The Arts and School Reform: Lessons and Possibilities from the Annenberg Challenge Art Projects

Annenberg Foundation



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Following a nationwide call for proposals, the Annenberg Foundation selected three promising projects, each with its own approach to guaranteeing that the arts would become an integral part of public school learning.

  • Arts for Academic Achievement—Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • The Center for Arts Education—New York City
  • Transforming Education Through the Arts—A National Network

Each of the three Challenge Arts projects was charged with a double mission: to promote wholeschool change and to ensure the presence and the quality of the arts in public education. This dual challenge raises some obvious questions: What could school reform do for the arts? What could the arts do for school reform? Aren't they two entirely separate worlds? As the work of the projects progressed, there turned out to be important—sometimes unsuspected—synergies and lessons.

This essay draws upon five years of work in the three projects and has two aims. The first is to identify lessons for school reform that emerged when arts education was used as the agent of change. The second is to identify what arts educators learned from working in the context of whole-school reform.



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Nov 13

Join Professor Joel Fleishman and the President and CEO of Foundation for the Carolinas, Michael Marsicano - for the Foundation Impact Research Gro