Looking Forward, Looking Back

As we embark upon a new year, I have been reflecting on all that was 2021 and wanted to take a moment to share some of our highlights with you, our arts education community. With the support and collaboration of educators across the region, AEC successfully:

  • Introduced AEC Networks as a way to stay connected with individual program participants and collaborators
  • Advocated for school districts to invest ESSER funding in arts education
  • Welcomed Bradley Hill to the AEC team as the new Creative Learning Coordinator
  • Facilitated external planning and evaluation projects with Carnegie Museum of Art, Grantmakers for Education, Office of Public Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, and The Westmoreland Museum of American Art
  • Returned to in-person facilitation of school district programs in Franklin Regional, Hampton Township, Norwin, and Trinity Area
  • Supported teaching artists by providing Arts Learning at Home resource stipends, mentorship and professional learning opportunities through Young Audiences, and a pathway to reliable income via substitute teaching
  • Secured new financial support for artlook® SWPA from the Jack Buncher Foundation, Hillman Family Foundations, The Heinz Endowments, and The Pittsburgh Foundation
  • Launched artlook® SWPA, achieving our milestone of over 100 schools and arts partners joining
  • Published a new framework for Activating Arts Learning (see the poster image and stay tuned for much more to come soon!)
  • Adopted Salesforce to better track our grants, programs, and relationships, increasing our capacity to serve the region

As we look ahead to 2022, I see so much opportunity to foster connections and make a difference for young people. In the coming months, please keep your eyes open for resources around our new Activating Arts Learning framework, information about a regional convening on October 10th, the launch of applications for our Leadership Academy in March, and important advocacy supports regarding federal funding for the arts. We will also be spotlighting artlook® SWPA arts partners and schools on our social media accounts, to help you build new partnerships as the current school year moves to a close and you plan for 2022-2023.

Wishing you a year full of possibility, courage, and good health.

With gratitude,



Yael Silk