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Arts Education Expert to Visit Durham

Posted March 22, 2007

— Eric Booth, a Broadway actor turned arts education leader, will spend a day of residency with school officials, business and civic leaders and Durham educators, teaching the value and importance of arts education.

On March 27, he will lead a session from 9 to 11 a.m. for principals, vice principals and PTA leaders on arts in the school curriculum. The session at Durham Public Schools' Staff Development Center, 2107 Hillandale Road, will be open to the public.

At noon, Booth will speak at a luncheon for business and civic leaders on the role arts education can play in economic development. Later in the day, he will conduct a workshop for Durham Public Schools arts teachers.

Booth is the faculty chair of The Empire State Partnership, the largest arts-in-education experiment in the nation. An award-winning actor and producer, he is a frequent contributor on CNN and NBC television. He holds an M.F.A. in dramatic arts from Stanford University and is artistic director of the mentoring program at The Julliard School in New York City.

His visit is sponsored by the Durham Cultural Master Plan Advisory Board, Durham Public Schools, the Duke University Program in Education, the City Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Durham Arts Council and Durham Technical Community College.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the educators and business leaders of Durham to learn from one of the most innovative minds in arts education today,” said Meredythe Holmes, chair of the Education Committee of the Durham Cultural Master Plan Advisory Board. “We’re excited to have him share his knowledge of the benefits of arts education on children’s academic and social development as well as present the most up-to-date research in the field." 


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  • 68_polara Mar 26, 2007


    If your right this certainly sounds like a great idea, and if so, I hope it can be used for it's fullest benefit.
    My two cents: From what I understand the challenges in the Durham public school system could also be addressed by principals and other administrators standing behind and strongly supporting their teachers. To much of the class time is taken up trying to maintain control of the class room these days. When I was a child, once you were sent to the principle's office you did not want to be sent there again. Also, when the parents found out you were punished, at school, the children were punished again at home. This shows the child that the educators are supported by their parents. Instead today, often parents confront the administrators as to why their sweet little baby had to punished.

  • daryl Mar 22, 2007

    Many people do not know what "arts education" means. It is not only an art or drama class, but also using the arts to teach core curriculum - reading, writing, history, ete.- and is called "arts inetegration". Over 30 low-performing NC schools have adopted the arts in a school reform program (called N C A+ Schools) and have found that using these hands-on, interactive strategies, which involve students of all different levels, have casued their test scores to improve, in many cases dramatically.

  • twright530 Mar 22, 2007

    When I see art from a couple of hundred years ago it really strikes me as genius. I wonder what type of child porn anti christian Madonna inspired assault this guy is bringing.

  • daMoFo Mar 22, 2007

    I wonder how much this "education" is costing the taxpayers? Why not just get an art teacher from Duke or NC State? Or just let the school administrators stay at their schools and work?

  • 68_polara Mar 22, 2007

    I hope he has a safe visit while in Durham.

  • Sidekick Mar 22, 2007

    Art education is vital in that it illustrates history. If you want to learn about any portion of world history, look at it's art. In any form.