Posted in GAP News, Greenville Public School District, Mississippi Art News, Western Line School District

Greenville Arts Partnership Members Attending Kennedy Center Annual Meeting

In 2003, the Greenville Arts Partnership became the first partnership of its’ kind in the state of Mississippi to be welcomed into the Partners in Education program of the John F.  Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  The Kennedy Center’s prestigious Partners in Education Program is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation to develop and expand educational partnerships with local school systems.

The Greenville Arts Partnership Team currently consists of Dr. Kathryn Lewis, Director of Education for the Greenville Arts Council, Ms. MacKenzie Stroh, Executive Director for the Greenville Arts Council, Dr. Leeson Taylor, Deputy Superintendent of the Greenville Public School District, and Mr. Michael Ray of the Western Line School District. Stroh, Taylor and Ray will be participating in the Kennedy Center’s Annual Meeting in Washington D.C from February 15-19, which will provide models and planning strategies for establishing or expanding professional development programs in the arts for all teachers.

Over the seven years that the Greenville Arts Partnership has been a member of the Partners in Education Program, the team has expanded programming for teachers as a result of their work at the Institute and has been invited to continue their association with the Kennedy Center through Annual Meeting of partnership members.

The Annual Meeting allows local team members to receive additional training related to program and partnership development, and to recast the terms of their written partnership agreement. The Annual Meeting will also provide the opportunity for teams to learn from each other’s experiences, renewing professional associations with other partnership team members and Kennedy Center staff. Stroh, who will be attending the Annual Meeting for the first time, said, “The opportunity to network with similar programs all over the county will be invaluable as our team reflects on our own partnership and where we hope to bring it in years to come.”

For more information about the Greenville Arts Partnership contact the Greenville Arts Council offices at (662) 332-2246 or Megan Hines at mhines@greenville-arts-council.com. For more information about the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program visit http://www.kennedy-center.org/education/partners/

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The mission of the Greenville Arts Council is to promote the rich cultural heritage of the region and stimulate and encourage cultural activities, arts appreciation, arts education, and the creative works of artists. Some of the responsibilities that help define the Greenville Arts Council as the primary promoter of the arts in our area include offering art classes to children and adults, organizing community events, presenting an ongoing series of free exhibits featuring visual artists from the area and the state, and coordinating educational programs which teach arts-integration in local schools. The Greenville Arts Partnership between the Greenville Arts Council, the Greenville Public School District and our three community arts partners, Delta Center Stage, Delta Symphony Association and the Delta Children’s Museum, is focused on full arts integration in the GPSD elementary schools. Plentiful research documents the value of the teaching in and through the arts to help students understand core academic concepts on a deep level. The partnership was the first in the state of Mississippi accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program in 2003, joining over 100 other partnerships between school districts and arts organizations across the country. The partnership provides professional development for teachers, arts experiences for students and resource and referral on arts integration issues. Professional development has been provided in two ways, through workshops with Teaching Artists from the Kennedy Touring Roster and grade-level and/or discipline-specific professional development with our local staff. We present a series of model demonstration lessons to teachers in grades K to 6, demonstrating connections between Partnership free arts programming and required state frameworks. The partner arts groups present a series of live performances allowing each elementary child in the GPSD to attend at least once each year. The groups work with the Arts Council staff to develop accompanying curriculum-based educational material for distribution to teachers prior to each performance. Over the years, we have succeeded in providing basic arts integration training district-wide as well as in-depth professional development to allow groups of teachers to increase their level of mastery.