WIG Announces Joint Award for Support of the Arts

Do you know a deserving woman state legislator in your state positively impacting arts education?  Then nominate her for the very first joint award for support of the Arts. As a strong supporter of the arts, Women In Government (WIG) is proud to announce a joint award where The Kennedy Center and WIG will recognize a woman state legislator for outstanding support of the arts in her state. As the nation’s performing arts center, the Kennedy Center is delighted to partner with WIG to encourage support of the arts at the state or local level through this inaugural award. 

The Kennedy Center and WIG Award will be presented at Women In Government’s Eighth Annual Healthcare Summit on November 9, 2017. The winner of this award will not only receive a plaque recognizing her efforts but also national recognition in Kennedy Center media, including print and online publications.

Recognizing that federal policy has a substantial impact on arts education at the state level with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on December 10, 2015, states are now given more power over their students’ educational requirements, which could be tailored to include the arts.  With the passage of ESSA, this legislation states that “a well-rounded education includes subjects beyond reading/language arts and mathematics.” 

Three states – Connecticut, New Jersey, and Kentucky – have included the arts in their formal evaluations of both school and student performance.  In Connecticut, the arts are included in student portfolios with set performance standards for grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12.   Kentucky also includes the arts and humanities in student portfolios. Based on the National Core Arts Standards, there are basic and intermediate standards set for elementary school students, standards for middle school students, and then a set of standards for high school students.  New Jersey also includes evaluations in student portfolios.

California has taken steps to strengthen arts education in the wake of the passage of ESSA.  AB-37 was introduced to require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to “recommend visual and performing arts standards in the subject of media arts” and then subject them to a public review process to improve the quality of performing arts education available to California students.  This bill was introduced in December 2016, and after passing a review of the Committee on Education it was referred unanimously to the Committee on Appropriations on March 16, 2017.  Should this bill be passed by the legislature and signed by the governor it would take effect on January 1, 2018.

The award nomination submission deadline is August 1, 2017, and you are encouraged to submit your nominations as soon as possible for consideration.  Please note that multiple nominations may be submitted from each state.
The selection criteria for the Kennedy Center and WIG Award is as follows:

  • Nominee is an active member of Women in Government (WIG);
  • Nominee demonstrates a significant contribution in support of the arts in her state;
  • Nominee demonstrates evidence of promoting policies that support the arts;
  • Nominee collaborates with cultural and education partners to support the arts;
  • Nominee promotes the value and importance of the arts at public events; and
  • Nominee agrees to accept and participate in publicizing the award, if granted.