Interest Groups

This is the complete list of NAEA's Interest Groups.

NAEA Interest Groups offer members a key opportunity to connect with other members who share an interest in a specific issue or topic in art education. Interest Groups share ideas, bring areas of concerns to NAEA’s attention, and hold events at the NAEA National Convention. Topics range from design to public policy to disability studies. See the links below for more information and contact emails for each Interest Group Chair.


Art Education Technology (AET)–Established 1995

Purpose: To encourage and exchange knowledge and ideas related to new media technologies in the making of visual art, art teaching, and research in art education. We meet and hold events during each NAEA National Convention to create opportunities for networking with other art education professionals.

Asian Art and Culture Interest Group (AACIG)—Established 2017

Purpose: To identify and promote art education research and practices on Asian art, culture(s), artists, and philosophies within global and cross-cultural perspectives.

Caucus of Social Theory in Art Education (CSTAE)–Established 1982

Purpose: To promote the use of theoretical concepts from the social sciences; to study visual culture and the teaching of art; to inform art educators about theory and practice in the social sciences, thus acting as a liaison between social scientists and art educators; to encourage research into the social context of visual cultured teaching art; and to develop socially relevant programs for use in teaching art.

Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education (CSAE)—Established 2008

Purpose: The Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education (CSAE) seeks to study the relationship between the spiritual impulse and the visual arts; to examine the spiritual aspects of art from various cultures and historical eras, including the use of spiritual icons and signifier; and to define spiritual concepts in art education. It also seeks to develop a comprehensive paradigm for holistic art education and to encourage research on the transformative aspects of the visual arts as a therapeutic or healing modality. Additionally, the CSAE seeks to develop art education curriculum theory and practices that encourage the study of the spiritual in art in all levels of education, within the boundaries of the constitutional separation of church and state, and the establishing of a community of art education professionals who participate in scholarly research and publication on topics related to the spiritual in art education.

Choice-Art Educators (CAE)—Established 2016

Purpose: To expand public awareness of choice-based art education and to provide a network for art educators who wish to share their interests in or learn more about teaching art with choice. The organization will encourage professional relationships and provide for an informal, yet focused, exchange of ideas about how to teach through centers, choice, and student-directed learning.

Choice-Art Educators seek to develop the artistic thinking of their students, through centers and choices; encouraging them and teaching them to come up with their own ideas for art making. This approach facilitates differentiation, which easily meets the needs of a variety of types of learners.

The Choice-Art Educators group seeks to promote and support choice-based and learner-directed art education in public and private education settings. It also seeks to bring those interested in this methodology together to learn not only from and discuss each other’s work but also the work of those in related fields.

Committee on Lifelong Learning (LLL)–Established 1990

Purpose: We are advocates for quality art education programs for all ages, which are primarily community-based, but also we are active in the support of the community outreach efforts of secondary schools and of higher education institutions’ noncredit, short-term classes offered through a college or university division of continuing and adult education. Also, we do research and offer support for those who teach adult students in higher education institutions with degree programs in Art and Art Education. We examine cultural policy issues in relation to lifelong learning, arts and aging, and offer resources, guidance to those wishing assistance in developing or expanding community-based art education. As educators, we respect lifelong learners of all ages and hope to remind our colleagues that learners, such as adults, have different learning styles and needs than younger adults; as do informal and nonformal participants versus formal schooling.

Committee on Multiethnic Concerns (COMC)–Established 1971

Purpose: To encourage, strengthen, and promote the role of the visual arts in education and to promote greater understanding of cultural diversity by:

  • identifying African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans and encouraging their participation in the programs of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and COMC;
  • identifying visual arts curricula and instructional methodologies and strategies that successfully meet the needs of students from African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American backgrounds;
  • identifying and recognizing art educators from underrepresented and underserved communities who have made significant contributions to NAEA and COMC;
  • encouraging research and publication of significant issues and findings impacting art, artists, art education, museum education, and art history in underrepresented and underserved communities;
  • providing scholarships and fellowship support for selected artists, art historians, aestheticians, curriculum developers, museum educators, and art educators who affirm COMC’s philosophy to further their education or to engage in research, writing, and studio activities; and
  • providing scholarships for selected high school students to further their education in the visual arts or visual arts education.

Community Arts Caucus (CAC)—Established 2012

Purpose: To further discuss issues concerning community arts theories and practices and build a community of community arts practitioners, artists, educators, students, and researchers. We aim to promote dialogue, research, curriculum development, and programming through this organization by convening the broad array of practitioners, artists, educators, students, and researchers interested in the topic and practice of community arts.

Design Interest Group (DIG)–Established 2001

Purpose: The primary objective of the Design Interest Group (DIG) is to fulfill the compelling mission of supporting art and design educators, teaching artists, and other leaders as they learn how to teach, integrate, and facilitate design education within PreK-12. Our collective goal is to guide learners of all ages in the human-centered, transformative power of Design Thinking and Learning (adapted from NDTI, 1998).

Disability Studies in Art Education (DSAE)—Established 2017

Purpose: To provide a network for art educators to share their interests in the interdisciplinary field of disability studies as it pertains to the field of art education; to encourage cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research and professional relationships to promote theory and practice that respects disabled peoples as cultural groups; to engage research and teaching interests within NAEA that embrace the critical, interdisciplinary field of disability studies.

Early Childhood Art Educators (ECAE)–Established 2000

Purpose: To define and establish the role of the Early Childhood Art Educators as a special interest group of NAEA; to conduct programs of professional activities at state and national levels concerning appropriate art education practices for children from 0-8 years; to inform state associations and NAEA of current issues and research relevant to the area of early childhood education; to provide leadership in art education for young children to early childhood professional organizations, museums, and other organizations involved with programs for young children; to develop materials and provide information about appropriate art education practices for the early childhood years.

Ecology and Environment Interest Group (EEIG)—Established 2021

Purpose: As an interest group of NAEA, the Ecology and Environment Interest Group is intended to (1) support NAEA members in implementing ecological and environmental art pedagogies and (2) advance NAEA members’ scholarship surrounding ecological and environmental art education.

Independent School Art Education (ISAE)—Established 2008

Purpose: The purposes of the Independent School Art Education special interest group shall be to encourage active involvement of independent school art educators by:

  1. Promoting sound methods and philosophies of art education.
  2. Providing opportunities for development of relationships among independent school educators within each state and as a nation.
  3. Creating professional development opportunities specifically for independent school art educators.
  4. Encouraging participation in state and national art education conferences.
  5. Supporting strong working relationships within each school between art teachers and administrators.
  6. Promoting and facilitating lesson sharing, curriculum discussions, and group study of the problems that confront those involved in arts education in independent schools.
  7. Educating our members on job negotiation and job security.
  8. Creating positive relationships among independent school art educators through networking and regional conferences designed specifically for independent schools.
  9. Developing the leadership potential of each independent school art instructor to better advocate for the arts in his or her community.
  10. Educating on marketing the arts to the school community.
  11. Maintaining regional and national contacts with other groups of arts educators and others whose objectives coincide with those in NAEA.
  12. Securing cooperation of legislative, state, county officials, administrators, and foundations in establishing conditions that shall render the efforts of arts educators more effective.
  13. Circulating information and keeping members informed of the significant developments in the field of arts education.
  14. Adhering to a policy that does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin.

LGBTQ+ Interest Group—Established 1996

Purpose: To make visible lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues within the field of art education. It is poised to actively work against misrepresentation and bias in our culture and teaching institutions to produce safer spaces for all people in our schools and society.

National Association of State Directors of Art Education (NASDAE)–Established 1966

Purpose: To identify and promote sound art education curricula, programs, and policies; to work cooperatively with the National Art Education Association, its affiliated organizations, and other professional organizations in developing policies, programs, projects, publications, legislation, and research, which will help clarify, strengthen, and expand the role of the visual arts and other arts in education and society; to encourage the establishment, maintenance, and furtherance of art education positions in state departments of education; to exchange ideas and information among members of the Association.

Public Policy and Arts Administration (PPAA)–Established 1985

Purpose: To provide for an informal yet focused exchange of ideas about research and inquiry in the field of arts administration. PPAA provides an opportunity for those concerned with policy issues to come together to learn of each other’s activities, discuss work in the field, and further policy and research efforts.

Retired Art Educators Affiliate (RAEA)–Established 1985

Purpose: To define and establish the role of the retired art educators as an interest group of NAEA; to conduct programs of professional activities for state and national events; to encourage continued personal involvement and development in art education; to inform state associations and NAEA of concerns relevant to members of long-standing; and to encourage and support, as well as provide mentorship for, student members of the NAEA.

Seminar for Research in Art Education (SRAE)–Established 1970

Purpose: To provide for an informal yet focused exchange of ideas about research and inquiry in the field of art education. Essentially, the group seeks a means for those concerned with research to come together to learn of each other’s activities, discuss work in the field, and project means by which the Seminar might further research efforts.

Special Needs in Art Education (SNAE)–Established 2001

Purpose: The purpose shall be to define and establish the role of special needs in art education as a special interest group of NAEA and:

  1. Provide a voice for art and museum educators with special education concerns;
  2. Provide a forum to share best practices of art teachers with special education students. Special needs populations include but are not limited to students who are gifted, students who’ve learning and/or cognitive issues, students with behavior disorders, or students who have physical impairments (e.g., deaf, hearing or visually impaired. Summaries can become NAEA Advisories);
  3. Provide information for the NAEA website for special education—related topics (information about agencies or resources that focus on the arts for special education students);
  4. Become a liaison with The Council for Exceptional Children in order to share both information and education and training expertise;
  5. Develop a network of NAEA members and special education teachers who teach with and through the arts;
  6. Interface with art therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy to share information about adaptive equipment, research, and strategies for teaching art to special education students.

United States Society for Education through Art (USSEA)–Established 1986

Purpose: The purpose of the association is to provide a network with art educators who are committed to art education and who believe in sharing inclusive and respectful cultural perspectives from a variety of cultures through art education. The organization shall also encourage cross-cultural research and professional relationships to promote greater understanding and respect for learners from a variety of diverse backgrounds.

Visual Arts Skill-Based Interest Group (VASB)–Established 2020

Purpose: The purpose of the Visual Arts Skill-Based Interest Group is to provide access to technical drawing, painting, and sculpting training for art teachers and their students. Additionally, this interest group will provide a network for art educators who wish to share their interests in or learn more about teaching skill-based art with each other.

The Visual Arts Skill-Based Interest Group will encourage professional relationships, provide a forum for a focused exchange of ideas about how to teach technical art skills, furnish opportunities for NAEA members to learn about atelier training through workshops, newsletter articles, and lectures; and connect art teachers with professional development resources to expand their knowledge of these skills.

Women’s Caucus (WC)–Established 1976

Purpose: To represent and work to advance art education as an advocate of equity for women and all people who encounter injustice, and shall work to eliminate discriminatory gender and other stereotyping practices for individuals and groups, and for the concerns of women art educators and artists.

Studies in Art Education

Studies is a quarterly journal that reports quantitative, qualitative, historical, and philosophical research in art education, including explorations of theory and practice in the areas of art production, art criticism, aesthetics, art history, human development, curriculum and instruction, and assessment.

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