Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

UNCW, NHCS Partner to Integrate the Arts into the Classroom

Monday, January 04, 2016

UNCW’s Office of the Arts and New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) are among 10 teams nationwide selected to join The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as Partners in Education. Teams met the criteria for selection by demonstrating the potential to grow arts-based programs for teachers and students.

“UNCW and NHCS have been collaborating successfully for a long time through our arts programs as well as Watson College,” said Kristen Brogdon, director of UNCW’s Office of the Arts.

WCE supports UNCW’s ARTworks educational outreach initiative, which provides teachers and students with free performances, workshops and other opportunities. Brogdon also works with assistant professor Christine Liao to connect Watson College students to artists and art programs. Liao teaches Arts Integration in WCE’s Elementary Education program.

Brogdon said she and her colleague, Artist Services and Residency Manager Fidias Reyes are looking forward to working with Liao, WCE’s Professional Development System (PDS) director Somer Lewis, NHCS Arts Education Supervisor Tim McCoy and local artists to expand arts-based professional development programs for NHCS teachers, a key goal of the Partners in Education program.

In April, representatives from UNCW and NHCS will attend the 14th annual Partners in Education Institute at the Kennedy Center. During the four-day intensive program, teams will receive a detailed planning guide, attend performances and meet with national education leaders and guest artists.

“One of the great things about the training Institute is that it allows us to carve out time for concentrated planning with immediate feedback from experts in the field,” Brogdon said.

UNCW and NHCS hope to provide district-wide opportunities for students and teachers through the Partners in Education program. The focus will probably be on classroom teachers at the elementary level and arts specialists at the middle and high school levels, Brogdon said.

UNCW announced the university’s participation in the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program in a home page story on Jan. 6.

For information about the Partners in Education program, visit www.kennedy-center.org/education/partners/.