mindPOP Summit

Image © 2010 Theatre Action Project

More than 120 people attended the mindPOP Summit at the Blanton Museum on Tuesday, April 20. The event was organized by the mindPOP Roadmap graduate student team from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin who have been collecting information about Austin-area arts education resources. The afternoon began with an inspirational speech by AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen about the value of the arts for students, and moved into a series of presentations about arts education model programs, local patterns of access, and activities of the mindPOP Solutions teams who are working on ways to address systemic barriers to making arts education an everyday part of learning.

Margie Reese, former Ford Foundation Officer for Culture in West Africa, provided a set of case studies about how to impact arts education. Mike Henry, Austin’s Poetry Slam master, ended the afternoon with an moving performance reminding the audience what teachers do and what art does to inspire young people.

During the event, participants identified other ways to ensure that Austin students have access to quality arts instruction and that Austin teachers get the resources they need to successfully utilize creative learning techniques in other core subjects. These proposed actions will be incorporated into the next phase of mindPOP work, which includes additional financial support by local arts and education funders to implement solutions.

The event was co-sponsored by Art Alliance Austin, with support from the UT Blanton Museum, RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, Applied Materials, Still Water Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, and the Tapestry Foundation.