Visual and Performing Arts

Arts Education Resources and Organizations


United States Department of Education

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts the Kennedy Center’s education site, promotes arts at the center of the curriculum.

Lincoln Center Institute a model for teaching performing arts based on the philosophy of Aesthetic Education through experiential and contextual learning.

National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that supports artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

Public Broadcasting Service PBS Teachers is PBS' national web destination for high-quality preK-12 educational resources.  Here you'll find classroom materials suitable for a wide range of subjects and grade levels. PBS provides thousands of lesson plans, teaching activities, on-demand video assets, and interactive games and simulations. These resources are correlated to state and national educational standards and are tied to PBS' award-winning on-air and online programming like NOVA, Nature, Cyberchase, Between the Lions and more.


Artsconnected is an interactive Web site that provides access to works of art and educational resources from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center for K-12 educators, students, and scholars.

ArtsEdge provides invaluable resources and information relating to the arts and education and providing standards-based K-12 curricula for all disciplines and subject matter.

Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education (MAAE) advocates for high quality, comprehensive and sequential arts education for all Mississippi students and provides invaluable professional development opportunities and resources relating to the arts education.

Mississippi Arts Commission is the official grants-making and service agency for the arts in Mississippi.  The Commission provides financial support in the form of grants for eligible arts programs and the work of individual artists.

Mississippi School of the Arts provides a challenging arts education for artistically gifted Mississippi students in a residential learning environment that promotes honor, integrity, service, and life-long learning.

President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues.  The PCAH works directly with the three primary cultural agencies—National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services—as well as other federal partners and the private sector, to address policy questions in the arts and humanities, to initiate and support key programs in those disciplines and to recognize excellence in the field.  Its core areas of focus are arts and humanities education, cultural exchange, and creative economy.

Southern Arts Federation supports and promotes the arts in the south.

The Center for Arts and Culture is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.  Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.

VSA The International Organization on Arts and Disability is dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities have access to arts programs, education and participation.

Young Audiences is an organization centered on educational programming through the arts in communities.  It provides a forum for educators and arts administrators, lists of community collaborations after-school programs, arts for learning, advocacy, and professional development.


Instructional Resources

Cross-Cultural Dance Resources holds discourse on research of all forms of

Dance Education Web provides technology as a tool for the development and retrieval of compelling dance education information in order to nurture inspiration and critical inquiry within a global dance education community.

DanceHelp is a journal of dance information and inspiration to accompany students, performers, and choreographers in their dance endeavors.

Who’s Dancin’ Now? Companion to PBS documentary, this site provides information on local arts education association, the National Dance Institute, and interactive discussion forums.

Professional Organizations

American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) is the largest organization of professionals supporting and assisting professionals involved in physical education, recreation, fitness, sport and coaching, dance, health education and promotion, and all specialties related to achieving a healthy and active lifestyle.

Dance Heritage Coalition devoted to the preservation and promotion of the art of dance through policy-making, professional discourse, and documentation.

DanceUSA provides access to current information on the art of dance through programs and publications, membership benefits, advice for young dancers and professionals, and facts and figures surrounding the field.

National Dance Association promotes dance education and contains several associated organizations including The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

National Dance Education Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of high quality education in the art of dance.

The American Dance Guild promoting the art of dance, while serving the needs of dance professionals and educators.

The National Dance Council of America representing the interests of dance professionals, organizations, and educational practices.


Instructional Resources

American Choral Directors Association’s Choral list is an email distribution list for choral music.  ChoralNet is the professional networking site for the global online choral community.

American Music Center is dedicated to building a national community of artists, organizations, and audiences creating, performing, and enjoying new American music.  AMC Online Library, a vast, searchable database of more than 50,000 works by American composers.

K-12 Resources for Music Educators a page of multiple resources and links with descriptions.

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation keeps music alive in our schools and communities by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs, giving youngsters the many benefits of music education, helping them to be better students and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music.

Music Alive a contemporary educational music magazine.

School Music Matters a music education advocacy resource center which contains news, facts, quotations, ideas, links, and downloads.

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States.  They are dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound.

Professional Organizations

American Choral Directors' Association (ACDA) is a nonprofit music-education organization whose central purpose is to promote excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching.

American Choral Directors' Association (Mississippi Chapter) promotes excellence in choral music through performance, composition, publication, research, and teaching.

American Composers Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing its composer members a unique variety of services including professional representation of all otherwise unpublished works, registration of works for performance tracking and royalty payments, print publication and promotion, and library archiving of materials, while bringing fresh and vibrant American music to performing artists and to the general public through its searchable online database and annual summer festival of concerts.

American Composers Forum links communities with composers and performers, in the making, playing and enjoyment of new music.

American Music Conference advocates in providing resources, news, and events on fostering personal development through musical education for all ages and provides articles on topics from after school programs, funding educational programs, to choosing an instrument.

American String Teachers Association promotes excellence is string and orchestra teaching and playing.

Blues Foundation created the "Blues in the Schools" initiative with the goal of incorporating The Blues into the classroom curriculum for grades K-12.  The site offers curriculum and lesson plans, as well as The Blues Teacher's Guide, which includes a compact disc comprising the seminal blues songs referenced in the lesson activities, essays on the history of the blues and blues musicology, and a blues bibliography, discography, and glossary.

Chamber Music America is dedicated to developing and strengthening an evolving chamber music community.

Children’s Music Workshop is a music education company which specializes in a variety of products and services including custom designed band and orchestra method books, school site music instruction, instrument sales and rentals, music education advocacy and more.

Chorus America service organization devoted to building awareness, effective infrastructure, and a network for choral groups of all sizes and for all ages through training, consultation, and access to surveys.

International Association of Jazz Educators is a site for music educators and advocates to access information on upcoming conferences, workshops, concerts and events across the entire country.  Join a music education listserv or explore all of the links and online resources this site has to offer.

League of American Orchestras provides artistic services to enhance programming, repertoire, and performance through educational tools, networking, and access to leading professionals in the field.

Meet the Composer, Inc. supports the creation of new musical work and the engagement of new work with people and communities throughout the United States.  They are motivated by a core belief that interaction with a living composer and his or her music has the power to invigorate and inspire musicians and audiences alike.

Mississippi Music Educators Association promotes and provides advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all Mississippi students.

Music Friends provides Advocacy for K-12 Music Education.

Music Teachers National Associationis to advance the value of music study and music making to society and to support the professionalism of music teachers.

National Association for Music Education (MENC) among the world's largest arts education organizations marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education.  Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school.

National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) is a non-profit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.

OPERA America find sponsored goods and services on Opera, Opera House, Opera Singers, Italian Opera and more.

The American Musical Instrument Society holds discourse among music professionals, educators, and curators on the preservation, history, and design of musical instruments from all periods and cultures.

The American String Teachers Association is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers.

Vh-1 Save the Music Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America’s schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child’s education.


Instructional Resources

American Theater Web houses a database of over 3,000 theaters and 7,000 productions nationwide with access to daily headlines and information on building more effective community theater projects.

CreateDrama is a free resource for theatre teachers.

Mississippi State University Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts is committed to entertain and enrich, further lifelong learning, and improve the quality of life for people of Mississippi through education and the arts.

Theatre Development Fund is a service and advocacy organization for the for-profit and non-profit theatre arts. It focuses on audience building and expanding opportunities for the performing arts.

Professional Organizations

American Association of Community Theatre provides listing to local community theater events at a nationwide level, membership directories, educational and professional resources, and articles on the craft.

Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) is a professional organization for theatre educators. In addition to providing professional development, advocacy, and networking support to its members, EdTA operates the International Thespian Society, an honorary organization for high school and middle school theatre students. It publishes Dramatics, a monthly magazine for students and teachers, and Teaching Theatre, a quarterly journal for theatre education professionals. EdTA’s annual Thespian Festival is the premiere showcase for high school theatre, drawing students and teachers from throughout the United States and abroad.

Mississippi Theatre Association (MTA) provides workshops for the high school and community theatre divisions in Mississippi.  MTA established a scholarship program for high school students pursuing a degree in theatre at a Mississippi institution and the College/University High School Senior Auditions that allows high school seniors to audition for college/universities during the annual festival/convention.

The American Alliance for Theatre & Education is a great resource for people involved with theater or theater education.  Learn from all of the publications and examples of quality practices, and also through the links to theater artists, scholars, and upcoming events and opportunities. Become a member and gain even more benefits.

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) a national organization for the American theatre.  TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research and communications; grants approximately $2 million per year to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level and serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute, connecting its constituents to the global theatre community.


Instructional Resources

ArtsEdNet provides resources for lesson plans K-12 and printable art reproductions to accompany the lessons.

Mississippi Art Museums

- Mississippi Museum of Art

- Ohr-O'Keefe Museum

- Walter Anderson Museum

- Lauren Rogers Museum

Professional Organizations

American Association of Museums provides a forum for museum administration and current issues concerning an institution’s health, success, and ability to serve its public.

Mississippi Art Education Association (MAEA) is affiliated with the National Art Education Association and is resource for art educators, art students, and artists within the state of Mississippi.

National Art Education Association is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators.  Members include elementary, middle and high school visual arts educators, college and university professors, researchers and scholars, teaching artists, administrators and supervisors, and art museum educators, as well as more than 45,000 students who are members of the National Art Honor Society or are university students preparing to be art educators.


Arts Education Leadership Network Initiative (NASAA) and its national and state partners in arts education are working to improve the environment for arts education leadership, with a focus on arts education managers at state arts councils, state arts education teams and partnerships, and communication/information sharing. This section of the NASAA Web site serves as a locus of information and resources for the project.

Arts Education Partnership (AEP) is a national coalition of arts, education, business, philanthropic and government organizations that demonstrates and promotes the essential role of the arts in the learning and development of every child and in the improvement of America's schools.  Their website provides information and communication about current and emerging arts education policies, issues, and activities at the national, state and local levels. It also includes a wealth of resources for research, advocacy, funding opportunities, and more.

Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination Program is designed to enable schools and organizations to develop and disseminate comprehensive approaches for integrating the arts into elementary and middle school curricula, strengthening arts instruction in these grade levels, and improving students’ academic performance.  Approximately $4 million in funding is available, and the average grant ranges between $225,000 and $275,000.  This program must be administered in partnership with a local education agency.

Artscan is a searchable database of existing state-level policies regarding the arts.  Produced by the Education Commission of the States (ECS), it is a powerful tool for arts advocates seeking to improve their state-level education policies.

ARTSEDGE this website is a global electronic venue for students, teachers and artist-educators, designed to help educators teach in, through and about the arts.  The site features Arts-integrated resources for K-12 educators, news updates, extensive teaching materials and professional resources, including job listings and searchable databases for grants and funding, competitions, fellowships and internships.

Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) is a non-profit professional organization whose mission is to advocate for, support, strengthen, and serve artists who teach in schools and in the community from all disciplines in NYS. The Association of Teaching Artists serves: To create a community of Teaching Artists; To empower the practice of Teaching Artists as a profession; To provide a network for communication and the exchange of resources; To collaborate with NYS and national arts organizations and agencies; To collaborate on quality professional development and training; To publically recognize and celebrate distinguished achievement by Teaching Artists in arts education.

Chicago Arts Partnership in Education a model for integrating the arts across the curriculum.

Designing the Arts Learning Community: a Handbook for K-12 Professional Development Planners synthesizing extensive research of arts education practice across the United States, this handbook is a guide to designing arts education professional development for K-12 classroom teachers and provides a searchable database of 50 arts learning communities.  Explore this interactive resource online or click here to download the full handbook.

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence free teaching and learning resources from Federal Agencies.

Joy2Learn Foundation brings American’s greatest artists into the classroom free of charge via the Internet.

Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative is a comprehensive statewide arts education program, which uses the arts as a vehicle for promoting high-quality instruction and learning for students in all disciplines. This unique program goes far beyond “art for art’s sake” and applies the learning power of the arts across the entire curriculum.

National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) provides information for educators and YoungArts scholarship opportunities for students interested in cinematic arts, dance, jazz, music, photography, theater, visual arts, voice and writing.

Professional Development for Arts Educators Program supports the implementation of high-quality professional development model programs in K-12 education for music, dance, drama and visual arts educators. Applications must be initiated by a local education agency, but projects may include partnerships with arts organizations.  Programs must focus on the development, enhancement, or expansion of standards-based arts education programs or the integration of arts instruction into other subject area content.  The program requires that participating schools must have a student population in which at least 50% are from low-income families (Title I).  If your organization partners with schools to provide professional development for teachers, consider bringing this grant program to the attention of your school system.


Instructional Time in Elementary Schools-A Closer Look at Changes for Specific Subjects(Center on Education Policy, February 2008).  As part of an ongoing study of the impact of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Center on Education Policy conducted a deeper analysis of 2006-07 survey data first reported in July 2007 on the amount of instructional time devoted to specific subjects.

Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain is the culmination of a summit sponsored by The Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Neuro-Education Initiative, focuses on the convergence of neuroscientific research and teaching and learning, with an emphasis on the arts.

The Nation’s Report Card: Arts 2008 this report presents the results of the 2008 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) arts assessment.  It was administered to a nationally representative sample of 7,900 eighth-grade public and private school students.  Approximately one-half of these students were assessed in music, and the other half were assessed in visual arts.


Early Warning, Timely Response: A Guide to Safe Schools a 40-page guide to safe schools from the Departments of Education and Justice. Includes tips on What to Do and What to Look For.

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