Supporting You in the 2023-2024 Academic Year

2023 Arts in Education Week

The National Art Education Association (NAEA) is here for YOU as you embark on the academic year ahead! We wish you, your learners, and your community success in all your endeavors for 2023-24. This week, September 10–16, 2023 is National Arts in Education Week. We want to help you kick off this year and celebrate this special week with some inspiration and information—a message to you from Wanda B. Knight, NAEA President, as well as a first look at the 2023 NAEA National Convention General Session: Arts Education Advocacy & Policy Town Hall.

Wanda Knight

A letter to you, from Wanda B. Knight, NAEA President

Art Educators Embracing Leadership: A Message at the Start of a New School Year

As summer ends and a new school year begins, I want to celebrate and acknowledge the incredible work done by art educators like you. Your leadership within classrooms, schools, and communities is invaluable. Your commitment to nurturing students’ creative minds and hearts shapes our society. However, it’s crucial to remember that leadership goes beyond a position; we demonstrate authentic leadership through action, choices, values, and our impact on others.

I recognize that the past few years have presented unprecedented challenges. The global pandemic has significantly reshaped the educational landscape, forcing us to adapt and find innovative ways to engage with our students. Despite these difficulties, you have shown extraordinary resilience and dedication. Your ability to navigate uncharted territory and inspire creativity amid uncertainty speaks volumes about your leadership; these actions served as a prompt for writing this letter.

Art educators, please know you are the champions of creativity and the sculptors of dreams. Your classrooms and educational spaces allow students to imagine, explore, and create. Through every brushstroke, pencil mark, or artistic expression, you help unlock the boundless potential within students. Your actions inspire them to make choices, solve problems, think independently, believe in themselves, embrace their uniqueness, and take risks. Providing choice and autonomy fosters a sense of ownership and intrinsic motivation within our students. When students feel empowered, their artistic expressions flourish, and they develop the confidence to pursue their passions beyond the classroom.

In the coming year, let’s continue leading by example. Embrace the power of collaboration, not only within art education but also across different disciplines. Working closely with colleagues from various fields, we can unleash the potential for interdisciplinary projects and enrich learning experiences for our students. Collaboration fosters the exchange of ideas, sparks new creative pathways, and encourages students to think beyond traditional boundaries. By embracing collaboration, we can create powerful connections between the arts and other subjects, amplifying the impact and relevance of arts education. Likewise, we can seek opportunities to connect with fellow art educators, administrators, parents, and community members. Cultivating partnerships will strengthen the power of arts education. Through collaboration, we can magnify our impact, advocate for equitable access to arts education, and empower our students to discover and unleash their unique voices.

Embrace the role of a leader, not for recognition or power, but by embodying leadership principles. Be a role model who inspires a passion for creativity and a hunger for knowledge. Offer guidance and support to fellow art educators, fostering unity and shared purpose. Together, we can bridge equity gaps, overcome challenges, and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

As you embark on this new school year, remember that your influence extends beyond the classroom walls. Your leadership creates ripples that shape the future of our society. The impact of the arts is immeasurable, and your dedication ensures thriving communities in the face of change.

In conclusion, leadership is not defined by a position but by a commitment to taking action that inspires others. Former U.S. President John Quincy Adams is credited with saying, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”

Art educators have the unique ability to shape hearts and minds through the power of creativity. The National Art Education Association and I stand beside you, ready to support your efforts and amplify your voices.

Thank you for your unwavering dedication and belief in the transformative power of art education. As we navigate the new school year, may your actions inspire, uplift, and create lasting change, while shaping the next generation of creators, innovators, and leaders.

Best wishes for a successful and fulfilling academic year ahead!


NAEA News_Summer23_President

Wanda B. Knight, NAEA President

View the video of the 2023 NAEA National Convention General Session: Arts Education Advocacy & Policy Town Hall

In this collaborative General Session, engage with a panel of arts education leaders from the Arts Education Partnership, Americans for the Arts, the classroom, and beyond as they answer YOUR questions and discuss challenges and opportunities that exist nationally and locally for our field.

Panelists: James C. Andrews, Nolen Bivens, Jamie Kasper, Mario R. Rossero

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