dencies, and lectures or demonstrations held in conjunction with performances.
Artstour grants are available throughout the year.
Arts-in-Literacy grants support the interaction between professional Illinois artists and
the public through workshops, classes, and short-term residencies sponsored by not-for-
profit organizations providing well-defined literacy programming.
ArtsResource grants are designed to support a school or consortium of schools to pro-vide
professional development opportunities in the arts for their teachers.
Those interested in pursuing opportunities with the Illinois Arts Council may enjoy
and benefit from attending the agency’s 18thAnnualArtist Showcase!Artist Showcase
brings organizations and individuals interested in booking artist programs together
with Illinois’ wealth of professional artists. Learn about Illinois Arts Council fund-ing
opportunities;meet world-renowned artists and performing companies listed on
the IAC’sArts-in-Education andArtstour rosters; discover how these artists’ perform-ances
and residency programs can be tailored especially for your organization and
specific populations; and connect with your peers at this lively once-a-year event.
Please visit the IllinoisArts Council website and contact appropriate staff for assistance or
Tatiana Gant, Director, Arts-In-Education Programs
Phone: 312/814-6765 • Email: Tatiana.Gant@illinois.gov
Tamara Kubacki, Director,
Ethnic and Folk Arts, Literature, and Presenters Programs
Phone: 312/814-6740 • Email: Tamara.Kubacki@illinois.gov
Arts In Education continued from page 6
he new partnership initiative between the Illinois
State Board of Education and the Illinois Arts
Council marks the fruition of a process begun more than
twenty years ago. Recognizing this, HeARTland called
upon Adrienne Hirsch,Vice-President of Development
and Communications for the Music Institute of
Chicago and Illinois Arts Council Strategic Plan Task
Force member, to help establish some historical context.
Adrienne Hirsch has been a key figure both in Illinois and
national arts education initiatives for more than two
decades. She came to the Illinois Arts Council to serve as
Executive Director in 1984 after serving as executive
director of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and
Humanities,bringing with her advanced degrees in music
education and communications and experience as a class-room
music teacher.Hirsch led the Illinois Arts Council
until joining the National Endowment for the Arts as
Deputy Chairman for Public Partnership in 198_.
Following for your consideration is what we call the
“Generation Since” account, a compilation of Hirsch’s
notes on the origins of the modern arts education move-ment
“In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in
Education releasedA Nation at Risk.This landmark study
on American education reported: ‘[T]he educational
foundations of our society are presently being eroded by
a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future
as a Nation and a people.’With that knowledge as a back-drop,
it became clear to me that the report heralded a
moment when educational reform was now being debat-ed,
and that arts education needed to be part of the con-versation.
It also served as the impetus for a major thrust
to promote the ‘centrality’ of the arts among the areas of
learning considered fundamental to a quality education
for all Illinois students.You may have six important pri-orities,
but if something is central, you’re compelled to
find a way to incorporate it. I saw artistic and cultural lit-eracy
as no less an imperative than general literacy.
“Then, as now, there was palpable ‘bubbling’ in the field.
There was a groundswell of enthusiasm for this focus. In
addition to strong discipline-oriented arts education
associations, each with their own particular focus and
critical viewpoint, yet all sharing a common passion for
the value of arts education, a wealth of several early lead-ers
for arts in education in Illinois were instrumental in
raising the tide. Among them were Chicago sculptor
Richard Hunt, one of the National Endowment for the
Arts’ first artists in residence selected to participate in the
pilot Artists in the Schools program.Henry Fogel at the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association was another
voice in the movement; as was arts education luminary
Ronne Hartfield (also a member of the 2007-2012
Strategic Plan Task Force), under whose leadership the
National Endowment for the Arts designated Urban
Gateways a national model for artist training and com-munity
arts education. Rob Dwyer in Quincy and
Nancy Roucher, who started Project Heart in Decatur,
were leading visionaries. Another leader, Al Goldfarb
(current president of Western Illinois University),
secured funding for a permanent theatre for the Illinois
Shakespeare Festival and a PerformingArts Center while
he was serving as Dean of Fine Arts and Department
Chair ofTheatre at Illinois State University. Stan Madeja,
former Dean of College of FineArts at Northern Illinois
University and consultant to the Getty Center for Arts
Education, Nadine Saitlin, founding executive director
of the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education, Mina
Halliday and RobertaVolkmann from the Illinois State
Board of Education, and Kassie Davis and Marshall
Field’s all worked diligently and skillfully at getting peo-ple
rallied around this cause.
“As pressure for statewide action continued to mount,
Governor James R. Thompson and the General
Assembly enacted the 1985 Illinois Education Reform
Act.This watershed Act, backed by Illinois Arts Council
Chairman Shirley R. Madigan, established the six fun-damental
learning areas, the state goals for learning, and
mandated the state-level testing to measure student
achievement.This landmark legislation set the stage for
a renaissance of arts education in the Land of Lincoln.
It is noteworthy that although there have been revisions
to the legislation, the arts have always been, and contin-ue
to be, one of the six fundamental learning areas, yet
again placing Illinois as a leader in this capacity.
“But legislative mandates were viewed suspiciously until
a dramatic revolution in cognitive understanding
began. Plentiful research now substantiates what many
teachers, parents, and arts educators already knew intu-itively
– that the arts are critical to education and learn-ing.
In fact, research from the National Arts
Educational Research Center based at the University of
Illinois through 1995 indicates that the arts are serious
and rigorous academic subjects; they have far-reaching
potential to help students achieve concrete education-al
goals; student engagement and persistence improves
with an arts-based curriculum; and understanding of
one’s self and others expands with arts education.
“The Illinois Arts Council played a prominent and criti-cal
role both behind the scenes and with the variety of its
constituents in raising the level of consciousness about this
initiative and promoting strategies for implementing qual-ity
arts education programs throughout the state.Our job
was bringing the key players together to find common
ground, assessing the tools and needs of schools, and advo-cating
for resources required to begin to impact the qual-ity
of education for every student throughout the state.
“This same environment was identified on the national
level when Frank Hodsoll became the chairman of the
National Endowment for the Arts. Hodsoll came to the
chairmanship in the early 1980s determined that arts
education would have a voice in the educational reform
debates sweeping the country. He garnered bi-partisan
support for a congressionally mandated‘study of the state
of arts education,’ and, in May of 1988, released ‘Toward
Civilization:A Report onArts Education.’Bold italicized
lettering in the ‘Overview’ section spelled out the report’s
main finding in no uncertain terms:‘The problem is:basic
arts education does not exist in the United States today.’
“The report and its implications and recommendations
sent shock waves through the arts establishment organ-izations
and prodded those deeply engaged in educa-tional
reform to begin to wrestle with the role of the
arts. Hodsoll sought out state arts agency leaders who
shared his vision and were especially outspoken about
arts education, including Illinois, and tapped those states
for their working knowledge of the prevailing attitudes
regarding arts education throughout their states. He
asked me to become Deputy Chairman for Public
Partnership for the NEA expressly because education
was part of the office and he wanted me to be part of
his team of encouraging every state to meaningfully
engage in the conversation regarding arts education.
“Meanwhile, the IllinoisArts Council increased its com-mitment
to artist residencies, finding new and substan-tive
ways to collaborate with ISBE, the IAAE, and elect-ed
local school board members.We had to strip away
what masqueraded for arts education.We had to shed
some of the traditionally-accepted notions about the
shape, the structure of the quick-rinse, one-time expo-sures
to the arts that well-intentioned cultural institu-tions
promoted.These exposures did more harm than
good in raising expectations with students and educa-tors.
It was foreign, alien, not part of their ongoing edu-cation
and not part of their lives.We had to strive to
truly engage students and to find a path to credibly
engage teachers, curriculum specialists, administrators,
local school board members with the artistic experts,
making it an ongoing part of the curriculum. In other
words, to make it central.
“Those working in the field felt they needed ammuni-tion,
research to justify the arts on the basis of metrics.
It is my belief that beauty and joy in life are about being
a balanced, productive citizen and sharing in the com-munity
in which you live.This is part of our value sys-tem
as Americans and as citizens of the world, across
cultures.The arts are the signature of our civilizations.
“Initially, there was great excitement and activity – in
fact, the Illinois State Board of Education and the
IllinoisArts Council worked in tandem to promote and
implement this forward thinking initiative. In the ensu-ing
20 years, arts education has seen first a blurring of
its focus and then a gradual but inexorable slide lower
and lower among educational priorities.
“Across the country, we have seen a renaissance of the
view that arts education is seminal to the newest con-versation
regarding the education of our country’s
youth.We must embrace the realities and technological
complexities of our global society, underscoring the
relationship between these driving forces and arts edu-cation
for every student.Our future as a nation depends
A Generation Since: Notes on the origins of the
modern arts education movement in Illinois
Adrienne Hirsch (left) greets former Illinois Arts
Council staff member and renowned jazz singer
Geraldine de Haas during a Public Listening Tour
session at the eta Creative Arts Foundation.
continued on page 8
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