Kennedy Center Partners in Education

ArtsBuild and the Hamilton County Department of Education collaborate as one of 100 school system and arts organization teams across the country participating in the Partners in Education program through the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Through this program, ArtsBuild provides professional development workshops for teachers that focus on arts integration strategies in the classroom.

All ArtsBuild professional development workshops have been provided at no cost to the teachers or HCDE.

Workshops are led by nationally recognized arts education leaders. The workshops provide engaging instruction concepts that connect art to literacy. The workshops provided by ArtsBuild have been rated as excellent and highly effective by over 90 percent of the participants.

Twenty-six area teachers have participated in a nationally recognized research project funded by the Kennedy Center. The projects studied the effectiveness of teacher study-groups to support the implementation of arts instruction in the classroom. The findings were released in a national publication of the Kennedy Center.

These workshops are funded through grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Kennedy Center. For more information on the Partners in Education Workshops, please call Rodney Van Valkenburg at (423) 756-2787 or email


2019 Local Kennedy Center Workshops

Jamin Carter, Visual Artist, Memphis, TN

Refresher Workshop (Advanced Workshop)
October 22, 2019: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Reading Portraits as Biographies (Beginning Workshop)
October 23 and 24, 2019: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Two-day workshop. Teachers must attend both days.)
Workshop Description:
Are you looking for ways to motivate and engage your students in the study of biographies and/or historical figures? Portraits are often considered merely a reflection of what a person looks like, when in actuality, they can be read as biographies that communicate significant information about a person’s life while teaching students how to deeply observe, infer, and inquire. Learn how to help students unlock the symbolism in portraits, connect biographies with portraiture, use portraits as a point of inquiry for biographical research, and create portraits and writings to deepen and assess student understandings.

Sean Layne, Drama Specialist, Washington, D.C.

Advanced/Refresher Workshop
November 12, 2019: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Acting Right: Building a Cooperative, Social and Kinesthetic Community (Beginning Workshop)
November 14 and 15, 2019: 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. (Two-day workshop. Teachers must attend both days.)
Workshop Description:
Sean Layne has taken the foundational elements of acting such as concentration, cooperation, and collaboration and created a structured process, which can become the basis for effective classroom management every day. This engaging step-by-step approach empowers students to take ownership of and be responsible for their own behavior. In this workshop, teachers learn how to help students build the skills necessary to establish a sense of self-control, accountability, and teambuilding in their classroom. The workshop includes hands-on activities and demonstration classes with students.

All workshops are held at Barger Academy of Fine Arts. Register for the workshops by calling ArtsBuild at (423) 756-2787 or emailing

Workshops are FREE, and ArtsBuild will pay for teachers’ substitutes thanks to funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the City of Chattanooga.

For more information about the Partners in Education program, please click here.