a focal point for academic growth and achievement. Prior to joining the Arts Commission, Ms. Powell served as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Opera Association and has more than 20 years of private vocal study.

Maureen Gallagher is the Deputy Director for Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD). PYD, a United Way agency now in its 21st year, is dedicated to arranging supportive one-to-one relationships between youth, ages 6 to 22, and adults with similar disabilities. The purpose is to provide role models who will enhance self-esteem and give young people greater confidence to face their futures. Ms. Gallagher is the co-founder of one of PYD's most successful programs, Access to Theatre (ATT). ATT is an inclusive theater arts program, created by, with, and for young people with and without disabilities. ATT provides a fully accessible participatory theater arts experience, enabling youth, ages 13-24 to develop creative expression, self-esteem, friendship, leadership and independent living skills. ATT was a recipient of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 2004 Coming Up Taller Award.


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Last Modified: 08/09/2013