Teach MAM: An Exciting Partnership to Strengthen Arts Education Across Louisiana
Teach MAM and the Lafayette, LA Public School System
The public school system in Lafayette, LA is fortunate to have a rich culture of arts. Educators in the public school system have long believed in the power of the arts to enrich the lives of students in Lafayette. We are able to provide students in all of our 45 schools with exposure to a wide variety of different arts programs with a talented and dedicated staff of certified arts teachers. Providing students with rich experiences in the arts is not limited to local school system programming, however. Over the years the Lafayette Parish School System has developed a number of lasting partnerships with the community to provide additional arts experiences to our students.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts (AcA) is a local community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the arts and culture. The AcA and the Lafayette Parish School System have been in partnership since 1979 providing tools for educators and art experiences for students. In 1993, the two organizations, along with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, were accepted into the Kennedy Center Partners in Education program. They were selected because they demonstrated commitment to the involvement of education in and through the arts. The partnership team participates in a number of ongoing collaborative efforts to make the arts integral to education in Lafayette.
The Primary Academic Creative Experiences (PACE) program was originally developed in 1999 to assist schools in establishing instruction that richly integrates visual and performing arts. Through the collaborative efforts of teaching artists, educators and the community, this program facilitates artists’ residencies in elementary schools. Teaching artists in the PACE program conceive of and implement the lessons with students in Kindergarten through third grade.
The Arts in Education Program provides a broad range of quality art events and workshops. One component of the Arts in Education program is the Teaching Artist Program. Teaching Artists present a variety of arts experiences ranging from hands-on folklife and visual art to music and creative movement workshops. Another component of the Arts in Education program is the Touring Arts, providing performances in dance, drama, music, puppetry and storytelling, to name a few. Touring Arts performances are available to students in grades K-12.
All of the arts programs are showcased annually at the Student Arts Expo. This is a great opportunity to show off and publicize the wonderful work that students have created in visual arts, music, theater, dance, film, poetry, fashion design or puppetry and to increase public knowledge and appreciation of the arts by and for the youth of the community.
Its strong partnerships combined with the wide variety of art programs provided by certified teaching staff sets Lafayette apart from most other school districts in the state.