Trust…But Verify!

Mike Lawson • Archives • October 16, 2007

After three years of work we finally finished our major project conducting an arts education census of every public school for the state of New Jersey. It was a long, involved, complicated process involving two agencies of state government, dozens of organizations, hundreds of people and thousands of schools. The results create the most comprehensive look at arts education on a broad scale that has ever been conducted in this country.

I will share with you the key highlights, findings, recommendations, and the significant lessons for the all of us.

First, The Facts:
On September 18, 2007, New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells and Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy, along with the project partners for the New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, participated in the release of the report, WITHIN OUR POWER: The Progress, Plight and Promise of Arts Education for Every Child, via Web cast and before a live studio audience at New Jersey Network Studios in Trenton. The Report includes the highlights, findings, and recommendations from the New Jersey Arts Education Census Project and is the result of collaboration between the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, the New Jersey Department of Education, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, and Music for All, with additional support provided by NAMM – International Music Products Association, the D’Addario Foundation for the Performing Arts, and David Bryan of Bon Jovi, who is a project supporter and was on hand to perform. This project was inspired by the Mapping Project, which was carried out by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey from 1996-98.

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