In the past 10 years, the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) and Professional Development for Art Educators (PDAE) grant programs have unleashed the creative minds of students, deepened their learning experiences in core academic subjects through arts integration, and enhanced the knowledge and skills of teachers to meet high standards in the arts. Both programs emphasize collaborations between school districts and non-profit organizations that result in a well-rounded education for all students as well as greater student engagement across the curriculum and increased school attendance by both students and teachers. In addition, AEMDD projects, using rigorous evaluation measures, have documented gains in academic achievement by students involved in arts-integrated teaching and learning compared to their peers.
Through the more than 150 AEMDD and 70 PDAE projects that OII has supported since 2002, thousands of teachers, principals and administrators, parents, and local arts education supporters have expressed their appreciation for the opportunities provided by these grants to integrate the arts into the core academic curriculum.
On March 14-15, 2012, OII convened more than 70 current AEMDD and PDAE grantees for an evaluation conference and opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the progress and accomplishments of these competitive grants programs since 2002.
During the conference, seven grantees accepted an invitation to participate in interviews in which they told how arts integration has impacted their students, teachers, schools, and communities. These grantees shared some of their best practices, evidence of students’ academic gains, and other experiences of building a positive environment for the arts in their schools and communities. OII staff members Clifton Jones and Shavonney White, with the assistance of Angel Brock, an OII high school intern, developed and produced a video to document what words on paper in a proposal or final report cannot express. Click here to experience their stories.