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