NASAA Notes: May 2010


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Jesse Rye

May issue
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May 11, 2010

Utah: Parent-Teacher Association Partnership

The Utah Arts Council (UAC) has a strong partnership with the Utah PTA (Parent-Teacher Association). In 1997, under the leadership of UAC’s arts education program, Utah PTA expanded state Reflections program to include dance choreography, film and theatre. Utah PTA served as a model for the new categories for other states and the National PTA for 10 years. In 2007, the National PTA Reflections Program formally added dance and film production to its long-standing categories in visual arts, photography, music composition and creative writing. In 1998, the UAC Arts Education program helped Utah PTA develop its own Arts Education grant program for local schools with PTA units. Currently, the UAC Arts Education program manager attends the Utah PTA annual convention and annually facilitates presentations by teaching artists and scholars on a wide variety of topics, such as math and dance, literacy and the arts, brain research and the arts, the art of making books, and parents as advocates for arts education. In 2010, the Utah school superintendents’ annual Utah PTA luncheon theme is arts education. To learn more about this partnership, contact UAC Arts Education Program Manager Jean Tokuda Irwin.

In 2007, UAC facilitated a formal partnership with the Utah State Office of Education, Utah PTA, and Artworks for Kids! that was led by philanthropist Beverley Taylor Sorenson, and the Utah legislature. As a result of this partnership, the Utah legislature provided $52 million to fund a full-time art specialist in 52 elementary schools for four years, hire six district arts coordinators, and secure the University of Utah for assessment and evaluation. That program is now in its third year. For more information about the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program, contact Lisa Cluff at