UNDRground Contemporary Arts, Grand Island
The Nebraska Arts Council strives to establish the arts as basic to education and lifelong learning. Through its education-related grant programs, NAC promotes the arts for all pre-K-12 Nebraska students, supports professional development opportunities for teachers and artists, encourages partnerships among arts and educational institutions, and champions lifelong learning in the arts.
NAC supports equitable education opportunities for learners throughout the state, along with efforts to actively address racial injustice. These concerns are eloquently stated in a letter from Dr. Matthew Blomstedt, Nebraska’s Commissioner of Education. Educators seeking ways to promote tolerance and to address racism will find useful tools in this list of resources. Likewise, the arts have a role in healing, as described by NDE Fine Arts Specialist, Debra Wehrmann DeFrain, "Please remember that there are resources to deal with trauma, and the many emotions and physical and mental stressors that come with trauma. The arts are especially powerful in social emotional learning".
Nebraska's Statewide Fine Arts Standards ensure that K-12 educators and students have clear benchmarks for learning in Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts. Adoption of the state's first fine arts educational standards in 2014 was a milestone in Nebraska, demonstrating a newly strengthened commitment to arts education for our children.
Additionally, the Partnership for 21st Century Learning’s ‘four C’s’ (Creativity and innovation, Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication and Collaboration) are all supported through sequential arts education. Instruction in Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts can help students attain learning and innovation skills necessary in the 21st century. Our young people deserve a comprehensive education, including the arts, that will help them navigate a complex world.