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2021 State Arts Agency Arts Education Managers Virtual Professional Development Institute

For nearly 30 years, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) have supported the Professional Development Institute (PDI) for state arts agency arts education managers. The PDI provides meaningful leadership development and technical assistance for this diverse field. As a result, arts education managers are knowledgeable leaders in their field through a peer network that new and seasoned managers alike find invaluable.

The 2021 PDI took place via online video conferences over a period of two weeks, from September 28 through October 6, 2021. The purpose of this year’s virtual PDI was to continue to explore issues related to diversity, equity, access and inclusion in arts education, specifically what the evolution of K-12 arts education policies and practices looks like in statewide education systems in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PDI attendees examined the job-specific leverage points available to them in their role as state arts agency arts education managers, and learned and practiced applying an asset based approach to specific planning and professional development goals unique to their agencies and states.


Guiding Question & Outcomes

The 2021 PDI agenda responded to the following guiding question:

How can state arts agency arts education managers increase and sustain equitable access to arts education for all students in their states?

Building on learning outcomes from previous PDIs, such as effectively using data to define and decrease equity gaps in arts education policy and practice, and positioning state arts education leaders as drivers of change, 2021 PDI outcomes were:

  • Learning Outcome 1: Participants will develop strategies to elevate and amplify the leadership of students and teaching artists in arts education.
  • Learning Outcome 2: Participants will build on skills to catalyze and support social justice outcomes in arts education in their states.
  • Learning Outcome 3: Participants will develop a framework to analyze and adjust state arts agency arts education grant-making practices to increase equity and access for constituents.

Artwork: Collage by Susan Oetgen