NEA Announces 5th Education Leaders Institute

April 9, 2010
Contact: Alex A.G. Shapiro
Phone: 312/814-6762


Washington, DC — Through the Education Leaders Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts will convene decision-makers from several states to develop coordinated state arts education strategies to design public education with arts at the core. The latest Education Leaders Institute will be held in Chicago, Illinois, on July 26-28, 2010. The five state teams are led by the Oregon Arts Commission, Washington State Arts Commission, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Arts Alliance Illinois, and Ohio Arts Council.

Launched in 2007, the Education Leaders Institutes bring together policymakers, educators, advocates, and artists to design arts education plans for their respective states. With this upcoming Institute, the NEA will have gathered policy teams from 23 states and the District of Columbia in the past three years.

“The arts provide new ways of thinking, new ways to draw connections,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “They are important social capital, and they help maintain our competitive edge by fostering innovation and creativity.” Landesman announced the five state teams today as he gave remarks alongside U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Arts Education Partnership’s Spring 2010 Forum. The Arts Education Partnership is a collaboration between the Arts Endowment, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The Arts Education Partnership supports national conversations and policy dissemination among 130 arts education, general education, and private sector entities. Remarks by Chairman Landesman and Secretary Duncan will be available.

The NEA Education Leaders Institutes convene state teams to discuss a shared arts education challenge, and create strategies to strengthen their state’s arts education policies. State teams may include state department of education officials, governor’s cabinet members, superintendents, district-level school leaders, artists, arts advocates, philanthropists and business leaders. Each group includes a “team lead,” the organization that has convened the other partners to address shared challenges. These teams will discuss solutions for intractable issues, such as enhancing arts training for generalist classroom teachers; improving networks of educators and arts professionals; arts education policy for middle schools; and the role of the arts in developing 21st century skills.

The NEA is working in cooperation with the Illinois Arts Council, and its partner the Illinois Humanities Council to implement the NEA Education Leaders Institute. The Illinois Arts Council has broad experience with state and local government collaborations, and expertise in arts-in-education issues.

“The Institute provides participants with a think tank environment in which they can explore and develop strategies for ensuring the arts are a key component of K-12 education in their states,” said Illinois Arts Council Chairman Shirley R. Madigan.

NEA Arts Education

Since its inception in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has provided leadership to develop and sustain an agenda for arts education. The agency has led efforts to make the arts a part of the core education for all K-12 students and to increase arts education opportunities outside of school settings. The Arts Endowment provides direct grants in arts education, collaborates in federal, state, and public-private partnerships, and conducts research on arts education for the K-12 community and lifelong learners. Many NEA programs combine the presentation of arts with arts education to foster the next generation of artists, audiences, and patrons. Visit the Arts Education section of the NEA website for more information.

About the Illinois Arts Council

The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, is committed to the cultural, educational, and economic growth of the diverse people and communities of the state through support and encouragement of artists and the arts.

About the National Endowment for the Arts

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. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit


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