Section Menu

About SCEA



Our mission is to strengthen and deepen arts teaching and learning through experiential opportunities in a variety of contexts.

Our goals:

    • Provide regional and national professional development opportunities in curriculum 
and instruction for educators in arts and non-arts disciplines.
    • Facilitate experiential learning opportunities for students seeking careers in arts 
    • Develop partnerships to cultivate high quality arts learning experiences for all 


The Southeast Center for Education in the Arts was founded in 1987 through a unique public, private and institutional collaboration among the Getty Center for Education in the Arts, Chattanooga-based foundations, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the State of Tennessee, and area school districts. SCEA is one of six Getty funded regional institutes established to research and promote discipline-based visual art education. UTC and the Chattanooga community had the foresight to expand the concept to embrace music, theatre, and dance education.

Since its inception, SCEA has set high standards for teaching and learning in and through the arts. Our instructional model has been tested and developed through site-based professional development projects across schools in the southeast. Key components of the framework include standards-based arts instruction and assessment, a conceptual approach that strives to deepen interdisciplinary learning beyond thematic and integrated methodologies, and the importance of collegial collaboration through a participant-oriented partnership that promotes sustainability.


Current Initiatives:

Literacy, the Arts, and the Common Core: Arts specialists and literacy teachers attend this professional development experience in pairs to explore the value of interdisciplinary instruction. Pairs develop units of study in arts and literacy.

CommuniCREATE: A partnership between SCEA and Barger Academy of Fine Arts provides quarterly workshops for families to actively engage in arts learning experiences in drama, music, dance, and visual art. This programs aims to break barriers to parental involvement while increasing awareness of the importance of arts learning in K-12 schools.

MusicMakers-ReadyReaders: This pilot project endeavors to guide early childhood practitioners not only to use music and movement as a means of literary engagement, but also to promote the development of musicianship and creativity, and engage children mentally, socially, and emotionally to enrich and strengthen listening, speaking, reading, and writing behaviors and to encourage the joy of learning.

Arts & Education Forum Series: Beginning Fall 2015, SCEA’s annual Arts & Education Forum will expand into a 2-part series where arts specialists, literacy teachers, and teaching artists investigate the practice of concept-based interdisciplinary instruction in their own work. Online modules that include model lessons contextualized with students will aide educators in their understanding of the practice and pedagogy of arts and literacy in the interdisciplinary curriculum.

The Art of Diagnosis: A partnership between the SCEA, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga is back. Third-year med students are guided through a series of interactive and improvisational exercises aimed to strengthen their diagnostic skills and interpersonal awareness when working with patients.

Brainerd and Howard LINKS Debate Program: Students from Brainerd High and the Howard School learn and practice effective communication skills, argumentation and debate, and public speaking. Debate teams from Brainerd and Howard will compete in a tournament on March 21st, 2015 on the UTC campus.