The National Art Education Association (NAEA), in partnership with the Educational Theater Association (EdTA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) is launching Connected Arts Networks (CAN), a five-year grant initiative to create nationwide virtual Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) with educators in visual arts, music, theater, dance and media arts. The overarching vision for CAN is to build a sustainable model of professional learning for arts educators to strengthen their pedagogy, instruction and leadership skills in order to better serve students. This project is modeled after the successful structure of the PLC program in New York City, initiated by the Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP), another partnering organization.
In year one of this multi-year project, we will recruit a passionate and diverse group of educators to create a national professional learning community of Teacher Leaders. In year two, the initial PLC of Teacher Leaders will receive specialized virtual training to build their capacity to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and social-emotional learning within arts instruction. After year two, each Teacher Leader will facilitate their own virtual PLC of arts educators of their same art discipline and student grade levels in these same content areas, while also emphasizing the importance of leadership skills. We view these content areas as the most pressing for arts educators at this moment in time and believe that we can positively impact students by creating opportunities for arts educators to learn from and with each other.
On behalf of the project, each national partner association (visual arts, theater, music and dance) will be selecting 15 Teacher Leaders. We welcome educators in media arts, and invite them to apply under one of these 4 art disciplines and to note media arts in the application. Upon being selected, Teacher Leaders will participate in a Project Orientation in May 2022, a Summer Institute in July 2022, and starting in September 2022, monthly meetings with their PLC (see below timeline for more details). The goal is that by June 2023, each PLC Teacher Leader will be prepared to facilitate their own virtual PLC, which will include 10 arts educators from around the country seeking a peer community.