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September 13, 2010

Creativity In Education Statewide Conference Announced

NASHVILLE - - The Tennessee Arts Commission will host the first annual Creativity in Education Academy, July 10th-14th, 2011, at Middle Tennessee State University.  Create2011, which is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Arts Commission, will focus on increasing creativity and innovation in Tennessee schools.  Sessions will be offered for K-12 classroom teachers, arts specialists, teaching artists, special education, and resource teachers as well as principals and superintendents. “The Tennessee Arts Commission is thrilled to partner with the Department of Education and MTSU’s College of Education to provide this statewide opportunity,” states Rich Boyd, executive director of the Arts Commission. 

Create2011 emerged out of the Commission’s highly successful Value Plus Schools initiative, an arts integration model funded by a $906,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. “Value Plus gave us the evidence to prove the arts impact student achievement,” states Kim Leavitt, director of arts education for the Commission and the creator of Value Plus. “The six schools that piloted the Value Plus model made greater academic gains than the control schools, despite having larger numbers of economically disadvantaged students.” This is significant, Leavitt says, as research shows high poverty schools typically perform lower on standardized tests. 
           
Create2011 will be the first statewide academy of its kind in Tennessee, and MTSU with its roots as a teacher-training institution, will be the ideal setting for the weeklong event. “Middle Tennessee State University is pleased to partner with the Tennessee State Department of Education and the Tennessee Arts Commission and play host to the first annual Creativity in Education Academy next summer,” states MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee. “MTSU is committed to developing well-rounded individuals who will become productive citizens in their communities.”

Former Commissioner of Education, Dr. Lana Seivers, who is now dean of education at MTSU, added, “The College of Education welcomes the opportunity to work with our partners to provide professional development for educators from across the state. It is only fitting that this partnership between higher education and K-12 will be the first event hosted in our new building. We’re extremely pleased to be a part of this effort.” MTSU’s new 87,000-square-foot education building will be completed in the spring of 2011 and ready for use in time for the July 10-14 academy.

The Tennessee Arts Commission, who will coordinate Create2011, was recently acknowledged again with another grant from the U.S. Department of Education totaling over $1 million, this time for a district arts integration model called Arts360° for Knox County Schools. “Neither Value Plus nor Arts360° would be possible without the leadership of Governor Bredesen and continued support from the Tennessee General Assembly,” stated Rich Boyd.”  
For more information on Create2011, contact Kim Leavitt at kim.leavitt@tn.gov



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