Sunday, October 24, 2010

in other words...

in other words

ARTS North Carolina has a lot to say about arts education. But we’re turning over the mic to our Board members who are Task Force members and others who attended the third Arts Education Comprehensive Plan Task Force on October 21. The draft work of the Task Force will be presented at the North Carolina State Board of Education meeting on November 3. You can and should attend the State Board meeting and the next Task Force meeting scheduled for November 10. Now read on for the reflections of arts leaders in North Carolina about the Task Force work…

As a neophyte about the complexities of the issues on the table, and as someone observing a limited portion of the process for the first time, I was impressed by how well task force members seemed to be working together to achieve results; by the breadth and depth of the task force’s inquiries (as demonstrated by reporting on additional requested information); and by the support of the North Carolina Arts Council’s staff. The imperative for success has certainly never been more clear in my own mind after listening to the passion, concerns, and aspirations of individuals representing educators, educational administrators, our communities, and the arts.
Merritt Vale, President and CEO, Winston Salem Symphony

I was very impressed with the work of the group. They arrived at a lot of consensus about the need for major changes in our schools, in order to do what's right for the children in our state. It was clear to me, and seemed to be clear to many of the task force members, that legislation will need to be introduced to implement these changes. I am hopeful that the members of Arts NC and NCTC will have an exciting bill to support in the next session.
Angie Hays, Executive Director, North Carolina Theatre Conference

What a daunting task and important task. I was only able to stay through the early portion of the meeting, but in that time was impressed with the careful thought of the members of the task force and encouraged by the dialogue that I was present to hear.
Sharon Moore, Director, Center Stage

It was great to see legislative work in progress. There were teachers, administrators, lawyers, legislators and others working together on the common goal of developing an arts education plan for all North Carolina students. Although they didn't always agree on 'how' an arts education plan will be implemented, they were in total agreement on 'why' the plan is essential and that vision keeps the Arts Education Task Force moving forward. Our state is blessed to have this level of leadership committed to our children's overall education.
Debbie Lumpkin, Executive Director, High Point Area Arts Council

I applaud the work of the Arts Education Task Force.  It was so encouraging to see this group, made up of professionals representing all sectors of the education community, unified behind the vision that the arts are essential to an education that will prepare our students for the new global, knowledge-based economy.
Catherine Heitz New, Director of Corporate and Workplace Giving at The Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County

I am impressed by the thoughtful questions the committee is asking but mostly I am absolutely thrilled that there is a room full of legislators, superintendents, principals and citizens who are seriously working to insure that every student in NC has high quality arts education in his/her school!
Judy Osborne, Theatre Arts Educator, Union Pines High School

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From ARTS North Carolina's President...

The Arts Education Task Force met on October 5th for our second meeting, which included a presentation on A+ Schools programs. Committee member and Guilford County Schools principal Alan Parker stated, "In all my twenty-plus years of teaching and administrating, the three years I spent at Parkview A+ School were my most rewarding." 

Representative Becky Carney, a true champion for arts education in North Carolina's public schools, inspired the group when she said, "It is not the job of this Committee to determine whether we have arts education policy, it is our job to determine how we serve the children of North Carolina through arts education." 

The Task Force is working on a mission statement and will meet again on October 21. A report is due to the North Carolina General Assembly by December 1.

Pierce Egerton
ARTS North Carolina President and Arts Education Task Force Member

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Counting the Days

The arts are an election issue.  At this critical moment in time, candidates are talking about jobs, the economy, values, and how to transform education.  North Carolina's creative industry is responsible for 300,000 jobs and $40+ billion in goods and services. It's up to us to connect the dots.

The time to make a friend with people who hold the power to affect the arts is BEFORE the election.  With less than 28 days remaining, get engaged and act on your passion for the arts.

     Individuals can send contributions to their choice of candidates.
     Individuals can volunteer for the campaigns.
     Organizations and individuals can inform and engage
          Attend a rally or a forum
          Submit questions to websites conducting forums and to candidate websites.
          Write a letter to the editor

Most importantly, VOTE on NOVEMBER 2.  If you run an organization, give your staff an hour off and make a big deal to people around you encouraging them to vote.