The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and the Juneau School District are members of the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. Selected because of their demonstrated commitment to improvement of education in and through the arts, the Partnership Team participated in collaborative efforts to make the arts integral to education. The Partners in Education program is based on the belief that teachers’ professional learning is an essential component of any effort designed to increase the artistic literacy of young people.
Arts Education is a primary goal of the Council, and through its partnerships and collaborations, has developed teacher artist training programs, teacher workshops in the arts, and worked to bring arts programing to Juneau through the Kennedy Center’s resources for professional development for our local teachers and teaching artists.
The Council works with the District to provide the best possible arts education for our students through professional development in arts and arts integration. In 2015, the District launched its Artful Teaching professional development project, with participation of 35 teachers this year in an in-depth approach to learning about arts integration. Instruction continues to be provided by local teaching artists as well as visiting art integration specialists to develop our teachers’ toolbox of strategies for teaching through arts and culture.
“Across the nation there has been growing interest in arts integration as an approach to teaching in which the arts leverage learning in other subject areas such as science, language arts, mathematics, and social studies.” (The Kennedy Center).
The Partnership Team staff, Jen LaRoe, the Arts Council Arts Education Director, and Amy Rautiainen, JSD Artful Teaching Project Coordinator collaborate closely on arts integration programming and continued professional development for local teachers and teaching artists. The Partnership Team was first established in May 2007 and participates in the Annual Meetings held at the Kennedy Center to receive training related to professional learning.