About SCEA



Transforming education in and through the arts. 


  • Support varying needs in arts education through faciliating the growth of a diverse network of educators, adminstrators, and artists. 
  • Cultivate intentional arts learning experiences for all students in every school across the region.
  • Empower educators, adminstrators, and artists to collaborate from a place of strength to close opportunity gaps in the arts. 
  • Activate pathways for preparing the next generation of arts educators and providing ongoing professional learning opportunities.

Case Statement:

INTENT. The arts allow for the exchange of knowledge and perspectives between people who look and think differently than one another, and we believe that it is because of these differences that the arts have a unique benefit on the quality of life.

IMPACT. We work in diverse settings to cultivate awareness of the innate value value of EDUCATION IN THE ARTS. We believe quality arts education encourages intellectual, creative, and personal growth which inspire innovative thinking and ideas.

INTEGRATION. We partner with educators, artists, and community-based organizations to help people learn in, through, and about the arts.

For SCEA's definition of concept-based arts-integration, click here.


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. Their work in discipline-based arts education, now known as comprehensive arts education, serves as the foundation of all of their professional learning programs in arts education and concept-based arts integration. 

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:


Arts Learning Lab: Beginning Summer 2017, the Arts Learning Lab (ALL) will provide classroom teachers, arts specialists, teaching artists, and administrators opportunites to strengthen arts-based teaching and learning through concept-based unit development. The Arts Learning Lab model experiences are contextualized with K-12 students and include field-tested resources. As we share our process for unit planning, reflection, and delivery we will guide participants through a backward design process employing the center's approach to concept-based arts integration. ALL provides participants with continuing education credits administered by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (1 credit = 10 hours).

Clincial Experiences in Arts Education for UTC Students: SCEA faciliates field-work opportunites, observations, and edTPA portfolio development for all students pursuing K-12 licensure in theatre, music, and visual art. 

Model Arts Learning: SCEA works to increase access across the southeast region to quality arts learning experiences in early learning, K-12, and professional practice. Arts learning experiences include: 

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 school

The Art of Balance: Caring for Physcian and Patient: A partnership between the SCEA, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga. This program aims to understand how integrating arts-based practices into the medical curriculum strengthens understanding of social determinants and assessment of patient health, and affects physician well-being, and resiliency. Research will be used to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum model in arts and medicine that can be disseminated and replicated in other physician training programs, both for practicing clinicians and students.