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

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

September 9th, 2012 by Joan Garrett McClane in News

Kim Wheetley, Executive Director, Southeast Center for Education in the Arts at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

ONE-DAY ADMISSION

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.