Posted in GAP News, Mississippi Art News

Champions of Change: Arts Education | The White House

Did you know that each week the White House highlights individuals that they believe are making extraordinary changes in their community? Last week 17 individuals across the country were recognized for their commitment to Arts Education. Find out more about the Champions of Change program and the outstanding individuals after the jump!President Obama believes that the arts and humanities should be part of the education of every child in America. The power of the arts and humanities to foster creativity in developing minds, to engage and motivate students in school and to prepare all children for productive futures is essential for the future of nation’s cultural and economic life. This is an extraordinary group of actors, teachers, principals, superintendents and organizations who are creating innovative programs across the country that are benefiting their local communities. Read the highlights of each individual at the Champions of Change: Arts Education | The White House website.

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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.