Blog: Make Way for NJ – Arts Ed Year in Review 2015

Over the past year we have learned that arts education in NJ schools continues to thrive. We are the first in the nation to include the arts in annual School Performance Reports and 97% of NJ students have access to arts education. The momentum has not stopped. In 2015, NJAEP provided voters with information to identify school board members that vie for the arts in education, by conducting the first NJ School Board Candidate Survey. The Partnership hosted ArtsEdSummit 2015 and launched the Arts Ed Now campaign. And, once again, we continued to celebrate and recognize arts education leaders and students across the state by hosting the annual Governor’s Awards in Arts Education.
2015 NJAEP Highlights include:
Governor’s Awards in Arts Education
Arts Education Direct Services
ArtsEd Summit 2015
NJ School Board Survey
ArtsEdNow Campaign
As our name implies, partnering with organizations is very important to us, because all that we do would be impossible without the support and advocacy efforts of others. Here is just a small sample of our partners’ many accomplishments in 2015.
Monmouth Arts collaborated with the non-profit Art Alliance and the non-profit Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen to produce a highly collaborative and successful Empty Bowls Project in our community.  Through a project that began as an arts education workshop during our Monmouth Teen Arts Festival, the power of the arts to catalyze social action enticed many other groups in our community to join together creating ceramic bowls, glazing them and holding fundraisers to help feed families in our region.  The project was so successful and so full of heart with a shared common goal that we are proud to be producing the program again in 2016!”
VSA New Jersey “Art Par Excellence 2015 Statewide Touring Exhibit” of the artwork of students with disabilities was showcased at three prestigious sites in NJ: Artworks in Trenton, Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, Middlesex County College in Edison. We also conducted Professional Development Workshops and component residencies employing Universal Design for Learning
and Multiple Intelligences methodologies for schools and other organizations serving individuals with disabilities.”
We set out to ask our friends in the arts community the big questions. Check out what they had to say.
What was the biggest accomplishment for arts education in 2015?
Our most important accomplishment was being able to play a small part in the advocacy efforts that led to the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act. – NJMEA
The advances in autism-friendly programming and arts education opportunities for people on the spectrum. – Paper Mill Playhouse
“The biggest accomplishment for arts education in 2015 was the headway made in re-establishing the arts as a key feature of a well-rounded education. The Montclair Art Museum, through its Vance Wall Art Education Center, is proud to build deep relationships with schools, integrating tour and enrichment offerings into the curriculum, providing professional development for art educators and teachers in other disciplines, and even bringing programming directly into schools through the MAM Art Truck. In 2016, we look forward to continuing to foster community partnerships that meet real needs through the arts and enhance accessibility for all visitors.” – Leah Fox, Director, Vance Wall Art Education Center, Montclair Art Museum
STEM to STEAM gains traction in US Congress – Artpride NJ
What are your expectations for arts education in 2016
“I hope to see the arts continue their journey revolutionizing the way K-12 students are taught.  By this, I mean greater arts integration/STEAM programming in schools, greater collaboration among all teachers and administrators, and greater awareness for how the arts are a part of every facet of our lives–not a distinct entity. I would also like to see our field advocate more for teaching artist programs during the school day.  It’s a challenge with funding and aligning curricula goals with the program, but I believe it’s a vital asset to student learning and deeper engagement.  I didn’t have this opportunity in all four years of art classes at my high school, but I read so much in contemporary literature on the value and impact teaching artists have within the classroom.” – Monmouth Arts
“Looking forward to providing an array of opportunities in the areas of arts education, exhibitions, professional development, and other special initiatives for children and adults with disabilities. We are hopeful that in 2016 the State re-focuses its efforts on education funding so schools are not forced to make difficult financial decisions about Arts courses in our schools.” – NJ VSA
Finally, we would like to share with you what is to come from NJAEP in 2016!
We will continue to provide you with quality programming, direct services and information to keep you up to date in the field. Check our website and social media updates for news about each of the Teen Arts Festival this spring. And don’t miss the 2016 Governor’s Awards in Arts Education on May 26th at the War Memorial in Trenton when the best and brightest stars in NJ arts and arts education take the stage. If providing well-rounded education—including growth in arts education—is important to you, then you need to join in the #ArtsEdNow Campaign! Show your support and make way for more Arts Ed in NJ.
Look what the arts community achieved nationally in 2015:
(Source: AFTA)
Arts Education Policy ENACTED
Dedicated Funding For Arts Education SECURED
New Funding For The NEA
Key Charitable Giving Tax Provisions Made PERMANENT
New Opportunities For STEAM Education APPROVED]
Arts Eligibility In Title I Funding RETAINED
Airline Carry-On Rules For Musical Instruments FINALIZED
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