Our Work

AEC offers programs and resources to support quality arts education, including dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts, in western Pennsylvania. These programs and resources support school districts, arts organizations, community members, and policymakers as they work to impact children and youth in the region.

The model below describes AEC’s work and its programming.

Arts Education Collaborative: Rings of Influence

AEC is making the arts integral to school culture. AEC’s approach and methodology, combined with its experience and relationships, are defining high quality arts education.

AEC Rings of Influence

AEC reaches across both the education and arts worlds. It is able to translate the needs and expertise of each and facilitate the exchange of ideas.


AEC works with educators to incorporate the arts into their thinking, impacting curriculum in ways that help educators engage with students meaningfully.

Arts Organizations

AEC helps education staff understand how the local educational system works and design programs that resonate with that audience.


AEC enhances the quality of education and cultivates a broader understanding of the value of the arts for individual and society.


AEC’s experience and analytical approach are valuable resources for leaders who set education policy.

Programs and Tools

AEC offers customized professional learning opportunities, planning processes, and publications.

Arts Ed Brief

Online publication that provides a synopsis of current issues and possible implications for arts educators.

CLAE: Fundamentals

Four-session program focused on the fundamentals of arts education, including its history and research. Participants create an action plan to support student learning.

CLAE: Building a Blueprint

Four-session program focused on the structures that support arts education in school districts. Participants create a comprehensive arts education blueprint for their districts.

Curriculum Development

Year-long facilitated process of developing written curriculum aligned to standards and based on enduring understandings.

Student Assessment

Year-long facilitated process where teachers engage in designing assessment tasks and tools, then implement them with students and reflect on their work. This is often the next step after curriculum work.

Leadership Academy

Year-long professional learning opportunity that offers arts educators a close network of peers devoted to becoming leaders in their schools, organizations, and communities.

Parent Handbook

Guide to help parents support, improve, and advocate for their school’s arts programs.

Self-Assessment Process

Facilitated evaluation of arts programs at a district level to identify areas of strength and opportunities for growth.


Series of publications that highlights prominent research in education and ways in which that research can be realized in the classroom in a practical way.

ArtsEdCollabOur Work