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George School Named Outstanding Visual Arts Community

The Visual Arts program at George School includes faculty members Susan Ross (Graphic Design), Carter Sio '76 (Woodworking), Amedeo Salamoni (Ceramics). Jo Adachi (Painting & Drawing), and Danielle Picard-Sheehan (Photography).

The Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) recognized George School for its outstanding commitment to visual arts education with the endorsement Outstanding Visual Arts Community 2020. PAEA empowers its members to transform their practices, students, colleagues, and communities to build a strong art education culture and citizenry.

Districts receiving this endorsement demonstrate the importance of their visual arts programs with:

  • Rigorous and Inclusive Programs: Arts programs demonstrate rigor using standards-based curriculum taught at every level by highly qualified and certified arts educators.
  • Highly Accessible Programs: Art programs are offered to all studentsat every level of education with a sustainable budget for the visual arts.
  • Highly Visible Programs: Schools and districts identify their programmatic accomplishments, curriculum for all levels, art staff, mission statements, and arts events using their school websites and social media.

Students at George School celebrate the importance of a well-rounded education with opportunities to engage in arts education courses. “The term ‘well-rounded education’ means courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local educational agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.” (ESSA, Title VIII, Section 8002)

These opportunities prepare students with visual literacy. Visual literacy constitutes the new thinking and learning skills of a digital age and a creative economy. These are the types of cognitive skills young people will need to find their place in a globally competitive workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector in 2017 was an $877.8 billion industry, which represented 4.5 percent of the nation’s GDP—a larger share of the economy than transportation and agriculture—according to a press release in early 2020 (National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, 2020). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences) that supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue (Americans for the Arts, 2015). Technology innovations such as big data, data analytics, and visualization will simply increase the importance of visual and spatial learning skills.

The Pennsylvania Art Education Association commends George School for your active role in providing arts education opportunities for your students and receiving the endorsement of Outstanding Visual Arts Community 2020. Congratulations!

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