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National Endowment for Arts Announces Second Round of Grants for FY 2023

National Coalition for Arts Standards (NCAS) partner organizations will re-imagine arts standards through culturally responsive teaching supported by $50,000 NEA grant.

CINCINNATI, OH—May 24, 2023—The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a $50 thousand grant to the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) to support Creating A Community for All Learners- Reimagining Standards-based Arts Education for Equity & Inclusion. This grant is among 1,130 NEA-funded projects across the country, totaling more than $31 million, that were selected during this second round of Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2023.


Creating A Community for All Learners, a joint initiative of EdTA and other members of the National Coalition for Arts Standards (NCAS), will convene diverse education stakeholders from under-represented populations and experts on culturally responsive teaching practice in arts education. Selected stakeholders will work to craft guidance for inclusive teacher practices as well as discipline specific recommendations for future national arts standards revisions.


A panel of culturally responsive experts who guide teachers will be pre-chosen, based on recommendations from the partnering NCAS organizations and a review of suggested applications resumes by grant leadership. Through a process of virtual and in-person convenings, the panel will analyze how the national arts standards could better address the needs and cultural benchmarks of a diverse student population to produce a gap analysis and a report that outlines guiding principles for culturally responsive teaching, along with specific instructional strategies.

A formal, open call to teachers and teaching artists will be conducted through an application process managed by the participating national arts education service organizations, mindful of the need to select educators of color working in underserved schools and communities.


The project will culminate with the work of a cohort of classroom teachers paired with community arts providers who will apply the guidance and recommendations to create and field test standards-based model lesson plans as a part of a toolkit for all arts educators, bringing the guidance to life for arts educators everywhere. Creating a Community for All Learners will also use a pre-and post-project survey to identify growth in knowledge of standards-based culturally responsive instruction.


According to Cory Wilkerson, Chief Learning Officer for EdTA, Creating a Community for All Learners represents the first step towards an expected revision of the 2014 National Art Standards. “We know from experience that the arts standards can have an impact on how arts teachers teach and how students learn,” she said. “This project is an opportunity to consider how we can refine those standards to make them more meaningful and inclusive to a broader teacher workforce and student population.”


Expected benefits of Creating a Community for All Learners include:

  • Teachers and teaching artists will gain a better understanding of how to use standards-based arts teaching through a culturally responsive lens to ensure that all students have equal opportunity to engage in meaningful learning.

  • Community arts providers of dance, media arts, music, and visual arts education will gain an expanded awareness of the standards and the National Endowment grants program to non-traditional partners.

  • Schools and their communities will gain a heightened awareness of how standards-based curriculum can help every student participate in classroom-based arts education learning, thereby improving school and community cultural inclusion.

  • The field of arts education will gain from the analysis and data generated by the project as a precursor to a revision of the national arts standards that will reconsider how the standards can better address the cultural traditions of students who have historically been underserved, whether by ethnicity, geography, economics, or disability.

CONTACT James Palmarini


About NCAS The National Coalition for Arts Standards (NCAS) is an alliance of national arts and arts education organizations dedicated to supporting and promoting sequential, standards-based arts education as part of a well-rounded curriculum that ensures artistic literacy for all students. The coalition formed in 2011 for the purpose of creating and supporting national arts standards. Arts ARE Education is a national initiative sponsored by NCAS in support of arts education for all students.


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