IDAHO ART EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
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NAEA Delegates’ Assembly Report, 2015
I was fortunate enough to attend NAEA’s national convention in New Orleans in March as the Idaho Delegate for 2015. It was an honor to represent
art teachers in Idaho and to speak for our state’s unique needs. The Delegates’ Assembly takes place prior to the convention. This was my third time
attending during the last 15 years while serving on the IAEA board. I was able to participate in the democratic practice of adopting position statements
that shape our national organization. One of the exciting new advances was the NAEA taking on social justice art education! I sat next to the Montana
Delegate and we hugged as this statement passed unanimously. The process also reinforced the importance of familiarizing oneself with the position
statements to ensure quality arts education and to facilitate advocacy for our programs in pre K-12, higher education, and museum education.
I was grateful to represent Idaho as part of the national dialogue and community. Next year, Michele Chmielewski, our current President-Elect will
represent us in Chicago and further our relationship with the NAEA.
Idaho was presented the Pacific Region Membership growth Award! We know there is strength in numbers and though we might be one of the
smaller state organizations I felt that by being alongside other neighboring states, our voices were heard and counted equally among all those
represented. If you are not currently a member of the NAEA please consider all the benefits!
Additionally, connecting with other art educators from all aspects of art education was very satisfying. Many of you are the sole art educator in your
buildings. It can feel incredibly isolated. Attending various sessions unveiled new ways of approaching curriculum design and new art making
techniques. I must say Tim Gunn’s keynote about fostering creativity through design was the most exciting moment of the conference for me! He
mentioned how Lego’s once fostered creativity, but now Lego’s come packaged in “prescription” boxes. Going back to self-exploration through
design is something we all must keep fresh in our own work as well as encouraging discovery within our students.
The NAEA reviews new position statements every year under the categories of Art Educators, Relationships, Curriculum, Instruction, and
Assessment. The ideas from position statements come from the constituency – people like you and the other members of our organization! This means
that if an issue in art education is important to you, you can contact NAEA to begin the process of gathering a team to begin researching and writing on
your topic. This year, five position statements were proposed and adopted, all of which I voted on with your interests and needs in mind. I made
assumptions about what our state members would like. However, in the future I feel it would be more representative if we had feedback from
members who have read and given input on the policies which will be posted on the national website prior to the national delegate convention.
The first, under the category “Art Educators”, calls for “The Importance of Qualified Visual Arts Supervisors in preK-12 Art Education.” I hope the
adoption of this position statement urges our Idaho legislators to hire a full time qualified arts coordinator for our state.
The second position statement under the category of “Relationships” supports the “Value of Collaborative Research.” This platform statement creates
necessary bridges between teachers, higher education faculty, artists, students, administrators, community members, policy members, and partner
Under the third category of “Curriculum” two platform statements were adopted. “Art Education and Social Justice” and “Media Arts.” In social
justice, we recognize the importance of art education to raise critical consciousness, foster empathy and respect for others, build community, and
motivate people to promote positive social change. What a long way we’ve come since Discipline-Based Arts Education! The good news for media
arts is that we support the implementation of visual arts education that encompasses traditional media arts including film, graphic communications, and
animation as well as new media forms of expression. This is consistent with the new Core Arts Standards that have been adopted by NAEA and the
same that I participated in reviewing last year through our own state adoption process.
Finally, under “Instruction,” we voted in support of “Instruction, Assessment, and Student Learning in the Visual Arts.” This position statement states
that teaching art is a multi-faceted, complex endeavor that acknowledges the integral relationship between instruction, learning, and assessment. The
most exciting part of this statement is the value that NAEA places on essential understandings and inquiry questions that are not only are relevant to
learners but can demonstrate how the visual arts impact society. As you know, art can shape and change perception, with meaning-making at the core.
If you would like to view the new position statements and the previously adopted position statements visit the NAEA website at http://www.
arteducators.org/about-us/naea-platform-and-position-statements. Interesting information from coloring books to race-based school mascots can be
found which you might find useful in your curriculum and schools.
I am excited to see NAEA grow. Next year the convention will be in Chicago. If you are interested in applying to present exciting lessons that have
worked in your classroom note that the deadline coming up in May. Conference information can be found at http://www.arteducators.
org/news/national-convention/national-convention. It’s wonderful that a multitude of sessions are led by innovative teachers in the trenches of the
classrooms. Nationally, NAEA’s assets are at an all time high. This, thankfully, translates to more support for classroom teachers and a lower
Some of the professional development opportunities coming up this year include a Partnership with CA State University System Chico to bring
university credit to the NAEA convention, and a summer studio project on design thinking in Washington DC called Summer Vision (http://www.
arteducators.org/learning/summervision), as well as webinars.
Nationally we have some good news in art education. Chicago Public Schools just added 83 art positions! In Washington DC Chancellor Henderson,
recognized the need for teachers to be connected to the national community,and paid all 176 art teachers’ memberships to NAEA! And in California,
a massive recruiting process is underway to fill previously unfilled visual art positions. Additionally, NAEA’s website will undergo a new design.
While we struggle with cuts to our programs and general lack of support for visual art, it’s helpful to learn what is happening at the national level. We
can grow art education in Idaho! You do it every day in your classrooms. I want to thank you for the opportunity to represent the wonderful state of
Idaho and urge you to join NAEA if you haven’t already. I’ll see you all in Sun Valley this autumn!
Co-President – Idaho Art Education Association