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Welcome to the Artistic Literacy Consortium!

Research shows that well-designed and well-executed arts education programs are a necessary part of college and workforce readiness. The long-term benefits of arts education on student achievement are incredible – yet, many Alabama students have minimal to no access to this type of learning.

The mission of the Artistic Literacy Consortium (ALC) is to provide fully funded, high quality, arts education that enlightens, inspires, and develops in every Alabama student the creative and innovative thinking necessary to ensure college and career readiness.
The ALC is the first statewide initiative for arts education and is a collective impact effort that can only succeed with a robust membership of active and diverse stakeholders who wish to combine resources with the desired outcome of providing artistic literacy for every Alabama student.
For a list of current members, click here.

How is the ALC making an impact in our schools and communities?

There are currently three regional collaboratives contributing to the mission of the ALC. Each collaborative is unique but all are creating connections between community artists and schools. Artists meet and plan with the teachers to determine the needs of the students. Through collaboration of community artists and teachers, the students experience the arts with the core curriculum creating a fun, positive, and effective learning environment.
Check out more information about the collaboratives below!

Located in Huntsville and headquartered at Arts Huntsville, North Alabama Arts Education Collaborative serves six school districts spanning three counties: Huntsville City, Madison City, Madison County, Athens City, Limestone County, and Decatur City schools.
They have created a classroom arts guide for North Alabama schools.
Click here to check out the great media coverage!

Director is  Karen Anderson .

Director is Karen Anderson.

Director is  Shannon McCue .

Director is Shannon McCue.

Headquartered at the Arts & Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa, the West Alabama Arts Education Collaborative serves Tuscaloosa County and Tuscaloosa City School Systems, providing innovative arts integration programming for over 160 students during the 2018-2019 school year, and will expand its reach in 2019-2020 and beyond. Click here to check out the wonderful media coverage!

Serves school districts across Jefferson County and convenes over 100 arts providers to increase access to arts education.
Click here to check out the fantastic media coverage!

Director is  Deanna Sirkot .

Director is Deanna Sirkot.


What is artistic literacy?

Literacy indicates knowledge and competence in a specific language system or field. It requires a lifelong, intellectual process of gaining understanding. In the arts, literacy is the ability to “read” a work of art and to understand how to find meaning through that work of art. It is also the ability to create a work of art using the symbol system of that art form in order to be understood by others.

Consortium members understand that the acquisition of artistic literacy requires rigor. There are many methods and delivery systems that may work collectively to provide artistic literacy. Ideally, our students would receive a comprehensive arts education in one or more art forms as part of their general K-12 education experience.
Realistically, all members must share this responsibility by offering or supporting one or more of the following essential components of arts education:

Interest in the arts is developed through exposure. Exposure is as simple as attending a performance at the symphony or a dance concert at a festival, touring an exhibit at an art museum, or joining the audience at a Shakespearean play. Exposure creates appreciation. Appreciation for the arts is acknowledgement that there is deep meaning to be understood in art. That meaning may be “read” and understood just as any verbal language. Exposure to the arts develops aesthetic appreciation.

Experiencing the arts by practicing and doing allows students to hone artistic skills and to begin to understand the way the arts create meaning beyond words. With rigorous practice, students advance in their ability to produce movements, brush strokes, notes, scripts, media, and literary works in order to “speak the language” of the creative arts.

“Speaking” is important, but speaking without comprehension is not literacy. Developing the skills to employ craft by arranging, sequencing, and developing nuances in order to communicate is required to create expression and understanding. The ability to create a work of art that may be “read” and understood by others is the highest form of artistic literacy.

A comprehensive arts education will include exposure, experience, and the act of creating art, and there is no one right place to begin. Entry points exist in all three. Continuous exposure, experience, and creativity are necessary for a complete education in the arts.

For more information on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards click  here .

For more information on the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards click here.

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards explains artistic literacy as having the “knowledge and understanding required to participate authentically in the arts.”

The official Alabama Arts Course of Study can be accessed by clicking here.

About the ALC

In September 2013, a task force was formed to create a plan to increase measurable impact toward developing artistic literacy for all Alabama students. A plan for arts education was unanimously endorsed by the Alabama State Board of Education. The result was the founding of the Artistic Literacy Consortium. Learn more….

The ALC is a partnership between the Alabama Arts Alliance, the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Alabama State Department of Education.


We wish to hear from you! Contact us here!