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Grant to bolster CECA’s arts education efforts with local school teachers

Randy Barron, a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts teaching artist, led workshops last October as part of the CECA-CMCSS Partners in Education program.
Randy Barron, a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts teaching artist, led workshops last October as part of the CECA-CMCSS Partners in Education program.

(Published Aug. 12, 2019)

Austin Peay’s Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts recently received a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to expand the University’s arts education partnership with the local school system.

The grant – part of the NEA’s Arts Engagement in American Communities program – will bolster a CECA and Clarksville-Montgomery County School System partnership launched last year to focus on providing sustainable and robust arts-based professional development for teachers.

Specifically, CECA will use the money to bring in four teaching artists to lead local school teachers through arts-based education workshops, such as the one led last October by Randy Barron, a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts teaching artist, CECA Director Dr. Janice Crews said.

CECA paid to fly in Barron, an expert in arts integration teaching, and for the substitute teachers needed to allow 25 regular teachers to attend the workshop. Barron also gave arts integration demonstrations at local schools.

EXPANDING ARTS EDUCATION

CECA and CMCSS teamed up in early 2018 to win a Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts invitation to join the Partners in Education program, designed to help arts organizations throughout the nation expand education partnerships with their local school systems.

The partnership is further bolstered by a generous 10-year gift from the Heydel Family Foundation, in honor of June Heydel.

“It’s thrilling to have the support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the continued support of the Heydel Family Foundation,” Crews said. “Their investment in our community shows me that CECA is on the right track and will allow us to reach more teachers and students than ever before.”

The Heydel gift also helps CECA pay for tickets and transportation for K-12 students to experience the arts. CECA paid for 5,469 students to see professional-level arts performances or exhibits in the 2018-19 school year, Crews said. The students attended the Nashville Opera, Roxy Regional Theatre and Customs House Museum free of charge.

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