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Summer 2020 Update

I wanted to take this time to give you an update on what KYAEA has been doing for our association this summer. What a strange and different summer we have had. Through virtual meetings, conferences, and wading through what school might be like when we return…

I hope that many of you were able to join at least one of our virtual meetings that were presented as a Summer PD to allow you time to discuss things that happened this past spring with the shutdown of school and find support to figure out what your instruction might look like in the fall. Every meeting was a great opportunity and an example of why we are better together with art educators than apart. A take away from those meetings that we are currently working on is more meetings like this where you can virtually get together with other art educators to discuss concerns or just have a meeting of like minds for support. Our Regional Director, Vicki Sapp is working on the concept of a “Share and Care Hour” that she will host each month in the near future. We hope that this will be beneficial to you as we go into this new school year.

The Kentucky Coalition for Arts Education (KCAE) has been working on a couple of projects this summer. One being a letter of introduction to our new Education Commissioner, Dr. Jason Glass on the KCAE and the importance of of Art Education in our schools for all age levels. Another is a unified statement that will be sent to superintendents all across the state to show the importance of arts for all students, especially during the pandemic. Along with this there will be links to each of the arts organizations websites to give access to guidelines for reopening for the arts through: dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts. Currently, our document for visual arts is being worked on. I have reached out for input from various teachers across the state. Once the final draft is written the document will be placed on our website in draft form to be viewed while it is being submitted for approval through Public Health and the Governor's Office. These projects with KCAE are great advocacy tools for arts education in Kentucky.

KyAEA had a strong presence at the NAEA Leadership Conference a few weeks ago and learned how other states are handling the pandemic and moving forward with conferences, policies and storytelling through Adobe applications. An exciting keynote speakers were Damien Kulash Jr. from OK Go and Ann Marie Thomas from the University of St. Thomas. Together they have worked to bring resources for divergent thinking with their Sandbox project. With the Sandbox Project it has teachable moments in videos that the band has created over the years. The site included lesson plans, behind the scenes videos on how things are created, Classroom Challenges and many other things to bring STEAM into your classroom.

The link for Sandbox is

Another source is the Playful Learning Lab,

Currently from the Leadership Conference, KyAEA is working on our Strategic Vision Plan for Kentucky and a new appointed position for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. Below is a list of some of the topics that were discussed in our Southeast Regional Meeting:

● Strategic Vision

● Issues and Concerns for the School Year with COVID

● Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

● Outreach to educators outside of the classroom

● Virtual Conferences - best platforms, sessions and logistics

● Advocacy to Advance Art Education

● Practice of Self Care

As we move forward I want to let you know that our Fall Conference will be a virtual conference. We are meeting to get the details hammered out, but want to let you know that it will be affordable, you will still get swag and it will be over 12 hours of PD credit. The dates for the conference are the afternoon and evening of October 23rd, the day of the 24th and the morning of the 25th. We hope that you will consider joining us. We still need presenters, so if you would like to present at this virtual conference please fill out the form link below. If you have any questions you can email me at and the link to the conference proposals is:

We will be updating the conference registration in the near future with the new prices and information. In closing, know that KyAEA is here for you and you can reach out to us if you have questions or concerns.

One thing that we would like you to do as a member is go to your NAEA account and check your email. If you can add a non-school email it might help to ensure that you will get communications from KyAEA. We have noticed that some school districts are filtering things from KyAEA and Constant Contact. Also, once we have the final draft for the guidelines for opening during COVID we will send them out through Constant Contact and on our FB pages. I wish you the best of luck and resilience as you go forward into this school year. We are better together as art educators with KyAEA.

Jennifer Bruton Sims Hart County High School

Art Teacher, NBCT

Kentucky Art Education Association, President-Elect

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