ALL children deserve a well-rounded education regardless of their economic status. New Orleans Arts Education Alliance (NOAEA) is a collective impact project – gathering parents, the educational community, government, cultural institutions, business, and philanthropy – to ensure access for all children to an education that includes exemplary arts instruction.

By providing professional development opportunities, sharing information, supporting schools, and documenting the power of the arts in children’s lives, NOAEA supports excellence and access in arts education.

In 2014-15, New Orleans participated in a city-wide planning process. Facilitated by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and coordinated by KID smART, a 25 member Community Arts Team (CAT) engaged more than 1,200 people in 29 meetings to create a plan to ensure access and equity for children.

The year-long process resulted in five goals:
• Expand access to excellent arts rich schools
Invest in arts education, developing resources to ensure sustainability
Communicate and connect with stakeholders, partners and community
Advocate for arts education by building understanding and support
Connect students, parents and schools with arts education resources through a digital hub.

Lead partners in NOAEA are the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Economy, Artist Corps, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and KID smART. The initiative is housed at KID smART in the Arts Estuary.

For more detailed information, see below.

Célèste Kee joins the New Orleans Arts Education Alliance as its Inaugural Director. Célèste recently completed her PhD in Arts Education with a Minor in Educational Leadership from the Pennsylvania State University where her focus was the impacts of K-12 arts education programming on students and communities of color.  Previous to returning to university, Célèste spent more than a decade of professional experience in education and the arts which spanned the museum, K-8 public education, community-based and education policy research sectors.  Her teaching experience took place in North Carolina, the United Arab Emirates, Pennsylvania and New Orleans.  She has published widely and been invited to present at conferences throughout the country.  Honors and awards include the Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research in Arts Education Runner-Up Award, Africana Research Center Dissertation Fellowship, James T. Sears Graduate Writing Award, Jiffy Lube Excellence in Teaching Award and Duke University Scholarship.  Célèste is currently serving as a reviewer for the National Association of Education in the Arts, the Curriculum and Pedagogy Annual Conference and the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy and is on the editorial review board of Art Education and Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education.
Comments and questions may be addressed to Célèste Kee at
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