Oregon Selected to Participate in National Education Leaders Institute

| Monday, April 12, 2010
Oregon Selected to Participate in National Education Leaders Institute

Six Member Team Will Look to Strengthen Arts-based Preparation of Classroom Teachers

Oregon's proposal to participate in the prestigious Education Leaders Institute (ELI), has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts. As a result, six Oregon leaders will travel to Chicago on July 26-28, 2010 to participate in the 2010 Institute, convened by the Arts Endowment to help develop and design coordinated public education strategies with arts at the core.

"We need to imagine schools where arts go hand-in-hand with other subjects and where all the disciplines reinforce each other," said Duncan Wyse, Chair of the Oregon State Board of Education and member of Oregon's ELI team. "I look forward to helping teachers in Oregon both envision such schools and make them a reality in every corner of our state."

Launched in 2007, the Education Leaders Institute brings together policymakers, educators, advocates, and artists to design arts education plans for their respective states. In addition to Oregon's team, initiated by the Oregon Arts Commission, the 2010 institute will include teams organized by the Washington State Arts Commission, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Arts Alliance Illinois, and Ohio Arts Council.

"The arts provide new ways of thinking, new ways to draw connections," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "They are important social capital, and they help maintain our competitive edge by fostering innovation and creativity." Landesman announced the five state teams on Friday as he spoke alongside U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Arts Education Partnership's Spring 2010 Forum in Washington DC. Remarks by Chairman Landesman and Secretary Duncan are available.

The NEA Education Leaders Institutes convene state teams to discuss a shared arts education challenge, and create strategies to strengthen their state's arts education policies. Oregon's team brings together diverse areas of expertise to address the question of how Oregon can strengthen the arts-based preparedness of classroom teachers. Led by Christine D'Arcy, Executive Director of the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust, the team includes: Rep. Peter Buckley, Oregon House District 5, Ashland; Duncan Wyse, Chair, Oregon State Board of Education; Dr. Tom Manley, President, Pacific Northwest College of Art; Martha Richards, Executive Director, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation; and Sue Thompson, Director of Field Services and Licensure, Western Oregon University.

"I have absolutely no doubt that by empowering classroom teachers with the skills to bring the arts into classrooms throughout Oregon, we can transform schools throughout our state," stated Rep. Peter Buckley.

Participation in the Education Leaders Institute is one element of the Arts Commission's efforts to assure that Oregon students have access to quality arts learning opportunities. The Commission will hold the 3rd Annual Oregon Arts Education Congress, a gathering of arts education stakeholders, in Portland on November, 8, 2010. More information about it is available at www.oregonartseducationcongress.org.

The 2010 Education Leaders Institute, funded by the Arts Endowment, is coordinated by the Illinois Arts Council, and its partner the Illinois Humanities Council.

About the Oregon Arts Commission
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993 in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission's expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development. The Arts Commission is supported with General Funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

NEA Arts Education
Since its inception in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has provided leadership to develop and sustain an agenda for arts education. The agency has led efforts to make the arts a part of the core education for all K-12 students and to increase arts education opportunities outside of school settings. The Arts Endowment provides direct grants in arts education, collaborates in federal, state, and public-private partnerships, and conducts research on arts education for the K-12 community and lifelong learners. Many NEA programs combine the presentation of arts with arts education to foster the next generation of artists, audiences, and patrons. Visit the Arts Education section of the NEA website for more information.

About the Illinois Arts Council
The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, is committed to the cultural, educational, and economic growth of the diverse people and communities of the state through support and encouragement of artists and the arts.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.

Oregon Arts Commission

(503) 986-0082 (phone)
(503) 581-5115 (fax)
775 Summer Street NE, Ste 200
Salem, OR 97301-1280