The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education is known in the local, statewide, and national arts education fields as a leader in services provided and resources developed through extensive research and practice. I first encountered the Alliance as an Intern in Washington, DC, and then as a graduate student at Ohio State. Executive Director, Donna Collins' strong leadership provided me with opportunities to implement the skills I learned in graduate school, while also helping the Alliance. Now, a Board member for the last four years, I continue to be awed by the breadth and depth of services that the Alliance continues to provide for educators and students in Ohio and nationwide.
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education is a strong advocate for arts education. I have utilized the services of this organization for years. I am a visual arts educator and have held many jobs over the years in public schools, non-profit arts centers and a university. The OAAE has been a hub for arts educators to find information about changes in content standards, curriculum maps, cuts in the arts in schools and nowadays, teacher evaluations. Besides our local departments of education, there has been no other go-to place for arts educators to receive unbiased, informed data and opinions. Their weekly updates regarding educational legislation has helped me form an understanding of current and future expectations of educators. Their website is filled with easy to use advocacy tools that help educators and community arts folks reach their parents and constituents on different levels. Additionally, the OAAE has offered numerous hands-on workshops over the years that have kept me apprised of the what and how of arts educational reforms. In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a Board Member for three years. That position has only made me more impressed at the quality of work that the organization has accomplished with their small staff. Ohio arts educators recognize that this organization is a light in the midst of the continuing quagmire of educational reorganization. I thank them for their good work.
I have been involved with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education for over 25 years. First as a music educator teaching in a small rural school, as an arts supervisor, as a workshop provider and a board member. The Alliance brings together art, music, drama/theater, and dance educators, as well as key stakeholders in education and the arts (school administrators, school board members, classroom teachers, parents, arts administrators, and more) to advocate at the state, local and national level for every child to have access to high quality arts education. The organizations' communication services through a weekly update, "Arts Online", professional development workshops, and top-notch resources make this a truly amazing non-profit organization.
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) has been incredibly helpful in giving me tools and skills to use for arts education advocacy. The staff is knowledgable and always willing to help guide and advise local efforts. We have hosted workshops and presentations over the past few years and the response is always positive. I highly recommend as a resource for people interested in arts education.
OAAE has truly been my professional development in arts education. Having transitioned into arts management from the classroom, I attended training through OAAE, which has just led to continuous development and personal growth not only through formal training but also through all of the other services OAAE has provided me, and in turn, my organization, such as networking opportunities and legislative updates. The professionalism of the organization quickly convinced my to join the board.
I have been on the OAAE Board for a total of 10 years. T he Ohio Alliance has been the bridge for me to continue my professional and personal advocacy for the arts. It gave me the confidence to serve as 2nd Vice Prseident for the Ohio Art Education Association and more recently as President. The Alliance has been there at the table when the Fine Arts have been in jeopardy in Ohio schools, fighting to make the arts part of the CORE subjects and as a high school graduation requirement for Ohio students. It has championed the arts with legislators and school board members. Personally I feel it made me want to be a better teacher; to give my all to my students. I am a retired teacher and a practicing artist who knows how much the arts impact students and carries them into adulthood with the love of the arts. The Alliance in Ohio is always at the top of the game, always working for our cause to educate people in the arts and create life long learners.