Wyoming Arts Council

Wyoming selected for national arts education initiative

lvhs students at UW

Arts education in action: Lander Valley High School students and teacher Shawna Pickinpaugh attend a printmaking workshop conducted by University of Wyoming art professor Mark Ritchie (far right) in the UW visual arts building. Photo by Joe Meyer.

Wyoming was selected to join Americans  for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, as part of ten state teams administering a three-year pilot program to strengthen arts education by advancing state policy.

The ten states entering this State Policy Pilot Program (SP3) are Wyoming, Arizona, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Arkansas, North Carolina, California, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oklahoma.

“It is a true honor to be selected for this work of advancing arts education,” said Katie Christensen, team leader and arts education specialist with the Wyoming Arts Council. “Collectively, we can come together and create a better Wyoming in and through the arts.”

Through Americans for the Arts, the team from Wyoming is receiving customized coaching and technical assistance throughout the three-year State Policy Pilot Program (SP3) via web-based tools and site visits. Additionally, the Wyoming team will receive a direct grant of $10,000 each year of the three-year pilot program to support identified goals.

The Wyoming team will work toward specific objectives, resources and outcomes that they seek to impact. The policy program team has a twofold plan: first, to design and implement a statewide data and information collection project to help determine the state of arts education now; and second, to follow that with a strategic action plan. The team is a partnership between the Wyoming Arts Alliance and the Wyoming Arts Council and there is great potential to expand with other organizations to work together for a stronger arts education in Wyoming.

All ten state teams will convene twice per year over the three-year pilot. They got started in early November at the Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network’s meeting in New Orleans, in conjunction with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies annual conference.

“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the team from Wyoming into our new initiative to boost arts education,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “Because education reforms are primarily tackled at the state and local level, this new partnership is critical to collectively strengthen the arts in education policy in our country. This cohort of ten states includes team leaders from state agencies, state legislators, advocates and the education policy community – all working together to advance policies to ensure that all America’s students can have equal access to an arts education.”

The Wyoming Arts Council provides leadership and invests resources to sustain, promote, and cultivate excellence in the arts. Find more resources and information at www.wyomingartscouncil.org

For more information, contact Katie Christensen, Arts Education Specialist, Wyoming Arts Council, 307-777-7109.

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