The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced the Peoria Unified Governing Board in Glendale, Az., will receive the 26th annual Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and National School Boards Association (NSBA) Award. The award, which includes a $10,000 prize, will be presented today at the National School Boards Association’s Annual Conference in New Orleans. Since 1989, this prestigious national award has recognized individual school boards for their outstanding support of arts education.
The Peoria district was chosen from nominees around the country for its support of high-quality arts education. The school board stood out by their clear, demonstrated commitment to teaching and learning through the arts. The school board actively promoted the district’s arts programs and established arts integration in Title 1 schools. Despite significant budget cuts, the school board continued to offer diverse and practical arts courses for the district’s students at every grade level. Additionally, they sought out partnerships with local, state, and national arts organizations to increase arts opportunities for students. The school board’s positive arts messaging and focus on the education of the whole child testify to their on-going goal of arts education for all students. The Peoria Unified Governing Board will use their award to continue funding effective arts education programs.
“Peoria Unified Governing Board is a national model of school board leadership to develop innovative arts education programs to benefit student learning,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “Even in tough economic times with school district budget cuts, Peoria Unified Governing Board recognized the value of arts education as a district-wide priority.”
Each year, a national review panel selects the first place school district from a pool of nominees selected by State Alliances for Arts Education and State School Boards Associations. School districts selected for this national honor must demonstrate support for all four core disciplines in arts education programs: visual arts, music, theater, and dance. Instruction and programming must be available for all students throughout the district. The ways in which the school district develops collaborative partnerships with the cultural resources available in the community are also an important consideration in reviewing nominations.