NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman Announces Upcoming NEA Education Leaders Institute

Washington, DC -- This spring, the sixth NEA Education Leaders Institute will convene decisionmakers from state education departments, state arts agencies, along with educators, artists, public policy, business, and philanthropic leaders to put arts education at the center of discussion on education policy. The upcoming NEA Education Leaders Institute will take place May 11-13, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois. Five state teams will attend: these teams are led by the California Arts Council; the Idaho Department of Education; the Kansas Arts Commission; the Missouri Arts Council; and the South Dakota Arts Council. Since 2007, the NEA has gathered arts education policy teams from 28 states and the District of Columbia.   

"Arts education helps young people develop creativity, innovation, and critical thinking – these are skills that every community needs," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "Through the NEA Education Leaders Institute, the NEA helps ensure that arts education has a place at the table when state education policy decisions are made." 

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 team has a lead organization that has convened the other partners to address shared challenges.  These teams will discuss solutions for intractable issues, such as improving networks of educators and arts professionals, fostering innovative approaches to curriculum design and implementation, and sustaining and increasing public arts education at the district, state, and national levels.

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.     

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 was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA


Sally Gifford