I spent last week in Florida helping the Center for Creative Education provide its summer workshop for teachers and teaching artists. These teacher partnerships will implement an arts integrated curriculum to more than 800 children next year. The curriculum will incorporate the arts—dance, theatre, visual arts and music—in support of students achieving Florida and National standards in English Language Arts.
Arts Integration Workshops
CCE supports arts integration through a variety of professional development strategies. These include a state-of-the-art facility that hosts teachers and students in arts integration learning and outreach into the district’s schools in the grades of K, 1, and 2. The summer workshops bring teachers from those schools to the center and pair them with teaching artists, mentors, evaluators and program administrators for a two-day intensive learning experience. This type of professional development workshop, where teachers work with other teachers, is one of the most effective ways to help teachers learn.
The Center for Creative Education’s mission is to empower our students to grow academically, creatively and socially through arts-based education.
CCE envisions a world where each child has the opportunity to learn and grow in the way that meets their needs, and allows them to reach their full potential as citizens and contributors to society.
In the early 1990’s a group of leaders at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach became concerned about the trend to cut back on arts education in schools. Visual arts, dance and music programs were being slashed to balance budgets. The Council commissioned a study, funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation and the Chastain Charitable Foundation, to find a way to help fill the void.
In 1994 that county-wide study led to the creation of the nonprofit, Center for Creative Education. Its mission was to train teachers how to bring the arts back into schools, by integrating art into other classroom studies. This “Arts Integration” is still the basis for what we do today. For more than two decades CCE has been partnering with schools and after-school sites in Palm Beach County to provide quality, creative educational opportunities, using the arts as the foundation.
Surprisingly, the Center for Creative Education’s first office was an un-used exam room at Good Samaritan Hospital. These creative accommodations were courtesy of the chairman of the committee that created CCE, Dr. Robert Brodner, a neurosurgeon who practices at the hospital.
Today, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have our own beautiful Center in Northwood Village in West Palm Beach. The building was a roller rink back in the 1950’s and 60’s, so it is once again a place to delight children!
The Center features an art gallery, classrooms, meeting rooms and is home to our administrative offices. Construction is currently underway on two art studios. Thanks to a $500,000 grant from the state of Florida we will continue renovation of the Center to build more exciting spaces for art instruction, art exhibits, performances, seminars and a base for community activities.