Texas Cultural Trust to Be Inducted to The Kennedy Center's Partners in Education Institute for It's Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative

Texas Cultural Trust to Be Inducted to The Kennedy Center's Partners in Education Institute for It's Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative

The Texas Cultural Trust was chosen as one of 11 Partnership Teams from across the nation to join the prestigious John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts 13th Partners in Education Institute, to promote its Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative. This four-day intensive program is aimed at arts organizations and school districts interested in collaborating to initiate or expand professional arts-based development programs for teachers. The Texas Cultural Trust, along with partners MINDPOP and the Austin Independent School District, will be inducted at the Partners in Education Institute April 23-26, 2014.

"We are thrilled that our Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative was chosen by the Kennedy Center to be a part of their esteemed Partners in Education program," says Jennifer Ransom Rice, Executive Director of the Texas Cultural Trust. "Our initiative has seen such amazing growth in the past four years and we are excited to partner not only with Austin ISD and MINDPOP to expand our reach, but to be associated with the prestigious Kennedy Center. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has said that the arts are uniquely situated to provide links from school-based learning to themes that are essential to every child's understanding of the modern world. This collaboration will help bring a national awareness to the work we are doing to bridge that gap between fine arts and technology, giving students the invaluable tools needed to not only succeed in their learning environments today, but perhaps more importantly, the creative workforce of tomorrow."

The Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative is a suite of innovative courses, which bridges fine arts and technology. The project-based, fine arts curricula are designed for high school students and establishes the connection between traditional fine arts education and digital media. Digital literacy is the future of communication and commerce and creates learning experiences that develop students' capacities for critical thinking, creativity, imagination and innovation. The courses are based on a combine set of fine arts and technology standards, resulting in arts instruction that is rigorous and designed to specifically develop student's media literacy, providing integrated relevant skills that will prepare them for the 21st century workplace. The program has reached more than 5,000 teachers and had successful feedback from educators, administrators and students from across the state.

The State Board of Education approved the new Fine Arts TEKS which include the Trust's Arts and Digital Literacy Curricula: Art and Media Communications I & II; Music and Media Communications I & II; Theater and Media Communications I & II; and Dance and Media Communications I & II. Once the new Fine Arts are implemented in the fall of 2015, the entire curricula can be offered as a fine arts credit. Until the implementation of the new Fine Arts TEKS, the courses can be offered as a statewide elective credit.

For more information on the Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative, visit www.txartandmedia.org. For more information on the Texas Cultural Trust, visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

The Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative is a partnership between the Texas Cultural Trust and the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin.

About the Texas Cultural Trust

The Texas Cultural Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the importance of the arts in educating our children and sustaining our vibrant Texas economy, through awareness, outreach, economic research, and the development of arts education curriculum for public school students. Programs of the Texas Cultural Trust include the biennial Texas Medal of Arts Awards, the Texas Young Masters Program, Create Texas, Arts and Digital Literacy Initiative, Adventures in the ARTS-a children's book, Texas Women for the Arts and Founders for the Arts, as well as support for programs of the Texas Commission on the Arts and other qualifying state agencies. For more information on TCT, please visit www.txculturaltrust.org.

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