National Agencies and Organizations
Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts (AFTA) is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. AFTA has offices in Washington, D.C., and New York and has more than 5,000 organizational and individual members. Local arts agencies comprise the core constituency. A variety of partner networks are also supported. The Web site offers a broad overview of their field services, including an arts and education network, public art, united arts funds, and emerging leaders.
ArtsEdge was developed more than ten years ago through a cooperative agreement among the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. This online resource center aims to connect people, provide resources, and build a new base of knowledge in the area of arts education. To achieve these goals, ArtsEdge offers teaching materials, resources for advocacy, and media-rich, student-friendly activities.
Arts Education Partnership
Arts Education Partnership (AEP) is a national coalition of arts, education, business, philanthropic, and government organizations that demonstrate and promote the essential role of the arts in the learning and development of every child and in the improvement of America’s schools. AEP was formed in 1995 through a cooperative agreement among the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. AEP’s Web site contains resources for partnerships, a state policy database, a research compendium, evaluation and assessment information, publication tool kits, a library of arts-integration programs, and publications that can be easily accessed or ordered.
The Dana Foundation
The Dana Foundation provides the latest information on brain research, arts education, and neuroeducation. The foundation offers free books and publications, including Brain in the News and Arts Education in the News, Transforming Arts Teaching, Learning, Arts, and the Brain, and this publication. A Webcast of the release of the Dana Arts and Cognition Consortium findings is available on the Web site.
Edutopia, a print and online magazine created and maintained by The George Lucas Educational Foundation, is dedicated to promoting positive change in education. The Web site offers interactive resources, advice, examples, and contributions from practitioners. An archive of best practices is maintained for all education stakeholders. Of particular interest is the arts-education section, which contains articles, blog posts, videos, and slide shows of the latest in arts-education news.
Grantmakers in the Arts
Grantmakers in the Arts is a membership organization focused on arts philanthropy discourse within a diverse community of grantmakers. Members include private, community, corporate, and family foundations, as well as public sector grantmakers, regranting organizations with the primary purpose of arts grantmaking, and individual donors who give through eligible organizations. GIA programs include an annual conference, a major periodical, research, and other convening and communication services.
Keep Arts In Schools
In August 2007, Douglas Gould and Company launched keepartsinschools.org, funded by the Ford Foundation. The Web site includes the latest news, events, case studies, research, and hands-on advocacy support in the form of sample letters, petitions, and testimony, highlighting the efforts of arts-education organizations throughout the country and making tools and resources available to those seeking to make the arts top priority in public schools and communities.
Lincoln Center Institute
Founded in 1975, the Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) is the educational cornerstone of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., and a global leader in education and the arts. Since its inception, LCI has reached over three million students and some 50,000 educators. Students learn about and through the arts by focusing on works of art, including performing arts, visual arts, and architecture. The Institute works in partnership with pre-K-12 educators and degree-granting teacher-education programs, and provides numerous professional-development opportunities.
MENC: The National Association for Music Education
The mission of MENC is to “advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all.” MENC’s Web site contains links to resources that discuss the benefits of arts education for “success in society, success in school and learning, success in developing intelligence, and success in life.”
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) is a membership organization that unites, represents, and serves the nation’s state and jurisdictional arts agencies. NASAA’s mission is to advocate and promote a meaningful role for the arts in the lives of individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States. NASAA’s Web site offers links to every state arts agency, major grantmakers in arts and culture, arts and learning resources, and to information about cultural tourism policy, creative economy, and arts as a public policy asset.
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 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. NEA was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government and is the largest public funder of the arts, bringing art to all 50 states, rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. The NEA provides funding through a variety of discipline-specific program areas, as well as for special national initiatives. The NEA’s Web site highlights each funding area and the opportunities therein.
Located at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, the Neuro-Education Initiative (NEI) bridges the gap between the brain sciences and education by bringing together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, educators, and other key stakeholders to explore the intersection, knowledge, and current application of brain research in education, and to identify and support potential areas of translational research.
Project Zero is a research group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Its mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels. Project Zero has maintained a firm research commitment in the arts, and has gradually expanded to include education across all disciplines. Its work is documented extensively on its Web site through a variety of publications, papers, and articles. Artful Thinking, a program developed by Project Zero in collaboration with the Traverse City, Michigan Area Public Schools, aims to develop a model approach for integrating art into classroom instruction. Its Web site (http://www.pz.harvard.edu/tc) contains lesson plans and resources for K-6 classroom teachers.
State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education
The State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) supports the professional effectiveness of individual members and provides a collective voice for leadership on issues affecting arts education. Its purpose is to achieve quality, comprehensive, sequential, standards-based arts education for all pre-K-12 students. SEADAE identifies and responds to key issues in arts education, strengthening arts-education policy at national and state levels, and maintaining a network to exchange ideas and information. It also collaborates with other organizations to support vision and leadership in arts education. SEASAE is supported by NASAA and the NEA.
UC Irvine Center for Learning Through the Arts and Technology
The Center for Learning Through the Arts and Technology brings together faculty and researchers from various departments within UC Irvine to “study the reciprocal impact of the arts on the Center’s focus areas, including the formulation of new public policy.” Its Web site features several articles that relate arts and learning.
U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Innovation and Improvement
The U.S. Department of Education promotes student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. Key aspects of the Department of Education’s focus include collecting data on America’s schools, disseminating research, and focusing national attention on key educational issues. Together with the National Institute of Education, the U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), which provides free access to more than 1.2 million citations on education topics.
The Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) makes strategic investments in innovative educational practices through discretionary grant programs. It coordinates public school choice and supplemental educational service provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by No Child Left Behind.
Young Audiences Arts for Learning
Young Audiences, Inc. is a nationwide arts-education programming and service organization. Arts for Learning is a supplemental literacy program that brings together students, classroom teachers, and teaching artists to engage in arts-integrated literacy learning. The Web site offers a keyword search for best practices in arts education and a Web library of curricula developed at schools and organizations across the country.