Cultural Competency in Teaching and Leadership Development Certificate Program

The purpose of this program is to expand the capacity of visual arts, design, and media arts educators to be effective in the areas of cultural competency, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

As NAEA seeks to expand access to professional development in equity, diversity, and inclusion through this program, the focus questions are:

  • How and to what extent is NAEA able to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession?
  • What are the implications of diversity, equity and inclusion for culturally competent teaching and professional leadership in art education?

This program addresses aspects of the professional development recommendations of the NAEA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, as well as the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion pillar and the Learning needs of NAEA members in accordance with the 2015-2020 and 2021-2025 NAEA Strategic Visions.

The National Art Education Association developed the phases of this program through the preparation and submission of professional development grants submitted to the Arts Education Program of the National Endowment for the Arts. Grants were submitted one full year prior to the start of each phase. More than $180k in grant funds have been raised to date, along with funding from the National Art Education Foundation (NAEF), and matching funds from NAEA, to support the development of this program.

Project Phases:

Phase 1: July – December 2019

Focus: Identify the Curriculum Team, Develop the Program Curriculum, and Convene the Advisory Council

Curriculum Development Team
The first portion of the work was focused on the development of the initial curriculum and convening the Advisory Council. Meet the Curriculum Development Team here.

Advisory Council
The Advisory Council for the program provides feedback on the curriculum, is kept apprised of the status of the pilot program, and provides recommendations for how we can collaborate thorough this program with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACUs). Meet the Advisory Council here.

Phase 2: January 2020 – May 2021

Focus: Pilot Cohort: Application Process, Selection of Pilot Cohort, and Professional Development

The NAEA School for Art Leaders (SAL) alumni and those who applied for the NAEA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission who were not accepted were invited to apply to be part of the Pilot Cohort. From the applicants, seven individuals, representing each of NAEA’s divisions (elementary, middle level, secondary, higher education, supervision/administration, museum education, and preservice) were selected. The Cohort participated in virtual professional development meetings from August 2020 through March 2021, studying the curriculum developed by the Curriculum Team in Phase 1. This phase culminated with each member developing and presenting a capstone project based on what they learned. The Advisory Council members were invited to attend the virtual capstone presentation session. Meet the Pilot Cohort here.

Phase 3: May 2021 – September 2021

Focus: “Train the Trainer” Program

All members of the Pilot Cohort decided to continue their participation in the Cultural Competency Program’s Phase 3: “Train the Trainer.” This enabled the Cohort to move from learning the curriculum and applying it to their own work by becoming workshop presenters at NAEA Regional Leadership Meetings. Each workshop was or will be presented by two trainers from the Pilot Cohort along with Instructional Facilitators Mary Conage or Libya Doman from the Curriculum Development Team serving as an “expert” observer to provide additional support as needed. Additionally, Phase 3 continued the implementation of an ED&I unit within the 2021 NAEA School for Art Leaders curriculum, led by Instructional Facilitator Libya Doman.

Phase 4: July 2021 – June 2022

Focus: Starting to Bring the Program to Scale: Bringing the Cultural Competency Program to NAEA Members and Program Partners

Phase 4 brings the Cultural Competency program to eight (8) Partnership Sites:

  • NAEA State Affiliates (4 sites; 1 per region)
  • Howard University Art Department (HBCU)
  • The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) in San Antonio (2 sites)
  • A school site in Fairfax County Schools with the Fairfax NAACP

Each site will have 3-4 sessions between September and June. This phase culminates with an art exhibition at Howard University and the addition of a Discussion Guide.

Phase 5: July 2022 – June 2023

Focus: Continuing to Bring the Program to Scale: Sharing Opportunities with Members and Partners

July 2021 marks the deadline of the grant proposal for funding for this phase of the program. With details forthcoming, the goal is to build on what has been created and learned and offer this professional development program more broadly to help expand the capacity of visual arts, design, and media arts educators to be effective in the areas of cultural competency, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit

This project is also supported in part by funding from the National Art Education Foundation.