Art Education

Artists in the Schools Residencies

Storytellers, dancers, musicians, actors, and visual artists conduct residencies designed to encourage individual creativity for K-12 grade students.

These artists work in partnership with classroom teachers in schools throughout Memphis and Shelby County to incorporate the arts into the classroom curriculum, an interactive education experience where learning and fun go hand-in-hand!

Aesthetic Education Institute

Modeled after New York’s Lincoln Center Institute, this 8-day summer teacher training program is led by teaching artists from Lincoln Center and CAE teaching artists from Memphis.

The hundreds of teachers who attend each year first view performances and exhibits, then participate in exploratory seminars and workshops, and finally work hand-in-hand with the teaching artists to develop arts-based units of study to integrate into their curriculum.

During the school year, they work in partnership with the teaching artists to implement the units of study they developed in the classroom, in preparation for taking their students to a selected performance or exhibit.

Wolf Trap Early Learning

Singing, dancing, and acting help learning in the Memphis division of the Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts program.

Preschool students in all Shelby County Head Start Centers experience seven-week residencies led by teaching artists working in partnership with teachers. Through performing arts activities, residencies focus on basic life and academic skills such as self-confidence, problem solving, and preliteracy.

Ticket Subsidy

Many local students’ first experience at a real live artistic performance is through CAE’s Ticket Subsidy program. Every year, more than 80,000 West Tennessee students benefit from this program, which helps cover the ticket and transportation costs so that students can attend live performances.

Made possible by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and state legislature, these subsidies are guaranteed to teachers attending the Institute (see above) and others on a first-come, first-served basis.

Senior Program

This program for senior citizens is the only one of its kind in the area. This program provides arts experiences and educational opportunities to more than 5,000 seniors yearly through performances, intergenerational programs, and multi-session classes in visual arts, music, and storytelling.

Project SOAR

Students lined up outside the Orpheum to see Joyce Cobb perform in Beale Stree Saturday Night.

Even after the last school bell rings, more than 350 elementary and middle school students benefit from Project SOAR (Seeing Opportunities through Art and Reflection).

This yearlong, arts-based after-school program is divided into six-week sessions that include participatory activities centered around an arts exhibit or performance attended by students and their parents.

Focus Schools Program

There are currently 16 schools that participate in the Center for Arts Education’s Focus School program. Students at Focus Schools are introduced to art forms through visits with professional artists in the classroom and direct contact with works of art.