published Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Arts forum to draw nation's best, brightest to Chattanooga

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    Kim Wheetley, Executive Director, Southeast Center for Education in the Arts at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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To reserve a one admission to the arts forum, go to www.aep-arts.org/events/forum/forum-registration/. Cost is $150.

A conference being held downtown this week is expected to draw some of the most influential and brightest minds in arts and education, local art boosters say.

Visitors will include officials from Harvard University, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, said Kim Wheetley, executive director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts at UTC.

"We are a model for what can happen nationally," said Wheetley. "By them coming, we are getting validation for the work we are doing. Hopefully it will give us some impetus for getting more arts in our classrooms."

The Arts Education Partnership's Fall 2012 National Forum will be Thursday and Friday at The Chattanoogan.

The national AEP works to set the course for arts in education policy and has great influence over national grants, said Rodney Van Valkenburg, director of arts education at Allied Arts.

Some of the arts luminaries will arrive early in the week to talk with local leaders about integrating the arts in education.

"We have an opportunity to pick their brains," Van Valkenburg said.

Contact staff writer Joan Garrett at jgarrett@times freepress.com or 423-757-6601. Follow her on Twitter at @JoanGarrettCTFP.

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

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