and find your name on this list...

Stay informed: Subscribe to News from the Alliance

Like us on Facebook

Leon Kuehner

Contact IAAE Executive Director
Leon Kuehner
977 Glendale Park Dr.
Hampton, Iowa 50441


David Law

Contact IAAE Chair
David Law
1560 Pleasantview Drive
Marion, Iowa 52302

319-377-5203 home
& cell

Kennedy CenterIAAE is a member of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network--a consortium of 35 state alliances across the United States dedicated to arts advocacy and quality arts education for the nation's children.


Live the Arts in Iowa logo



WelcomeMiddle School Chorus

The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education supports and advances quality arts education programs.

Our mission is to increase awareness, recognition and support of policies, practices, and partnerships that ensure quality sequential arts education programs for all Iowa students.

Membership Form

Fall Mentorship Symposium Brouchure

Department of Education - Early Literacy Guide

Save the Date: Advocacy Day on January 28, 2015
Testimonials Needed!

The Iowa Alliance for Arts Education is sponsoring the second annual Fine Arts Advocacy Day on Wednesday, January 28,2015,  at the State Capitol in Des Moines.  The purpose of the day is to advocate for Fine Arts instruction in Iowa schools and to ask for legislative support for the addition of Fine Arts to the Iowa Core.  As part of the advocacy material for the event, IAAE is once again compiling a testimonial booklet that will be given to all 150 Iowa legislators.  The booklet will be a compilation of the responses to the question, "How has Fine Arts instruction impacted your life?". IAAE is hoping to collect responses from citizens in all 99 Iowa counties.  If you would like to submit a testimonial, please click on the following link:


STEM is incredibly valuable, but if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts

We’ve all heard it before, we are facing another crisis. This time it’s one of mammoth proportions, and not the wooly kind. Public education isn’t making the cut as high-tech jobs across the nation go unfilled. What’s a country to do? Knowing this challenge will only compound with time, policy leaders have acted.  To compete in a global market place, our leaders are doing everything in their power to push a focus on STEM education. Sure, it’s great to see our leaders unite under a common goal, but are they going the wrong way down the field?

In 2011 the governor of my home state of Iowa, Terry Branstad, signed anexecutive order creating a STEM advisory council.

“An increased focus in science, technology, engineering and math will lead to higher achievement and better career opportunities” Branstad said. He’s not alone. Within the last few years, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill furthering STEM education and governors in Utah and Oklahoma have also got in on the action. Some states like Massachusetts announced initiatives as early as 2009.

President Obama has put a focus on STEM education with the White House’s Educate to Innovate initiative. The campaign is more than just a federal initiative, but has the combined effort of non-profits, corporations and science and engineering societies, garnering $700 million in public-private partnerships, getting 100 top CEOs on board and launching a new non-profit called Change the Equation and others.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is believed to be the answer for our high tech job shortage. It’s refreshing to see so many of our leaders finally uniting under a common goal. They see the value of developing our students into leaders who will solve challenging problems in our world and that’s a good thing.

“Making things faster, cheaper, better, bolder is what STEM does to many industries. The computer industry is the one we look to today most commonly, but before that it was the automotive industry, the defense industry and any industry involving the business opportunities inherent to achieving economies of scale,” said John Maeda, a graduate from MIT, former President of Rhode Island School of Design, author of Laws of Simplicity and partner at venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.

The arts being the major brain booster and spark behind creativity is overwhelming and shouldn’t be a complete shock. It should be obvious, the arts need to take a seat at the table in this national education reform effort and bright students such as Sarah Pease are attempting to pull that seat up closer. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, she led the STEM to STEAM club at RISD. Leaders like Sarah aren’t suggesting we completely do away with STEM, instead they are suggesting only that we add a letter to the acronym. Adding an “A” spells STEAM and includes the element that has gone unnoticed in this education reform discussion.

“Our contemporary world craves empathy and understanding in the face of an intensified onset of technological advances and a decline in direct interpersonal communication. Art and design can offer just that,” Pease told me.

Are the problems of tomorrow ones that can be addressed from STEM or STEAM? Ask South Korea. Often praised for its sky-high testing scores, beating the United States in math and science, they may know a thing or two about education. Despite testing well however, their students had a lack of interest in the fields that they were leading. Suddenly, with their own crisis on their hands, they sought out to find why was happening. They discovered the science and math fields, while beneficial, were too far removed from any real world application. Their kids were bored. By integrating science and technology with the arts, in 2011 the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology adopted STEAM.

Just as Michigan State has demonstrated alongside countless studies, students involved in quality music programs have shown higher participation with lower drop out rateshigher scores on standardized testing, 22 percent better English scores, 20 percent better in math and have demonstrated better problem solving skills.

Pease’s efforts among many others are apparently working. The STEM to STEAM movement has legs and is getting some much deserved attention. Pease informed me there is already a bipartisan Congressional caucus with about 20 House members, with the sole purpose of integrating the arts into STEM. Texas Instruments recently committed five million dollars to launch a STEAM academy in Plano, Texas and other companies have seen the light as well. “Industry leaders such as Boeing, Nike, Apple, Intel, 3M, and many more cite design and/or creativity to be a priority for their companies when seeking innovative solutions,” said Pease. She even has the numbers to back it up broken down by region.

Focusing on STEM as a tool to fill high-tech jobs and grow innovation is insufficient. The arts are more than just an activity that students enjoy at school, or a fun activity that can keep students occupied. The arts are more than entertainment or enjoyment, and certainly provide more opportunity beyond professional musicianship. The power of the arts (and yummy Raisin Brahms) may be the very thing we are missing.

As the kiddos go back to school, knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math are certainly important, but their imagination, creativity and how they interact with others is critical. Like any flower, the stem is valuable but the bloom on top inspires our imagination — and that’s what people connect to.

Brady is a writer and speaker focused on cultivating creativity. He founded the Iowa Creativity Summit and lives in Des Moines, where he owns Test of Time Design. He contributed to The Laws of Subtraction. Find him on Twitter, @JustinBrady.

Creating Curriculum Frameworks
Drama/Theater, Music, Visual Arts, Developmental Drama.

Fine Arts/Iowa Core Companion documents
Drama and Theater, General Music, Instrumental/Vocal, Visual Arts.

A great message to share with all. Arne Duncan.


Arts Education News...YAM 2013

Here is a valuable resource for arts teachers! Presented by NAMM Foundation, the list of 10 Tips may also be useful to teachers of the visual arts, dance, and theatre...

Ten Tips for Success


Archived News |Donate to Become a Member Now

Get Involved | Get Advocacy Help