Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEA Fine Arts Task Force Final Recommendations 2/22/2011


TO:              Dennis Van Roekel, President
                        National Education Association

FROM:           Princess Moss, NEA Executive Committee
                        Fine Arts Task Force Co-Chair

                        Greg Johnson, NEA Executive Committee
                        Fine Arts Task Force Co-Chair

DATE:         February 22, 2011

RE:             Fine Arts Task Force Proposed Recommendations—New Business Item 2010-86
The NEA president established a Fine Arts Task Force in response to NBI 2010-86—adopted by the 2010 NEA Representative Assembly (RA)—which provides as follows:
Fine Arts Programs
The NEA will publish, as soon as reasonably possible, the results of the 2009-2010 e-survey done by NEA research studying "the changes in staffing, work conditions, and budgetary considerations for fine arts programs in the United States over the last three years.” Moreover, NEA will assign a staff liaison to work with an e-Fine Arts Task Force (using web-conferencing, phone conferencing, etc) appointed by the NEA president. The charge of the task force will be to design and implement an arts advocacy campaign within the Association that is communicated to our members in the NEA Today and other appropriate e-publications. The task force will also be charged to design/organize and communicate possible external arts advocacy tools that can be shared with state and local leaders. (2010-86)

Fine Arts Task Force Composition

The task force consisted of five NEA members appointed by the president and two staff liaisons.

Princess Moss (Co-Chair)
NEA Executive Committee / Elementary school music teacher
Greg Johnson  (Co-Chair)
NEA Exec. Committee / High school choir director
Andrew Corbin (NC)
High School theatre teacher
Tom McLaughlin (IA)
High school drama teacher
Jennifer Roberts (SD)
High school art teacher

Derrick Johnson
NEA Staff Liaison
Christopher Thomas
NEA Staff Liaison

Proposed Recommendations

The task force has developed recommendations for the parameters of an effective arts advocacy.  In addition to these recommendation parameters, the task force has also developed implementation tactics for your consideration, contingent on the approval of the proposed recommendations:

·         Utilizing the RA as a kick-off to a year-long emphasis on the arts (July 2011 – July 2012) throughout the Association, beginning with a major Arts-focused event;

Implementation Tactics:
o   An event at the McCormick Theatre proposed for July 1 and/or “Friendship Night” could serve as the official kickoff
o   Using street performers in various areas of the convention hall, perhaps 3-4 to perform on 1 of the RA days.
o   Featuring an exhibits area centering around a model of the 21st Century Classroom, complete with 21st Century Classroom equipment vendors
o   Featuring chalk based “sidewalk art” featured outside main RA auditorium
o   Featuring caricature artists
o   July 4th NEA Choir Performance can re-iterate the year-long, association-wide emphasis on the arts
o   Having slide show display of art to be broadcast during breaks at the RA or the beginning and conclusion of each meeting day (as the delegates enter and exit )
·         Developing an arts advocacy toolkit to be distributed at the RA;

Implementation Tactics:
o   Including an Arts Skills Map, published by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills
o   An upcoming fast response survey funded by the federal government “Status and Condition of the Arts” scheduled to be published this summer.  If published early enough perhaps it can be added to the toolkit as well.

·         Working with regional planning committees to highlight student performances during NEA regional leadership conferences;
o   committees begin planning at the May Board meeting

·         Developing workshops on arts education to be conducted at NEA regional leadership conferences;
·         Establishing an Arts Education Day during American Education Week;
·         Devoting portions of NEA Today to the arts during Art Education Month;

Implementation Tactics:
o   Working with the editors of NEA Today to feature stories surrounding budget cuts and how the arts are disproportionately affected by these cuts
§  collecting these stories
§  Submitting collected stories to the editors w/ contact info for any follow-up information editors may need
§  Through these featured stories we will also solicit more stories that are out there

The task force anticipates that the campaign would kick off as a year-long effort, beginning at the 2011 RA and concluding at the 2012 RA. An RA presence may offer the greatest platform for the campaign to take root and be implemented throughout the Association.  The critical piece of the campaign would be the arts advocacy toolkit.  We foresee the toolkit being developed using internal staff resources and then submitted to the task force for review.  Pending approval from the task force we envision the toolkit being published daily during the RA.  The toolkit would contain statistics and facts relevant to NEA members indicating position losses, the effects of NCLB/ESEA on arts education, arts education access, arts advocacy talking points, and other information.  In addition to a daily news insert, the task force envisions that this emphasis on the arts can be manifested throughout various events during the RA, and that certain promotional ideas proposed for the 2011 RA may be replicated on a smaller scale throughout each of the NEA regional leadership conferences. 

In regard to the more far-reaching recommendations—such as establishing an Arts Education Day during American Education Week and devoting portions of NEA Today to the arts during Art Education Month annually, the task force sees these efforts being brought forth contingent on the successful implementation of the proposed shorter-term actions.

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