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Home > About > News and Events > News > Guild News > WBEZ Chicago Calls Guild Conference "A Big Deal"

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WBEZ Chicago Calls Guild Conference "A Big Deal"

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Nov 05, 2013
Chicago, IL

WBEZ Chicago called last week's Conference for Community Arts Education (Oct. 30 - Nov. 2, Chicago) "a big deal," and interviewed National Guild Associate Director Ken Cole and representatives from Merit School of Music and Urban Gateways about its impact and critical issues in arts education.

The 2013 Conference brought together more than 650 arts education leaders from 350+ organizations nationwide for four days to discuss strategies for making arts education more accessible to people of all ages, aptitudes, and backgrounds. The conference was held at the Fairmont Chicago, with pre-conference institutes on Oct. 30 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The conference is the only national gathering tailored to address the specific interests and needs of nonprofit community arts education providers—community music schools, arts and cultural centers, youth theaters, dance studios, museum education departments, etc.—dedicated to making high quality arts learning opportunities accessible to all. In an era of increasing financial inequity, the role these organizations play is increasingly important, as many people turn to them to for subsidized instruction of the highest quality.

Dramatic shifts in demographics, technology, education, and our understanding of human development are creating opportunities for arts education leaders to re-imagine how they can increase their organization's impact and better serve their communities. Chicago's new district-wide Arts Education Plan—part of Chicago's first cultural plan in 25 years—provides a compelling example of how collective impact efforts can help galvanize support and align resources to provide universal access to arts education. Other strategies discussed included cross-sector collaborations; new technologies to extend and enhance teaching and learning; methods for increasing organizational diversity and inclusivity; and techniques for increased sustainability and growth.

Listen and read WBEZ's pre-coverage of the conference here --"The event's a big deal," reports WBEZ.

Listen to the interview on WBEZ's "Afternoon Shift" here with Ken Cole, associate director, National Guild; Tom Bracy, executive director, Merit School of Music (Chicago); and Eric Delli Bovi, executive director, Urban Gateways (Chicago). Both Merit and Urban Gateways are Guild member organizations. Together they discussed the Conference, Chicago's new cultural plan, and the impact of the nation's new Common Core State Standards on arts education.

Major conference supporters included the National Endowment for the Arts, MetLife Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, MacArthur Foundation, Polk Bros.Foundation, Baker and McKenzie, and The Barthelmes Foundation.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.