The Tennessee Arts Academy, the nation's premier summer professional development institute for arts education, will officially open on July 8, 2012. Three hundred K-12 public and private school teachers from across the state have been chosen to attend the weeklong session. A program of the Tennessee Department of Education, the Academy has been held annually since 1987 on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
This year the Academy's expert faculty includes artists and professors from across the United States. They will teach a diverse range of classes in music, theater and visual art as well as special classes in school administration. Of special note is the new fine arts assessment track that has been added to the TAA curriculum. Teachers from across the state will learn how to implement the proposed fine arts assessment plan on a school and system-wide basis. One of the many highlights of the week will include performances and presentations by Oscar and Grammy winning composer Richard Sherman. Sherman, the composer and lyricist for countless Disney classic movies including Mary Poppins, will be honored and will perform on Wednesday, July 11 at the annual Academy Bravo Banquet. Mr. Sherman will follow up on Thursday with a speech to the entire Academy delegation.
Other highlights of the week include a performance by piano virtuoso and prodigy Conrad Tao and presentations by noted band conductor Lowell Graham, Hollywood filmmaker Jay Russell (The Water Horse, My Dog Skip, Ladder 49), and nationally renowned landscape artist Harold Gregor. The Academy will also sponsor three on-campus art exhibitions. Inside Out/Outside In by Tennessee artist Barry Buxkamper will be featured in Belmont's Leu Art Gallery, co-sponsored by the Belmont University Department of Art. The Best of the Best Tennessee Student Art Exhibition and Connections: The Tennessee Art Education Association Teacher Exhibition, co-sponsored with the Tennessee Art Education Association, will hang in Gallery 121 and the Lobby Gallery of the Leu Center for the Visual Arts. Rounding out the week will be performances by the 129th Army Band, the Nashville Singers, and physical comedy artist Robert Post.
The Tennessee Arts Academy trains 300 K-12 teachers and administrators every summer, who in turn impact over 100,000 Tennessee students each year in their individual school districts and classrooms all across the state. Taught by nationally and internationally renowned instructors and artists, the Academy's advanced curriculum, cutting-edge methodology and unique philosophical perspective maximize participants' learning experiences. With renewed energy and knowledge, educators trained at the Tennessee Arts Academy are better equipped and motivated to raise achievement standards and effect positive and lasting change for Tennessee students, providing them with the necessary skills to become creative and productive members of our work force and society.
Several of the Academy events are free and open to the public. Call 615-460-5451 or visit www.tennesseeartsacademy.org for more information.