Saturday, November 29, 2008

Arts Education Legislative Working Group Statement

The final, complete statement of recommendations to the Obama administration, including a section on Arts Education, which has been developed by the Arts Education Legislative Working Group (of which Barbara is a member) is now on the IAAE website.

If you have any questions, contact Barbara at

Monday, November 24, 2008

Why involve at-risk students with theater?

Teacher Mary Vasey, a volunteer in the theater program at Tate High School in Iowa City wrote a guest editorial for the Cedar Rapids Gazette that asks that question. And she answers it with a wonderful description of the experience of alternative school students putting together a play. It is beautiful.
Read the article...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Year of the Ox

The Chinese Association of Iowa is hosting the 4th. annual Chinese New Year Poster Contest. Since the 6th. century B.C., the Chinese have used twelve common animals to represent the years in a repetitive 12-year cycle based on the movement of the moon. On the Chinese lunar calendar, the beginning of the Chinese New Year falls somewhere between late January and early February of the Gregorian Calendar.
The upcoming Year of the Ox begins on January 26, 2009. Contest entrants must be Iowa residents or residents of Hebei Province, our sister state in China. The deadline for entry is November 30! So check out the specifics for entry and get going on those entries. The celebration for winners will be on the Lunar New Year, January 26 at Valley High School in Des Moines.

Monday, November 17, 2008

From Diane Franken: Arts Education in World Class Schools

Key to Creative Thinkers
The Des Moines Register has today published a guest column that I wrote: Arts Education: Key to Creative Thinkers.
In the Register's ongoing series about world-class schools, it has given too-scant attention to the essential place of arts education in preparing students for a global society and workplace.

An initial question asked experts to identify the knowledge and skills necessary in education to be globally competitive. Science, math, language arts and other subjects are important for our students, but they are no longer enough. Who says so? More than arts educators...

Read the complete article...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Iowa Folklife, Vol. 2

The Iowa Arts Council announces the debut of Iowa Folklife, Vol 2 , which explores the traditional arts of Iowa's diverse cultures. Bring Iowa’s folk & traditional artists into your classroom to work with your students to create projects from Asian Indian rangoli to Danish paper cuts and more.

This online resource provides FREE curriculum and lesson plans that include a variety of multicultural visual art projects and a variety of online resources for students (k12) and educators. Use the whole curriculum or just one unit! No need to sign up or join anything. Enhance your experience by inviting featured traditional artists or those from your community into your classroom. Consult the Folk & Traditional Artists link for each unit, the Iowa Folklife Roster, or Iowa Roots for artists' contact information, and apply for an Iowa Arts Council grant for artists' fees and other program expenses.

Questions? Contact Riki Saltzman, Ph.D., folklife coordinator, Iowa Arts Council at or 515/242-6195.


posters are available at

Iowa West Public Art (IWPA), an initiative of the Iowa West Foundation, today launches an arts education curriculum with the first in a series of posters that may one day inspire students to further their own artistic talents.

As public art by some of the most well-known and respected artists in the world becomes part of the community landscape, IWPA is developing new teaching tools to bring public art to the classroom.

Jody Boyer, education specialist and fellow of the Iowa West Foundation, and Shari Hofschire, director of the Center for Innovation in Arts Education(CIAE) will present the first teaching guide to the Council Bluffs Community School District at the school board meeting Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 6:45 p.m. at the Council Bluffs school district administration office, 12 Scott Street.

Iowa West Foundation executive director and CEO, Todd Graham, says the curriculum guide developed with the CIAE is based on arts education standards developed by the Kennedy Center. It is intended to give students an appreciation for public art. He added, “The public art sites taking shape in Council Bluffs, Iowa are something to celebrate, a cultural asset that sets our community apart. With strong curriculum, our teachers will have another tool to inspire artistic potential and creativity in our students.” Graham hopes that the materials will be incorporated into art classrooms and libraries in western Iowa.

The first IWPA art education poster and curriculum guide features the art by Brower Hatcher in Bayliss Park. Each poster provides a beautiful presentation of the public art installation and curriculum that can be used in educational venues, museums and art centers throughout the world. IWPA plans to develop a poster with corresponding education curriculum as each public art installation is completed.

The art education posters will be distributed to schools and libraries throughout western Iowa. Poster are Area educators may request materials by contacting Jody Boyer at the Iowa West Foundation, (712) 309-3008 or The posters may also be downloaded by any educator, school, library or individual for educational or personal use at

Iowa West Public Art is an initiative of the Iowa West Foundation. Founded in 2004, IWPA is guided by a community-driven Public Art Master Plan which designates over fifty public art sites in the City of Council Bluffs, Iowa. IWPA’s vision for the year 2015 is a community with a national and international reputation for high quality art that attracts visitors from all over the world and fuels economic development. Find out more at

The Iowa West Foundation is an independent 501(c) (3) organization that makes grants in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest community-based private foundations in the Midwest. Its grants have improved the lives of thousands of citizens in more than 100 communities. Find at more at

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mentoring Symposium for Arts Educators

The premier Fall Mentoring Symposium for Arts Educators was a great success. We had 129 people in attendance at the Fall Symposium representing 5 arts organizations in our state. The registration was as follows: 57 instrumental, 52 vocal, 17 general music, 4 strings and 7 art. In addition to 28 first year arts-teachers, there were 59 college students representing nine colleges and universities in Iowa. The day was filled workshops and panel discussions of interest to beginning arts educators. Plans are underway for the 2009 Fall Symposium which will be held on October 31.

Disaster Relief Workshop on Nov. 15 in CR

Officials from the State Historic Preservation Office and FEMA will offer technical assistance next week at a workshop for property owners, local officials and others who are incorporating historic property considerations into recovery activities.

Tell others who may have been affected by flooding or tornado about this free workshop. More information is on the State Historical Society of Iowa website.

"The report of my death was an exaggeration..."

That quote is from Mark Twain.
GuideStar, an organization that helps people verify nonprofit organizations' legitimacy, has done a survey of nonprofit organizations. They say that the economy's impact on charitable giving is NOT exaggerated.
They reported that 35% of nonprofit participants said that contributions had decreased in October of 2008, while 64% said that the demand for their services had increased.
Of course, increased demand for charitable services and decreased charitable giving don't go well together. Organizations in the survey said that demand is up for the sixth year in a row. Organizations like IAAE depend on your charitable giving. And in tight economic times, the need for advocacy services will continue to increase. The last time GuideStar recorded this kind of data was in the fall of 2003. Weren't we seeing some market instability five years ago?
The more things change, the more they stay the same!

Monday, November 3, 2008