Arts Education

My cable modem’s insistence on not working seemed to imply I should take advantage of the turn in the weather to warmth and sun. Thus I do not have a long, involved entry today.

Instead, I bring you some resources for education in various fields. There are a great many organizations with good education outreach programs. The ones I list here have lesson plans and classroom resources or have scads of links to websites that do.

General Links

Arts Education Partnership has the most comprehensive selection of links to sites with education resources for all disciplines I have seen.

ArtsEdge, Part of the The Kennedy Center’s education website has a very extensive selection of lesson plans for every discipline.

AllLearn (Alliance for Life Long Learning) has online courses run by Yale, Oxford and Stanford. While you do have to pay for their courses, the link I list here takes one to a page with links to a number of academic subjects, including Dramatic Literature, Classical Music, Dance and Visual Arts.

The Utah Shakespearean Festival has some excellent articles on themes from all of Shakespeare’s plays, plus all the non-Bard shows they have done. Many of the articles are from their Insights publication which they make available to patrons.

Opera America offers links to study guides by opera compnaies across the US as well as guidance on additional programs.

I didn’t find any resources with lesson plans, but had links to the children’s pages of orchestras across the country (San Francisco, Dallas and Baltimore were my favorites!). These pages have a lot of activity suggestions for kids to do on their own or for their teachers to do in school. These were some of the best interactive education pages I saw in my search. (Translation: I spent a lot of time playing)

Visual Arts
The Getty and The Smithsonian both provide good lesson plan resources for the visual arts.

The New York City Ballet’s study guide for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker was the only resource I could find at this point.

I am sure there are more study guide resources out there. If people want to make me aware of them, I will assemble this list on to a resource page.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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