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DC Collaborative E-News 

  March 2011
Notes from the Executive Director
Arts Educators Face Unprecedented Opportunities as Well as Challenges 
Louise Kennelly

Ironically, just when there are signs that arts education is positioned to take a more central role in education reform, our field is also facing unprecedented cuts to its public funding.

The good news is that arts education is being included more and more in the mainstream conversation about what can be done to improve education in the U.S. If the upcoming conference on the Art of Science Learning, supported by the National Science Foundation and held at the National Museum of American History on April 6 and 7 is any indication, there is an increasing recognition of the fact that a cross-disciplinary approach to learning is central to an effective curriculum. Another positive sign came in the form of a recent letter from US Education Secretary Arne Duncan to all state governor's urging them to avoid making "short-sighted cuts" and specifically named "eliminating instruction in the arts" as one of the cuts to avoid. Nevertheless, arts education continues to face unprecedented budgetary cuts at the federal, state and local levels with some of the most important grant programs and leading institutions in our field feeling the brunt of these developments. Now, more than ever, we must devote time to informing policy makers, starting with participation in the Americans for the Arts-sponsored Arts Advocacy Day on April 4, and we must invest in new ways to support and advance the powerful voice of DC parents and teachers, demanding a more integral role for arts and humanities education.

Getting involved in awareness building can be as simple as drafting and disseminating a powerful and persuasive case study of how your program or services make a positive difference in students' lives; or calling your council person and other representatives and informing them of why access to arts and humanities education matters, and why every public and public chartered school student in DC should have access to teachers in all the arts disciplines, and why a fully funded DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is critical, not optional, for DC's educational and economic success and its livability. 

Member Update

Highlights from the NAEA Convention in Seattle


Many DC Collaborative members journeyed to Seattle for the National Arts Education Association's (NAEA) annual conference on March 18, considered the world's largest art education convention.


This year's convention theme, "Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation in Art Education" encouraged participants to explore the ways arts education can advance 21st Century Skills that all learners will need to be successful.  


"It was a good conference this year," said Gail Murdock, Peabody Elementary school teacher, who presented at the conference with members of the Phillips Collection education team, including Suzanne Wright, Paul Ruther, Rachel Goldberg, and Melissa Smith. The team presented on "Teach with O'Keefe," an educational outreach program which seeks to inspire children to learn--not only in visual arts, but in language arts, science, social studies and the performing arts--though the life and work of Georgia O'Keefe. The four-day convention included more than 1,000 participatory workshops, panels, seminars, discussions, exhibits, and tours. Keynote addresses included "Holistic Approaches to Creativity, A Closer Look with artist Mark Dion."  In addition, the author Robert Root Berstein spoke on observations from his book Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World's Most Creative People. 

 DC Collaborative Update


Board Member David Ferrero Makes a Case for the Humanities   

Look for DC Collaborative board member David J. Ferrero's article in the March issue of Educational Leadership. Ferrero, a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, makes a strong case for the humanities, arguing that a better grasp of art, literature, music, and history allows a student to understand their place in the world, as well as ways in which to improve it.  Those with a strong liberal arts education can put everything from news and current events to popular entertainment into an historical and artistic context, giving them a greater understanding and appreciation of the world around them.


The article discusses the importance of teaching the humanities to today's students. Ferrero stresses the importance of a broad education not only for our students, but for society as well. 


DCPS Art Teachers Convene, Connect with Cultural Orgs


DCPS art teachers convened for a Professional Development meeting Friday, March 18, at MacFarland Middle School. They dedicated a portion of the day to interacting with cultural organizations invited to share arts education opportunities for students.


A number of DC Collaborative members were in attendance including the National Museum of African Art and the National Building Museum, setting up information tables for teachers to explore. Teachers spent the first part of the day discussing approaches to integrating the arts and humanities into their courses. It was a good opportunity for teachers to collaborate and connect with cultural organizations.

11th Annual Student Artwork Exhibition at National Airport 

The 11th Annual Citywide Student Art Exhibition will be held at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, with the theme "Celebration of Artistic Expressions." This exhibition will showcase an array of students' artistic achievements to the national public, Washington, DC, and DCPS school stakeholders. The exhibit will run from April 11th-May 30, 2011. Please contact Dixie at 202.204.7753 or via email at dixie@dccollaborative.org for more details or if you would like to submit student artwork to the exhibit, due by April 6.


Program Spotlight

Students Experience Song and Dance at THEARC Theatre 


On March 4th, hundreds of students across DC attended THEARC Theatre via DC Collaborative's Arts For Every Student Program where they experienced Keeping the Beat: Contemporary American Traditional Dance, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble's newest Arts-in-Education program.The show presented live music and authentic American traditional dance in an energetic, engaging performance with plenty of audience participation. This production included live fiddle music, American clogging and hambone along with call-and-answer songs, rhythms, and other related dances such as French Canadian stepdance and South African bootdance. Hundreds of students also had the chance to learn about African-American, Celtic, and Native American cultural traditions throughout the show. 

Board Member Spotlight   

Gina Sacripanti   


Gina Sacripanti
Gina Sacripanti

The DC Collaborative is lucky to benefit from the guidance and energy of new board member, Gina Sacripanti. She is the Senior Director of Business Development and Marketing for The Washington Examiner, where she leads brand management, sponsorship and community outreach. Prior to this position, Gina was interim CEO and Chief Operating Officer for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Federal Credit Union and has worked in not-for-profit financial services industry for fifteen years. She holds a bachelor of administration degree from Villanova University and a Masters of Business Administration from George Washington University.  Gina is a member of the Steering Committee of Advertising Week DC and recently has served on the National Cherry Blossom Festival's Pink Tie Party Host Committee. She is a native of the Washington area. Though just joining the board last year, Gina has already contributed a great deal, Co-Chairing the 2011 Benefit Gala, for example, which will be held at the French Embassy on March 8, 2011 (you can find more information, here: http://dcahecgala.eventbrite.com/). We would like to welcome Ms. Sacripanti to DC Collaborative, and we are very excited to continue our work with her. 

DC Collaborative Events

There's Still Time to Get Tickets!  

DC Collaborative Benefit Gala, April 8  

Join us on April 8, 2011  

Under the Patronage of Chargé d'Affaires François Rivasseau, Embassy of France  


Join us for a celebration 12 years in the making! On Friday, April 8th, the DC Arts & Humanities Education Collaborative is holding our Fundraiser and Auction at La Maison Francaise. Enjoy fine wines, sumptuous appetizers, a music soundscape by DJ Jahsonic, and well-deserved recognitions and honors. Also, take part in the exciting live and silent auctions (gifts include Two Openskies Roundtrip Business Class Flight to France, $1000 worth of delicious gourmet wines and more)!


Join DC's cultural leaders, philanthropists and arts and humanities institutions as we celebrate our mission of providing access to arts and humanities for all DC public and chartered public school students. Help us raise funds to support another 12 years and beyond.  Be a part of the transformative power of the arts and humanities. Be a part of supporting the movement to make DC a world-class city for arts and humanities education! 

Honorary Chair: The Honorable Vincent C. Gray


Honorary Committee: Anne Ashmore-Hudson, Rhona Wolfe Friedman, Philippa Hughes, Kay Kendall, Ora Nwabueze, Ju­dith Terra and George Vradenburg 


 Friday, April 8, 2011

6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

La Maison Française at the Embassy of France

4101 Reservoir Road, NW

Washington, D.C.


Cocktail attire encouraged


Garage parking available for first 100 guests. Ample street parking along Reservoir Road  



Individual tickets: $75

Premium VIP tickets: $125, inclusive of goodie bag  

To Purchase tickets, click here. 


Thank you to all of our members who have donated an auction item! 

Member Spotlight

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


 Kennedy Center

For more than 35 years, the Kennedy Center Education Department has provided quality arts experiences for students, teachers, families, and the general public throughout the United States. In the past year, the Center's education programs have directly impacted more than 11 million people.   The resources of the Department focuses locally and nationally on creating school- and community-based residencies and partnerships that directly impact teachers, students, administrators, and artists through professional development; school improvement through arts integrated curricula; creating educational resources available in print and on the Internet; producing, presenting, and touring performances and educational events for young people and their families; the development of careers in the arts for young people and aspiring professionals; and providing access to the arts for people with disabilities.  This includes educational programming for the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage and oversight for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Kennedy Center's Office of Accessibility, and VSA an international organization on arts and disability.


The Kennedy Center's local programs in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area include in-depth arts education partnerships with 40 schools, including 20 in the District of Columbia.  Approximately 700 teachers attend the Kennedy Center's 20 Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) professional development for teachers workshops and courses, with a Certificate of Study award for teachers who complete attendance and assignment requirements.  The Kennedy Center convenes principals and arts instructional supervisors three to four times per year through its Principals' Arts Education Forum and Council of Metropolitan Arts Supervisors, which address issues related to the improvement of education, specifically education in the arts.


The Kennedy Center is a founding member of the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, providing leadership through board representation since its inception and housing the administrative offices for the organization for its first nine years.  The Kennedy Center sponsors the Fifth Grade Initiative, which provides approximately 5,000 fifth grade students in DC public and public charter schools, tickets and transportation to see a performance at the Kennedy Center annually.


Members in the News!


Two of our members were mentioned this month in the Huffington Post's article about "Classroom Heroes."  March's "hero," Page Hernandez, is a teaching artist and performer who works with programs and schools to bring arts education to kids throughout the DC area.  DC Collaborative members Arena Stage and the Wolftrap Institue for Early Learning Through the Arts were specifically mentioned for the work that they do with Ms. Hernandez.   

To read more about Ms. Hernandez and her collaboration with Arena Stage and Wolftrap, click here.


An interview with director/writer/choreographer, Artistic Director of Adventure Theatre, and DC Collabortive board member Michael J. Bobbitt is featured in the DCTheatreScene.com Read the interview to learn about the recent success of Adventure Theatre's Mirandy and Brother Wind.

DC Collaborative Welcomes Two New Staff Members   

Dixie Hairston  

Dixie will be the new program manager of school services for the DC Collaborative and a full-time staff member beginning June 1.

Dixie Hairston
Dixie Hairston graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 2009. She moved to DC in August in order to participate in American University's Graduate Gateway Program for International Affairs with a specific focus on children in developing countries. It was through this program that she became an Intern for the Collaborative in September.

She has both hands-on experience with and an interest in the education system in DC. She will be the new point of contact for AFES programs and any other school service.

Melissa Danielson 
Melissa DanielsonMelissa recently joined the staff at the DC Collaborative as the Program Manager of Member Services. Most recently with the Erie Playhouse, Melissa has been involved in numerous community art projects such as the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation-sponsored Historic PA Rt. 6 Read Between the Signs initiative, as well as with numerous mural painting projects at vocational and community centers.  She participated in a year of AmeriCorps wherin she worked on an intergenerational arts program at an assisted living home where she helped to facilitate positive interaction between area youth and elderly residents.   Melissa draws from her experiences abroad, including teaching in Jaipur, India, where she partnered with I-India on arts-empowerment projects such as mural painting with at-risk girls.  Melissa has a strong ethic of service and participated in Bike and Build, riding her bike across the country in an effort to raise funds for more affordable housing and benefitting Habitat for Humanity. She recruited new supporters and stakeholders in the effort such as the Mayor of Erie and President of Allegheny College.  She has a strong background in the visual arts with a BA in Studio Art from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA.  
Donate Now!
Provide the Keys to Wonder

Make the DC Collaborative a part of your giving plan this year!  Help us bring quality arts and humanities education to all DC public and chartered public schools. Your donation can provide tickets and transportation through the Arts for Every Student program, support teacher registration fees for Professional Development workshops, or provide  for support for arts-integrated work with schools as part of the Arts Education Initiative.

                                                      Donate Now!
Job Opportunities
  •  Arena Stage is seeking an Associate Director of Marketing.  To apply, please send cover letter and resume to Caroline Baron, Human Resources Associate, Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024. Fax to 202-488-4056 or e-mail to jobs@arenastage.org. No calls please. EOE
  •  DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is looking for a Grants Program Manager. To apply, please email your resume and cover letter to Ayris.Scales@dc.gov, with the following subject line: GRANTS PROGRAM MANAGER
  • Joy of Motion Dance Center is seeking a Marketing and PR Manager. JOMDC is an equal opportunity employer. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, portfolio, 3 references, salary history and requirements to: Joy of Motion Dance Center Attn: Human Resources 1333 H Street, NE Washington, DC 20002 fax: 202-399-6761 humanresources@joyofmotion.org
  • Ford's Theatre Society is looking for an Assistant House Manager.  To apply, please send cover letter and resume to abeck@fords.org. NO phone calls, please.

About the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative:
More than fifty members strong, the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative (DC Collaborative) provides equitable access to quality arts and humanities education for all DC public and chartered public schools for the growth of the whole child. Working with its partners, since its founding in 1998, the DC Collaborative produces such exemplary programs as Arts for Every Student and the Arts Education Initiative.

For more information on the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative, Please visit our website by
clicking here.

If you would like to include something in our next member e-news, please email us at info@dccollaborative.org
On behalf of the DC Collaborative we look forward to working with you and we hope you have a great fall!
DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
1835 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
p. (202) 204-7750
f.  (202) 204-7803