In 2010, the United States Legislature declared the second week in September as National Arts in Education Week to bring awareness to the importance of arts education for our children, our schools, and our communities.

To celebrate National Arts in Education Week in Chattanooga, Laurie Melnik, director of theatre education at UTC’s Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, has collaboratively developed a website – – with Kate Warren from The St. Andrew’s Center and Emerson Burch from The 35.85 Guild. provides resources that inspire everyone to think within, between, and beyond what they already know. The Southeast Center for Education in the Arts invites anyone to share resources and ideas pertaining to arts education and its impact on the greater community.

“The purpose of the website is to convene like-minded individuals who are passionate about arts education and want a different way to connect and brainstorm ideas. The website launched this week,” said Kim Wheetley, Southeast Center for Education in the Arts Director and Lyndhurst Chair of Excellence in Arts Education.

National arts organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts Education Partnership have supported and promoted National Arts in Education Week

with relevant research that identifies the many benefits of arts education. Click here for more information about the national movement.

The proclamation for National Arts in Education Week reads “Arts education enables students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, imagination and creativity, discipline, alternative ways to communicate and express feelings and ideas, and cross-cultural understanding, which supports academic success across the curriculum as well as personal growth outside the classroom.”


Media Relations Contacts: Email Chuck Cantrell or call (423) 425-4363.