Arts Commission, Department of Education partner to provide professional development to 80 classroom educators, teaching artists

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced Tuesday that 80 classroom educators and teaching artists will participate in the Arts Integration Learning Labs professional development opportunities this week.

The Learning Labs, developed via a partnership between the Indiana Arts Commission and the Indiana Department of Education, are designed to empower classroom educators and teaching artists to partner together on meaningful arts integration experiences for their students. Arts integration is the work of skillfully combining arts learning with other learning goals. 

The two Arts Integration Learning Lab full-day trainings will occur on July 13 at the Cornerstone Center for the Arts in Muncie and July 15 at the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center in Jasper. The Muncie Arts and Culture Council and Jasper Community Arts will serve as local partners for the trainings. Classroom educators from 20 school districts and artists from 21 different counties will be participating.  

Miah Michaelsen, IAC Executive Director

“As shown by the PACE research, arts education is a key element in student learning and engagement.” said Miah Michaelsen, IAC Executive Director. “These Learning Labs and the subsequent fellowships will provide the training, networking, and funding to spread this work around the state to the benefit of Hoosier students.” 

The Learning Labs follow the Partnering Arts, Communities, and Education (PACE) program, a research program conducted by the IAC from 2015 to 2021, which explored the impact of a long-term artist residency in elementary classrooms. Research findings from the PACE program demonstrated clear growth and a positive impact on the learning outcomes and engagement of young people involved in the program. The Arts Integration Learning Labs will utilize the learnings from the PACE program to expand educators’ and artists’ tools in creative teaching strategies. 

Following the Learning Labs, educators will be eligible to apply for up to $3,000 in fellowship funding to put their learning into practice in their own classrooms.