Posted on 09/25/2019 at 11:34 AM by Blog Experts

On September 24, the State Fine Arts Leadership Team met in Des Moines to review the accomplishments of the past two years and to discuss the exciting work for this year. During the past two years, online modules have been created as a way of implementing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards. You can go through the module for license renewal credit or as a participant. You can find those courses here, under Fine Arts. More information about the modules will be discussed in next month’s blog. Additionally, on June 20, 2019, the first Fine Arts Education Summit was held. You can learn more about that event here.

This year, the focus of the leadership team’s work will be on Equity as well as Future Readiness and the Arts. In light of Equity, the team learned about the Arts Education Data Project from Bob Morrison. Bob shared with us the data dashboards that other states have been using to determine how many students have access to the arts, what that access looks like as far as course offerings, and the demographics of the students and the districts. Districts can then study the data to improve their fine arts programs, to get more students involved in the fine arts, and to ensure that the fine arts program is accessible to all students.

To learn more about the Arts Education Data Project, scroll down the homepage to the map of the US. As you can see, Iowa will be launching later this year, or most likely, the Spring of 2020. California, Tennessee, and New Jersey were states that we looked at in depth. Click on a state to enter its dashboard. Then click on the Arts Ed Data Project. Once you have entered the dashboard, you will see links at the top, such as State Overview, Discipline Dashboard, District/School Dashboard, Trends Over Time, etc. Click on each of these to learn more about the Fine Arts programs in each of the school districts in the particular state.

Our other main focus was the Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning. Click on Project Boards to see the availability of Fine Arts-based projects. These are projects that your students can complete. Additionally, if you have ideas for projects for Fine Arts, be sure to create those projects so the Fine Arts are well represented. If you have questions about the Clearinghouse, Jake Welchans ( is the contact person.

Two other opportunities we learned about were the Education Closet and the Integration for Arts into STEAM and Folk Arts in the Classroom. The Education Closet has all kinds of resources and professional development opportunities, as well as lesson plans and a library.

Folk Arts in the Classroom will be a one-credit course offered on June 10-11, 2020. There is an application for this course that is due December 1, 2019. Participants must come as a team of two--a social studies teacher and a fine arts teacher. They will visit two museums: the Czech and Slovak Museum and the  Vesterheim Museum. For more information about this course, contact Jennie Knoebel at or 515.242.6194.

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