The mission of ArtWorks is to make the arts personally meaningful to children and teachers through an experiential learning program of art-making, live or virtual performances and exhibits, and achieving understanding through inquiry and reflection.
ArtWorks was founded in 2001 by the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission, and became a program of the Partners in Education Foundation for the Santa Fe Public Schools in 2010.
ArtWorks promotes skills closely associated with the Common Core, a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy sponsored by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. Forty-three states, including New Mexico, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core.
ArtWorks is independently evaluated by a team from the University of New Mexico’s Institute for Social Research. The New Mexico Statistical Analysis Center, led by Director Kristine Denman, Ph.D., uses a mix of strategies and instruments — focus groups, pre- and post-tests, online surveys, and classroom observation — to assess student engagement, teaching artist and teacher interaction, classroom dynamics and the overall efficacy of ArtWorks’ pedagogy.
With ArtWorks, students learn how to use critical thinking skills, curiosity, and imagination for cognitive development. Deep inquiry, reflection, and interpersonal skills are exercised.
Students’ active participation with local arts organizations, museums, and artists provides them with a sense of connection and belonging in their local community.
Teaching artists and educators develop “lines of inquiry” to guide the students’ learning for a more meaningful experience with a deeper understanding of culture, history, and local community.
Every year, teachers and artists are paid for professional development and training. The ArtWorks pedagogy is implemented throughout SFPS educational curriculum.