There are many opportunities to participate in arts learning in Wyoming!
The Wyoming Arts Council is dedicated to advancing the arts and providing arts learning experiences in both schools and the community. Through high quality arts engagement, arts integration, and arts exploration, arts learning builds cultural understanding, mutual respect, and strong communities. Arts learning empowers students of all ages and backgrounds to build a greater understanding of self.
Arts learning provides the knowledge, skills and understanding to actively engage in the arts throughout a lifetime. Arts literary also fosters connections between the arts, and between the arts and the community.
The Arts Council works to advance arts learning and cultivates creativity through grant programs, educational outreach and arts learning partnerships.
Courtney Widhalm from Baldwin Creek Elementary and Gannett Peak Elementary schools in Lander was selected as the 2020 Arts Learning Innovation Award recipient for a distinguished Wyoming arts educator.
The Wyoming Arts Council established the Arts Learning Innovation Award in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Education (WDE). The award was established to promote awareness and appreciation of Pre K-12 arts educators, recognizing their creativity, talent and leadership in education.
Widhalm, who is in her ninth year of teaching, will be honored for her work in arts education at the Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference, which will be held virtually this year, Nov. 5 – 6, to honor outstanding educators that are incorporating digital learning into their work. “It is such an honor to win this award,” Widhalm said. “I work hard to design authentic art projects that take students into the community and learn about their world because I want them to see and experience the possibilities for careers in art.”
As a supporter and partner in arts education, the Wyoming Arts Council remains dedicated to making the arts fundamental to education, particularly in supporting programs and educators that serve Pre K – 12 students. “We received a tremendous response from parents, students, educators and administrators with nominations for stand-out art educators in their community,” said Mary Billiter. Any Wyoming licensed and certified arts educator in any art discipline – theater, dance, visual, literary and performing arts were eligible to be nominated.
“The strong selection of submissions we received provided a wonderful challenge for our panel of judges, who ultimately selected Widhalm for the work they cited that went above and beyond,” said Billiter.
Leslie Voxland, Gannett Peak Elementary Principal hired Widham as an arts educator more than eight years ago. “She stood out immediately – even on Zoom,” said Voxland, who noted Widhalm’s online interview. “I fell in love with her. She had a special spark to her.” Voxland credited Widhalm with building connections within the community to bring new art experiences to her students. “I would not be able to provide these special projects without help. Most of my big project ideas result from collaborating,” said Widhalm. Widhalm has partnered with Promoting Arts in Lander Schools (PALS), local artists, Wyoming Game and Fish, ATLAS, the Lander Art Center, and Maker Space 307. Widhalm’s motivation to teach art started in the classroom. “I had an art teacher that believed in me and fostered my creativity. I have always loved art but I would not have pursued it without her support. I hope to pay it forward and plant the seed for my students to love and appreciate art,” she said. Click here to watch the YouTube video on Courtney Widhalm.
For more information, please contact the Wyoming Arts Council.
The Wyoming Arts Council’s “Arts Learning Innovation Award” was established to recognize a distinguished Wyoming arts educator in all artistic disciplines including, theater, dance, visual, literary and performing arts. The award is a collaborative partnership with the Wyoming Department of Education’s (WDE) Wyoming Innovations in Learning Conference. The conference, which will be held virtually again this year on Sept. 30 – Oct. 1, honors outstanding educators that are incorporating digital learning into their work.
As a supporter and partner in arts education, the Arts Council is dedicated to making the arts fundamental to education, particularly in supporting programs that serve Pre K – 12 students. The Arts Council established an arts learning award to promote awareness and appreciation of arts educators, recognizing their creativity, talent and leadership in education.
The Arts Learning Innovations Award is an award to recognize a Pre K-12 Wyoming arts educator, who is utilizing new and innovative ways to incorporate arts in their classroom or in an online environment.
The recipient of this award will be notified by the Wyoming Arts Council and will receive an Amazon gift card and free registration to attend the 2021 Wyoming Innovations in Learning Virtual Conference, Sept. 30 – Oct. 1 where they will be recognized during the awards ceremony.
The opportunity to nominate outstanding Wyoming arts educators for this award is open to all. Areas to consider in the nominating process of a Wyoming arts educator include:
Wyoming licensed and certified arts educators in any art discipline – theater, dance, visual, literary and performing arts are eligible.
Nominations are submitted through the online nomination form located on the Wyoming Arts Council website. Members of the Wyoming Arts Council and Wyoming Arts Council board will decide the recipient of this award.
Schools Districts may apply for funding to enrich and extend their arts education programming. Some examples of this include bringing in artists for residencies or performances, purchasing new equipment which will grow a program, or after school programming. WAC expects that school districts will provide basic arts education as is required by law, but does occasionally work with schools to get new programs off the ground or revive old programs. Under our new granting system, school districts may apply for a Community Support Grant, through which they could fund a series of programs a variety of schools, or depending on the population size of the community, may also be eligible to apply for the Rural Arts Access Grant.
Organizations apply for funding to bring artists into schools, senior centers, arts centers, or to do special projects involving education such as summer camps, or to support classes. Organizations who have ongoing programming should apply for the Community Support Grant.
There are several listservs available to arts teachers in the state. To subscribe to them, please determine which is correct for you and follow the instructions . All the listservs are used to let teachers know of opportunities for themselves and their students.
Information about state issues including standards and assessments are also sent over the listservs. All of them are discussion listservs and teachers are encouraged to use them to ask questions about anything relevant. The listserv owners request that you provide your name, school and email address as these are restricted membership listservs.WY Music Educators Association
WY Secondary Art Educators
WY Elementary Art Educators
This listserv is for WY art teachers who teach grades k-8. This listserv is intended to be a place for elementary art educators in the state of Wyoming to discuss relevant issues and provide support for each other. To subscribe click here.
WY Art Education Association
WY Educators of Secondary Theater
Contact: Michael Lange