Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education Seeks Public Input at Forum in Madison

Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster Co-Chair Advisory Group

The Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education will hold a public forum at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 4, 2008 at Electronic Theater Controls (ETC) located at 3031 Pleasant View Road in Middleton, WI.

Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton and State Superintendent Elizabeth Burmaster announced in March the formation of the Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education in order to ensure Wisconsin has the creative workforce and entrepreneurial talent needed to compete well in a 21st century global economy.

The public is invited to attend the forum and provide input in response to one or more of the following questions: Where do you most clearly see the value of creativity today?

How can development of children’s creative capacities be integrated across disciplines in the curriculum? What kind of partnerships initiated by the private and non-profit sector interests will help meet a community’s need for expanded arts and creativity in education?

Can you describe a successful classroom or workplace program that teaches art and/or develops creative capacities?

In order to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to speak, speakers will be limited to three minutes.

Members of the public will not be required to register in advance, but will need to register upon arrival.

“We need to hear from a broad cross section of people, from business and civic leaders to educators, artists, scientists and innovators. We will work to leverage their expertise and experience to drive smart policy decisions,” Lawton said.

“We must make strategic investments now to ensure Wisconsin has the bright innovators and entrepreneurs we need to drive our state forward.”

Lawton chairs the Wisconsin Arts Board, and was recently invited to represent the states’ interests on an exclusive National Arts Policy Roundtable convened by Robert Redford and Americans for the Arts at the Sundance Preserve last fall.

Their policy recommendations address the topic “Thinking Creatively, Working Globally: The Role of the Arts in Building a 21st Century American Workforce.” Burmaster recently led a Wisconsin delegation to the Education Leaders Institute, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, to bring a national focus to the importance of arts education.

“The arts build 21st century skills. From my experience as an arts educator, I know that the arts not only boost student achievement in school, they reinforce the knowledge and abilities business and industry needs today and for the future,” Burmaster said.

“The work of this task force to improve access and equity in arts education as part of a balanced curriculum is vital for our students and the future of our state and nation.”

The task force will examine state-level policies and local practices to determine their impact on the scope and access to quality arts education opportunities in Wisconsin; recommend refinement and changes, as well as new initiatives, to support arts education, creativity, and innovation; and identify state and local agencies, organizations, and businesses that can collaborate to provide leadership and resources in support of arts education, creativity, and innovation. -30-