May 2017

by Ann Talbott Brown, Director of Arts Education Tennessee Arts Commission

Educators learn African drumming from teaching artist Kofi Mawuko

May means school is almost out for the summer. End-of-year music concerts, annual school revues, culminating art shows, and school open houses are coming to a close. Students and educators alike are preparing for some much-deserved time for play and relaxation. However, as any educator knows, being a teacher is a year-round job. Summer is also a time for planning the upcoming academic year and for completing professional development to meet district requirements and one’s own learning goals. Luckily, in Tennessee there are plenty of teacher training opportunities to meet the needs of educators—for arts specialists, classroom teachers, and teaching artists.

If you’re looking for new ideas for the classroom, you may consider attending one (or more!) of the following arts education workshops or conferences for educators, all of which have received funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission for the service provided to teachers. (Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list, just some of the work funded by the Commission.) For educators seeking financial support to attend one of these offerings, check out the Teacher Incentive Grant guidelines now available at Teacher Incentive Grants support travel costs, registration fees, and/or teacher stipends for your time. Consider applying as soon as the grant application opens on June 1 because funds are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis!


1.Global Education Center offers the Multicultural Arts Institutes for Teachers, which involve teaching artists from diverse cultures, helping educators to create culturally relevant lesson plans and inclusive classrooms.

2.The Tennessee Arts Academy puts forth a week-long immersion in arts education training that offers new techniques and methods in teaching the arts and inspires teachers through professional performances and cross-disciplinary interludes.

3.Tennessee Performing Arts Center holds the Arts Integration Institutes, which are centered on purposeful, goal-oriented arts integration training aligned with the HOT Season for Young People performances.

Chattanooga-based artist Isaac Duncan leads a workshop for the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts; Photography Courtesy of Southeast Center for Education in the Arts


4. As one of the original national partners in the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program, ArtsBuild presents Local Kennedy Center Arts Integration Workshops that provide instructional strategies in arts and literacy integration.

5.Southeast Center for Education in the Arts offers Arts Learning Lab (ALL) consisting of a four-day clinical workshop developing concept-based, arts-integrated units of study with additional planning clinics and a culminating digital storytelling event.


6.Orpheum Theatre Group’s Summer Institute: Teaching through the Arts brings together beginner and advanced educators to increase the use of arts integration techniques in the classroom with sessions led by Kennedy Center teaching artists.

7.Tennessee Art Education Association holds the 2017 TAEA Fall Statewide Conference in Memphis this year offering specific strategies for developing interdisciplinary curriculum and arts assessments in the visual arts featuring nationally renowned presenters.

8.As one of the oldest Orff Training Centers in the country, the University of Memphis Orff Summer Institute trains teachers to use an active approach to music and movement education that builds on children’s innate musical abilities through singing, speaking, movement, and play.

Pin It on Pinterest