The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education supports and advances quality arts education programs.
Our mission is to increase awareness, recognition and support of policies, practices, and partnerships that ensure quality sequential arts education programs
Marshalltown Community School District elementary art teacher Maggie Parks has been selected to receive the 2016 “Excellence in PK-12 Art Education Award” from the United States Society for Education through Art.
Parks teaches at Fisher Elementary School and Woodbury Elementary School and has worked for the district for 18 years.
“I am thrilled to be getting this,” Parks said. “I was honored just to be nominated.”
In the notification, the USSEA said it is recognizing Parks for her leadership in, and commitment to, multicultural and cross-cultural strategies in her schools and community and her effort to build respect for human dignity and diversity through art.
“I implement that in my teaching,” Parks said.
Parks was nominated for the award by Dr. Barbara Caldwell, Associate Professor at the College of Art and Design at Iowa State University.
“A generous and caring spirit, Margaret shares her passion for meaningful art education and deep respect for human and artistic diversity with the many students, professional organizations and communities she serves,” Caldwell wrote as part of the nomination letter.
Parks said the notice of her work planning a statewide art conference helped her land this award. Parks will receive the award on March 18 during the National Art Education Association Convention in Chicago.
Parks received the Art Teacher of the Year award from the Art Educators of Iowa in 2010 and has received several other awards and accolades during her 25-year teaching career. for all Iowa students.
Arts Advocacy Day a Great Success!
On Wednesday, January 27th, the Iowa Alliance for Arts Education sponsored
the third annual Arts Advocacy Day at the state capitol in Des Moines. On that day,
over 100 arts advocates and student performers were present to advocate for arts
education in Iowa schools. In addition to contacting all 150 Iowa legislators, IAAE
was able to testify for both the House and Senate Education Committees. The
education committee testimony featured comments by Sarah Dougherty,
Turnaround Arts Coordinator for Des Moines Public Schools, and actor Kal Penn,
Turnaround Artist assigned to the Des Moines schools. They discussed the effect
that integrated arts instruction at the Turnaround Arts schools has had on student
achievement, school climate and parental involvement. The IAAE mentoring
program for beginning arts teachers was also discussed. Deb Ragan, retired vocal
director & mentor from Bettendorf, and Alex Steines, 3rd year teacher & vocal
director at Albia Community Schools, spoke of the positive impact the mentoring
program has had on arts instruction in the Albia school system.
Sarah Dougherty & Kal Penn, along with IAAE leaders, had individual
meetings with both the majority and minority party leaders in the House and
Senate. They also met with Linda Fandel, the governor’s special assistant on
The special guest performers for the day were the Williamsburg High School
National Anthem singers, directed by Steve Manning. They performed the “Star
Spangled Banner” at the opening of both the Iowa House and Senate.
The advocates informed the legislators that IAAE will be presenting at the
State Board of Education meeting this spring. This purpose of this presentation is to
propose the addition of Fine Arts to the Iowa Core. The advocates also were asking
for financial support for the “Iowa Model of Excellence” mentoring program.
Funding for the program has ceased, and IAAE is proposing a 50/50 match with any
funds appropriated by the legislature to make continuation of this program feasible.
Bill language for mentor grant funding is currently being drafted and will be
Arts Advocacy Day was a great success in energizing arts advocates
throughout the state. IAAE would like to thank NAMM (National Association of
Music Merchants) for making the visit by Kal Penn possible, and all the advocates
who spent the day in Des Moines. It was a great day for arts education in our state.