Introducing the North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative

Huntsville, AL – Arts Huntsville is proud to announce the launch of the North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative, an initiative of the Alabama Artistic Literacy Consortium. Arts Huntsville is one of three organizations statewide to launch this pilot program, focused on promoting artistic literacy in schools and providing students with increased access to arts education by integrating it with other subjects such as math, science and language arts.

The North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative is funded by the Alabama State Council on the Arts with support from the Alabama State Legislature and operates in association with the Alabama State Department of Education. Two other Arts Education Collaborative pilot-programs are being launched in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa later this fall.

The Arts Education Collaboratives are an outgrowth of Alabama’s Plan for Arts Education, with its mission to provide fully-funded, high-quality arts education that enlightens, inspires, and develops in every Alabama student the creative and innovative thinking necessary to ensure college and career readiness.

“Here in North Alabama and across the state, we are committed to preparing students for college and careers, and research shows that 90 percent of the highest scoring schools on the ACT Plan have access to arts education,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, executive Director of Arts Huntsville. “We credit Governor Ivey and the Alabama State Legislature for recognizing the critical role that creativity and arts education plays in preparing our 21st century workforce.”

The Arts Education Collaborative

Retired Huntsville City Schools teacher Karen Anderson has been hired as the Director of the North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative. Karen has more than 30 years of experience as a public-school music educator in Alabama, Texas, and Kentucky.

“Expanding access to arts instruction in schools presents opportunities to enrich the learning environment and provide students with critical creative thinking abilities as well as valuable life skills,” said Karen. “We are excited to reach even more districts, schools, and students by connecting them to existing arts programming provided by area arts organizations as well as offering new integrated arts partnerships.”

While headquartered in Huntsville, the North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative will provide outreach to six school districts across three counties: Huntsville City, Madison City, Madison County, Athens City, Limestone County, and Decatur City schools.

Arts in the Classroom

In recent years, Arts Huntsville has facilitated successful Integrated Arts Partnerships at Huntsville’s Williams Elementary and Challenger Elementary where teaching artists came to the classroom to integrate theatre into the writing and social studies curriculum.

“The program was so beneficial,” said third grade Williams Elementary teacher Mariel Miller, who was one of the first teachers to implement the program in her classroom. “You’re bringing kids out of their shells that you wouldn’t expect. They’re constantly wanting to come to school, they want to learn, they want to implement everything they learn. If any teacher has the opportunity to do it, they definitely need to.”

The public can learn more about the impact of arts integration in the classroom directly from educators by watching our video here.

How to Get Involved: Educator + Artist Networking Events

Arts Huntsville will be hosting two networking and informational events to connect teachers and administrators with area arts organizations and teachings artists specializing in theatre, dance, music, spoken word and visual arts.

The first networking event will be held in Decatur at the Princess Theatre Thursday, September 27th, from 4-6pm. See Facebook Event page here.

The second will be held at Yellowhammer Brewing on Friday, September 28th, from 4-6pm. See Facebook Event page here.

Educators and Administrators will get to learn more about arts education programs available in the 2018-19 academic year as well as meet local teaching artists who can help to use the arts to better engage students and achieve benchmarks in math, science, language arts and other core curricular areas.

Arts Education Resources

Teachers and educators can learn more about the North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative at artshuntsville.org/arts-education. They can also download a FREE Arts Education Resource guide showcasing student learning opportunities in five categories: Arts Integration, Arts Enhancement, Arts Exposure, Arts in the Community, and Arts Competitions.