The AEI Note: August 17, 2011

Arts and Education News from The Education Policy and Leadership Center  

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PA State Capitol BuildingGreetings!


Summer greetings from the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) in Harrisburg, and thank you for your support of the Arts and Education Initiative (AEI).

EPLC is making plans for a very busy autumn, full of exciting meetings, activities, and events on the web and across the state.  We need your participation and we hope you will join us! 


The day-long Arts and Education Symposium is Thursday, October 13 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania, our Regional Community Forums will occur in six more spots around the state, and our online dialog about developing a change agenda for the arts and education will start very soon.  Invitations to read and respond to The Arts and Education: A Partnership for 21st-century Learning are forthcoming.


Please keep your eyes peeled for ongoing opportunities to participate, and join us in the movement to shape the future of the arts and education in Pennsylvania.  EPLC's report with policy recommendations will be released in February of 2012.  The time to organize for effective advocacy is near.

ollow us on Facebook to read news and share ideas, and please visit for more information.  I look forward to hearing from you!


Signing off with our vision for the future...


Pennsylvania citizens and public policy support the arts in schools and communities and the learning opportunities they afford to people of all ages.


Warm regards,

Jordan Crosby Signature                    

Jordan Crosby

Director, Arts and Education Initiative

AEI and EPLC News

AEI Internship Available

EPLC is recruiting for a current undergraduate or graduate student to serve as a part-time intern at the Harrisburg office. The internship will support the culminating events of year one of AEI, and preparations for a public policy advocacy campaign during 2012. Ideal candidates have a demonstrable background in the arts and education, strong skills in research and writing, as well as a commitment to grassroots advocacy organizing.  The internship is unpaid, but free parking is available.  Weekly hours of the internship are negotiable and may fluctuate due to special events.  To apply or to suggest a candidate, please email AEI Director Jordie Crosby for further information:  


Online Forum on the Arts and Education

We need your help!  Please join us online as we launch a discussion forum around a narrative scenario, which tells the story of a fictitious group of citizens who gather together based on their shared concern for the arts and education in their state.  The Arts and Education: A Partnership for 21st-century Learning is a narrative that captures, from a "bird's eye view," the challenges and opportunities we've identified so far in our own journey to strengthen the arts and education through AEI.  The scenario complements and informs the Arts and Education Symposium and the AEI Regional Community Forums and will be a space for ongoing and widespread interaction about our subject matter through the beginning of November.  You will receive an e-vite in the near future to get started and join the conversation about developing our agenda for change.  Read the story, answer a few questions and share your thoughts! 


The Arts and Education Symposium: 10/13/11 

EPLC is pleased to present the Arts and Education Symposium on Thursday, October 13 in Harrisburg.  A signature event of the Arts and Education Initiative, the Symposium will bring together leaders in the arts and education from across and beyond the state for crucial presentations and discussions about public policy as it can support quality arts programming for all Pennsylvanians.  The Symposium will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the State Museum of Pennsylvania.  We hope you can come!  Please stay tuned for details about online registration access.


AEI Regional Community Forums

AEI has held two successful Community Forums, first in Altoona on May 25, and then in Harrisburg on June 14.  AEI Community Forums consist of thought-provoking conversations about the arts and education in Pennsylvania schools and communities.  The ideas and insights exchanged are a key part of the ongoing research of AEI.  In the coming months, Forums will occur in Allentown, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Erie, Scranton, and Williamsport.  Dates will soon be confirmed and shared.  Open to artists, teachers, cultural organization and school administrators--to anyone concerned with the arts in Pennsylvania--Forums begin at 6:00 p.m. on a weekday with refreshments and networking, and the discussion-centered programs run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  There is no cost to attend, but we ask that you RSVP.  Please look for invitations soon via email and visit for more details.


 Policy News 


July Meeting of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts

On July 12, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts convened its first meeting in Harrisburg for the eight new Council appointees and new Chairwoman, Susan Corbett.  The Council reviewed and voted to approve the 2011-2012 budget prepared and recommended by the Council staff, including grants to specific arts organizations that had successfully completed the application process.  A decision by the Council that day allocated an additional $75,000 to fund artist residencies in Pennsylvania schools.  Council members voiced their support for arts education and felt that this funding measure was prudent in light of recent cuts to public education in the 2011-12 state budget.  To everyone's delight, DeVonna Smith, a 2011 graduate of Reading High School and an incoming freshman at West Chester University, gave two stirring renditions of poems that she recited during her journey through the Poetry Out Loud competition.  DeVonna captured the top prize in Pennsylvania and placed Third at the national competition. 


Strategic Planning at the Council on the Arts

The mission of our Council on the Arts (PCA) is to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state.  Every five years, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts develops a strategic plan consisting of goals, strategies, and tactics to guide its work for the approaching five years.  This fall, the PCA will hold a series of community meetings to engage the public in the process of its new planning cycle.  Staff are currently working on establishing dates, times, and locations for the meetings.  Click to review the 2006-2010 and 2001-2005 plans of the PCA. 


National Endowment for the Arts - Budget Debate

The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee passed a funding bill for the Department of the Interior for Fiscal Year 2012.  The bill includes a $20 million reduction in funding for the NEA, which is currently funded at $155 million for Fiscal Year 2011, leaving the NEA with a $135 million budget.  On July 28, H.R. 2584, a bill that would have implemented an additional $10.6 million cut to the NEA budget, failed to pass in the House by a vote of 240-181.  Next on the agenda, the entire House Interior budget bill is to be completed and voted on.  Every legislative vote will count, so it is important that interested stakeholders contact legislators immediately to demonstrate support for continued and adequate NEA funding.  Learn more at Americans For the Arts.


Arts and Education News


Teaching 21st-century Skills in P-12 Classrooms

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a national organization that promotes 21st-century skills preparedness for school students, has just released a toolkit demonstrating ways to help districts and teachers implement the Common Core State Standards while supporting ongoing initiatives to promote 21st-century learning.  Explore interesting examples, exercises, and activities, and find helpful classroom resources to improve your practices.  View and download the toolkit online.  Also be sure to take a look at the previously-released 21st-century Skills Arts Map, which presents the fundamental connections between arts education and creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.
Related Items of Note 


Art as Advocacy: Tell Your Education Story and Win!
Education Voters of Pennsylvania is dedicated to informing the public about the needs and importance of our public schools, ensuring our political leaders adopt and implement a pro-public education agenda, and holding those leaders accountable if they fail to do so.  Your help is needed to let their audiences better understand the importance of state support for education.  Create a compelling video related to education and register to win big prizes!  Read all the details and enter the contest online.

AEP Fall Forum in San Francisco, September 15-16

Explore the amazing arts of the City by the Bay while you are in California for the Fall Forum of the Arts Education Partnership: Transforming Urban School Systems Through the Arts.  Be sure to attend EPLC President Ron Cowell's session on the significant relationship between public policy and arts education.  Online registration for the Forum is available.
PAEA 2011 Conference in Gettysburg, October 20-23
Join the Pennsylvania Art Education Association at the Wyndham in Gettysburg this fall for its annual conference.  "Dedicated," was granted its name thanks to the inspiration of Abraham Lincoln's frequent use of the word in the Gettysburg Address he delivered in 1863.  AEI will convene and lead a session at the conference at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 21.  Online registration is now open.