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CECA Artists in Schools

The Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA, or “seek-ah”) began the three-tiered education initiative, CECA Artists in Schools, in 2018. Artists in Schools connects professional artists with K-12 students and teachers in the Clarksville Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) through providing professional learning for educators, in-school artist residencies, and grants for professional arts experiences for students. The first two of the three tiers are part of the Kennedy Center's Partners in Education program. 



In 2018, the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA, or “seek-ah”) established a formal partnership with the Clarksville Montgomery County School System (CMCSS) under the Partners in Education (PIE) program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. This program provides K-12 educators with impactful professional learning with a focus on Arts Integration, an educational movement that incorporates the arts with other subject areas to develop deeper learning and mutual benefits in both, with the support and resources of the Kennedy Center. All sessions will provide teachers with earned Continuing Education Units (CEUs) towards recertification, or substitute teachers are provided if necessary. The 3-hour workshops are presented by master teaching artists from the Kennedy Center's roster and include as many as 35 teacher participants. 


Residencies are presented by master teaching artists from the Kennedy Center's roster and reach hundreds of students each year. The teaching artist residencies include at least 4 single-visit demonstration lessons in four different classrooms and between 2 and 4 lessons with the same class, when schedules allow. The teaching artists work collaboratively with grade level/subject area teachers and arts educators to develop impactful workshops and learning units that meet the curricular needs of both students and teachers. Residencies and demonstration lessons will demonstrate key concepts of Arts Integration in the classroom and guide teachers through the instructional strategies and teaching methods that were explored during the related professional learning workshop. 

CMCSS teachers and administrators may apply online for CECA Arts Experiences Grants at the bottom of this webpage.



CECA Arts Experiences Grants provide professional-level arts experiences, such as a live performance or gallery visit, to K-12 CMCSS students. This includes local and regional organizations like the Customs House Museum, Nashville Opera, Roxy Regional Theatre, and more. CECA Arts Experiences Grants fully fund the cost of transportation and tickets in order to provide equal access to the arts for schools that may not otherwise be able to attend. Any K-12 school in CMCSS is eligible for funding with only one restriction, that CECA Arts Experiences Grants cannot be used as a reward for select groups, such as a reward for good grades or perfect attendance, or for an exclusive group within a grade level or school. 


Since the start of CECA’s Arts Experiences Grants in the 2018-2019 school year, over 10,800 students experienced a professional-level arts performance, completely free of charge.

Apply online for CECA Arts Experiences Grants

For more information on CECA Arts Experiences grants, please contact Dr. Andrea Spofford, CECA Director, at spofforda@apsu.edu or 931-221-7869. 


Barkers Mill Elementary students show their appreciation to CECA for funding their field trip to see "Charlotte's Web" at the Roxy Regional Theater. 

CECA Artists In Schools In the News

Click the headlines below to read stories about Artists in Schools:

CECA sponsors arts experiences, including a trip to see ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ for local schoolchildren

CECA-CMCSS partnership boosting creativity in local schoolchildren

Kennedy Center hip-hop teaching artist engages through CECA partnership

Grant to bolster CECA’s arts education efforts with local school teachers

Local teachers learn arts integration at CECA professional development workshop