policy and advocacy
Power of Creativity Awards
In October 2001, Americans for the Arts and Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola products, awarded seven "Power of Creativity" Community Arts Education Awards. The winners—leading arts organizations in the United States—were chosen for their exemplary visual arts education partnerships in their local communities. Descriptions of the organizations follow. For more information about the award, read the press release issued on October 31, 2001.
Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX
Imagination Celebration Fort Worth is an independent nonprofit education organization and arts presenter, established in 1987 in collaboration with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Fort Worth Independent School District. The purpose of Imagination Celebration is to create and provide curriculum-related arts education and artistic experiences free of charge to students by using a network of professional artists and cultural arts organizations.
In 2000, Imagination Celebration reached more than 80,000 students through in-school and educational outreach programs in music, dance, visual arts, theatre, and multicultural heritage—all free of charge to every participant in the Fort Worth Independent School District. Visual arts educational activities for students, grades kindergarten through twelve, are an integral part component of Imagination Celebration programming. Student experiences include visual arts tours, workshops, student art exhibitions, visual arts apprenticeships, artist residencies, and competitions.
Imagination Celebration Fort Worth programs are rooted in the belief that schools work better and students learn more when doors are open for collaboration with the artistic and cultural community. We have learned that a comprehensive arts education relies upon the expertise of arts specialists and classroom teachers, the talents and resources of professional artists and community cultural institutions, and the support and commitment of an enlightened school administration. Only by utilizing all of these resources can schools achieve the full educational potential of a curriculum that includes the arts.
Studio in a School
New York, NY
The Studio in a School approach to visual arts education aims specifically to meet the needs of at-risk children in an urban environment. We bring our services to public schools, community-based organizations, and childcare centers. Our mission is to foster the creative and intellectual development of people through quality programs directed by professional artists, as well as to enhance the capacity of those who provide and support arts programming for youth.
Founded by Agnes Gund in 1977, Studio in a School (Studio) has been recognized both locally and nationally for 24 years as a leader in studio-based arts education. Our programs not only foster achievement in the arts, they have also demonstrated an impact on students in areas ranging from literacy and writing to creative expression, language development, and academic confidence. Studio has provided over 550 public schools with $38 million in visual arts services and is currently New York City's largest provider of visual arts programming for public school children. In the current school year, 30,000 children, 2,700 teachers, and 1,000 parents in 150 sites have discovered the joy of creativity as they explore painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpting under the guidance of professional Studio artists.
The Ink People Center for the Arts
Begun in 1979, The Ink People Center for the Arts has held community involvement in the arts as a central tenet and guiding force in developing our programs. We believe that creativity is innate to the human condition, and education about the arts and encouraging direct involvement in the arts through education are central to our mission: "The Ink People Center for the Arts is dedicated to nurturing culture through educating and involving artists and arts lovers, serving the community by encouraging excellence in the showing, teaching, and making of art, by exploring the boundaries of art and culture, and by providing leadership in the pursuit of artistic excellence and vision." This mission statement arises our of our vision statement: "Weaving the arts into the fabric of community."
For art to be woven into the fabric of our larger community—extending beyond Eureka to all of Humboldt County, and sometimes into neighboring counties—it must touch the hearts, hopes, minds, and desires of the people. A primary Ink People goal is to create and present arts programs that make art relevant to individuals in their everyday lives and directly provide the transformative and self-affirming experiences unique to artistic expression. Touching the youngest members of our community has always been an important part of this goal: we have provided ongoing arts programming for children and youth in our community for the past nine years, and we were the first in our community to do so.
The Ink People Center for the Arts has a long history of collaborative and partnering relationships with individual schools, school districts, and community organizations—and many of these relationships have been in effect for nearly a decade. We maintain thriving school partnerships by working closely and collaboratively with both administrators and teachers, not only to plan, develop, and deliver in-school programs that integrate seamlessly with other aspects of existing curricula, but to create after-school and summer programs that complement and deepen children's school learning experiences.
Mattress Factory Museum of Contemporary Art
The Mattress Factory is a research and development lab for artists. As a museum of contemporary art, it commissions new site-specific works, presents them to the widest possible audience, and maintains selected individual installations all as part of a growing and distinctive permanent collection.
The Mattress Factory aggressively educates and encourages viewers—regardless of prior experience—to examine the relevance of art and creativity in their own lives. Its confirmed belief is that contact with experimental work allows viewers to explore and to refer more directly to their own experience than is generally possible in a traditional museum setting. By collecting permanent installations, the Mattress Factory has also established a frame of reference for seeing and understanding temporary works.
The Mattress Factory operates with the artistic program as the core of everything we do. As a result, educational programming is directly based on the new site-specific installation works created in residence at the Mattress Factory. Because the works are created right here at the museum, by living artists, the Mattress Factory is uniquely positioned to educate students of all ages about the creative process and creative problem solving. Problem-solving skills directly translate to achievement in academic disciplines and everyday life.
Cultural Education Collaborative
The Cultural Education Collaborative's (CEC) mission is to catalyze the strengthening and expansion of the area's cultural education programs, including the arts, sciences, and history. The CEC works as a funded partner to the local Arts & Sciences Council (ASC), reaching 1.1 million children annually through its own pARTnerShips Program and comprehensive Cultural Education grants and Services program.
The CEC provides funding; professional development; monthly forums among partners for relationship-building, planning, and program coordination; and staff and consultant services in the areas of program planning and implementation, student assessments and evaluation, technology and communications, advocacy, and joint marketing. The CEC partners with 40 arts, science, and history organizations; 45 independent and cultural educators; and CMS schools. CEC grant-funded programs range from large-group performances with pre- and postclassroom ensembles, to 3–5 day residencies, to year-long multidisciplinary partnerships with 20+ hours of direct artist-to-student contact.
CEC's organizational goals are: 1) Excellence and Achievement: To continually advance arts and cultural education program impact, capacity-building and student achievement; 2) Diversity and Equity: To ensure diversity and equity through the range of cultural education programs and partnership activities; 3) Awareness and Support: To build local, regional, and national awareness of and support for arts and cultural education; and 4) Strategic Growth: To realign and expand cultural education program offerings based on school system priorities, needs, and resource commitments.
Southern Alleghenies Musuem of Art
The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Pennsylvania—with museums in Altoona, Johnstown, Ligonier Valley, and Loretto—has always placed great emphasis on education, a product of the organizational mission of the institution. In keeping with the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art's mission, to "preserve, exhibit, and advance American Art, it is dedicated to making its programs and activities accessible to the people of the southwestern area of central Pennsylvania. By establishing and maintaining a museum of art and by providing programs and activities of a public, charitable, civic, cultural, literary, and educational nature, the Museum serves the people of the region." The success of this mission may be measured by the 25,000 students the museum has taught in the schools, as well as the 60,000 museum visitors who engage in the museum's education programs annually.
The overarching goal of the museum's art education program is to provide the means to create and interpret art. In the schools, the museum's programs have become a substantial part of the educational experience. They provide enrichment to the school's curricula, from which art programs are often absent or infrequent. The districts often share one art teacher among ten schools, and instruction is sometimes limited to a one-hour art experience per week at a given school.
The success of the Museum/School Partnership programs has led to regional, state, and national recognition of its arts in education programs. In 1997, the museum went into partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts as the administrator of the state's residency programs in Blair, Cambria, Bedford, and Westmoreland Counties. In 2000, Fayette and Somerset Counties were added to its geographic region. In 1998, the museum received the "Best Practices in Pennsylvania Arts Education" award from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In November of 2000, the museum presented concepts of rural outreach at the National Association of State Art Agencies national conference in Pittsburgh. In March of 2001, the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, presented the most recent technology in distance learning through a videoconference at the National Art Education Association Annual Conference in New York City.
Armory Center for the Arts
The Armory Center for the Arts builds on the power of art to transform lives by engaging the community through creating, presenting, and teaching the visual arts. The armory's innovative program strategies serve as models for the fields of arts and education. The armory fulfills its mission through programs that: encourage individual expression in both the creation and interpretation of art; emphasize the connection between the visual arts and other disciplines including music, the sciences, literature, and other art forms; foster long-term collaborations with cultural, educational, and civic institutions to integrate the arts into the life of the community; are offered free or at low-cost on site and throughout the community.
Begun in 1947 as the education department of the Pasadena Art Museum, the armory has been a leader in the field of art education for more than fifty years. Today, the Armory Center for the Arts provides innovative arts experiences to more than 25,000 children and adults each year. The armory presents programs in six areas: Programs for the Schools; Studio Programs; Programs in the Community; Art High: Artist Mentorship Programs for Youth; Professional Development Programs; and Gallery Programs.