State education leaders on Sept. 12 called for school districts to expand and enhance arts programs for all students during a reception at the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) headquarters. Left to right, Christy Tighe, vice president, New Jersey School Boards Association; Mary Reece, chair, board of trustees, ARTS ED NJ; Kevin Ciak, executive director of the Arts & Education Center; Lenore Kingsmore, president, board of trustees, Arts & Education Center and Robert Morrison, director, ARTS ED NJ.
State education leaders on Sept. 12 called for school districts to expand and enhance arts programs for all students during an event at the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) headquarters. Left to right, Christy Tighe, vice president, New Jersey School Boards Association; Mary Reece, chair, board of trustees, ARTS ED NJ; Kevin Ciak, acting executive director of the Arts & Education Center and president of the Sayreville Board of Education; Lenore Kingsmore, president, board of trustees, Arts & Education Center and Robert Morrison, director, ARTS ED NJ.
Kira Rizzuto, program manager, ARTS ED NJ, said the Sept. 12 event at the NJSPA headquarters offered the opportunity to “shine the spotlight on our teen arts festival and the value of arts learning for students throughout New Jersey.”
Kira Rizzuto, program manager, ARTS ED NJ, said the Sept. 12 event at the NJSPA headquarters offered the opportunity to “shine the spotlight on our teen arts festival and the value of arts learning for students throughout New Jersey.”

Arts for All Students Is Goal of Campaign

During an event featuring the N.J. State Teen Arts Traveling Exhibition and special performances by teen artists, state education leaders on Sept. 12 called for school districts to expand and enhance arts programs for all students.

New Jersey is in the middle of a campaign to increase students’ arts participation in high schools to 60 percent by 2020. The campaign aims to grow the number of schools providing more than two arts forms, and to expand participation in elementary and middle schools to 100 percent. Ultimately, the goal is to see that all New Jersey students will have access to, and participate in the arts, organizers said.

The Sept. 12 event at the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA) headquarters in Monroe provided “a good chance to remind everyone of the value and importance of the arts in the educational development – and to the lives – of all of our students across the state,” said Robert B. Morrison, director, ARTS ED NJ. Morrison, a member of the Watchung Hills Board of Education, also serves on the NJSBA Board of Directors.

The reception was sponsored by the NJSPA and ARTS ED NJ in collaboration with the Arts & Education Center (AEC). The AEC is a nonprofit group that has focused on providing support and opportunities for New Jersey artists and championing the importance of quality arts education in school curricula.

The event was part of a National Arts in Education Week celebration.

“The reception also highlights our organization’s premier event, the New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival which recognizes the work of outstanding student artists across our state,” said Kevin Ciak, acting executive director of the Arts & Education Center. School districts interested in participating in this year’s State Teen Arts Festival to be held at Ocean County College on May 29, 30 & 31 can find more information at www.njteenarts.com. Ciak is immediate past president of the National School Boards Association.

Kira Rizzuto, program development manager for ARTS ED NJ, said she was pleased the event was a success and that she was “thrilled to be partnering with others in our state to shine a spotlight on the State Teen Arts Festival and the value of arts learning for ALL students throughout New Jersey.”

For more information about the campaign to improve and expand arts programs, visit https://artsednow.org/