The New Orleans Arts Education Alliance works together across schools and communities to ensure meaningful, equitable arts education for all children in New Orleans public schools.
Through a planning process facilitated by the Kennedy Center’s Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child initiative, over 1,200 citizens participated in data collection and collaborative planning to establish a path to access, equity, and excellence in arts education. This plan resulted in three goal areas for the NOAEA.
The NOAEA is a collaborative and community-driven initiative. A broad group of constituents including schools, cultural institutions, and community members designed a plan to bring more, and better arts education to New Orleans students. The Governance Council now works to support the efforts of the NOAEA to enact the city-wide goals and strategies.
EXCELLENCE: The arts are a core part of a well-rounded education.
Arts education is associated with numerous positive outcomes for children including creativity, critical thinking, academic engagement, and social-emotional learning. But in our current high-stakes educational environment, the arts are disappearing. The NOAEA connects schools with resources and partnerships to increase arts education programming.
EQUITY: Every child in New Orleans deserves access to arts-rich education.
Although the arts are vital to a meaningful education, inequities persist along racial and socioeconomic lines, inhibiting many students from accessing their full benefits. In a district where 83% of our students are Black and 86% qualify for free and reduced lunch, the Alliance advocates for policies and programs ensuring equal access to arts education for all children in public schools.
COLLABORATION: Community engaged, data informed decision making is needed to ensure all children have access to arts-rich education.
Understanding is key to addressing the systemic inequities that keep many students from experiencing the benefits of arts education. The NOAEA collects and shares arts education data with all stakeholders in our community, ensuring resources and partnerships are directed where they are needed most.
CULTURAL LEGACY: Arts education should reflect and sustain the traditions of New Orleans.
The artistic and musical legacy of New Orleans is central to our cultural economy. The NOAEA supports arts education that is culturally relevant, celebrates our diverse traditions, and engages students with local artists and art forms to strengthen our legacy and invest in our next generation of creative leaders and culture bearers.
Célèste has over a decade of professional experience in arts education which spans the K-12 public education, museum, research and policy sectors. Célèste began her teaching career in New Orleans and also taught in North Carolina, Georgia and Dubai, before obtaining her PhD in Arts Education from Penn State University. As an arts education researcher, she has published articles and book chapters and been invited to present her work at international conferences. Honors and awards include the Elliot Eisner Doctoral Research in Arts Education Runner-Up Award, Africana Research Center Dissertation Fellowship, James T. Sears Graduate Writing Award, Jiffy Lube Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Duke University Scholarship. Célèste serves as a reviewer for research conferences and sits on the editorial review board of Art Education Journal and Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education. She is passionate about the role of the arts in transforming lives.