Arts Integration Training and Resources

Professional Development

In 1991, nine Partnership Teams from Alaska to Arkansas to Massachusetts joined the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in efforts to increase students’ access to the arts through professional development for teachers. Walton Arts Center and Northwest Arkansas Education Service Cooperative Partnership Team (Arkansas ’91) was among these founders. Thirty-one years later, there are 96 Partnership Teams in 39 states and the District of Columbia. In 2016 these teams provided over 1000 learning events serving 30,579 teachers and teaching artists. Arkansas 1991 is among the top ten partnerships that provide in-depth professional development for teachers.

For more information on professional development opportunities with Walton Arts Center, contact Dr. Patricia Relph at (479) 571-2773. 

Arts With Education (AWE) Institute

“Arts Integration strategies are more effective impacting student content retention and behavior. Putting students in charge of their questioning and learning is part of our Evaluation System as teachers (TESS). Using AWE strategies makes it very easy to reach the distinguished category in the TESS Instruction Component." - Courtney Anderson, Bayyari Elementary, Springdale Public Schools

Arts With Education (AWE) Institute prepares teachers to use the arts to make teaching across the curriculum more engaging and effective (recent focus: literacy, social studies, math). AWE involves teachers in hands-on, interactive workshops presented by John F. Kennedy Center experts.

Learn more about the Kennedy Center approach to arts education 

Each year Walton Arts Center trains approximately 40 teachers and teaching artists at AWE. For every year these teachers include arts integration instruction in their curriculum, more than 1,200 students will benefit and learn through arts integrated instruction. This year, Sean Layne and Kassie Misiewicz will focus on behavior as a literacy. Teachers will observe role modeling with students

For more information, call Dr. Patricia Relph at 479-571-2773

Click here for AWE Institute Registration Form

Funding for AWE is provided in part by funding from Arkansas Arts Council and Walton Arts Center supporters and benefactors.

SmART Residency

The SmART residency is a year-long professional development residency supporting teachers to include the arts across the curriculum and to help students achieve in literacy and their ability to collaborate.

"This training has opened my eyes to the world of arts integration in the classroom and how easy, vital, and engaging it will be for me and my students to learn."
-SmART Residency Teacher

With partners the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC) and Trike Theatre (Bentonville), the Walton Arts Center’s 2022 SmART Residency will provide more than 30 contact hours of arts integration instruction; 5 contact hours arts integration role modeling in 33 residency classrooms; and give nearly 825 children access to a Walton Arts Center live-performance experience. Activities train grade-level teaching teams to understand, value and use arts integration, increased the frequency of arts integration instruction and supported student achievement while creating a culture of arts integration.

Click here to download the SmART Residency Tableau Performance Guide.

Support for the SmART Residency is provided, in part, by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Walton Arts Center arts education supporters and benefactors.

Arts Integration Internet Resources

Welcome to our menu of online tools for educators to ensure that every teacher in Arkansas has access to arts integration resources.

Digital Resource Library

As a founding partner of the John F. Kennedy Center's Partners in Education program, Walton Arts Center refers teachers to their exemplary arts integration and online resources. Click here for the Digital Resource Library. 

Total Instructional Alignment (TIA) Resource Project

Working with their affiliated teaching artists and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Walton Arts Center has provided the arts integration component of the Total Instructional Alignment (TIA) Resource Project, a project of the Northwest Arkansas Education Services Cooperative. This state-wide resource is an electronic categorizing and cataloging of internet resources related to Arkansas learning objectives. The resource will provide all Arkansas educators instant access to free internet resources supporting Arkansas learning objectives. For more information, call the Northwest Arkansas Education Service Coop at 479.267.7450.

Digging Up Arkansas Lesson Plans

Walton Arts Center's Digging Up Arkansas project includes teacher resources created by Northwest Arkansas Writing Project teacher consultants. Lesson plans to improve 3rd to 5th grade students' understanding of Arkansas history can be found here.

Arts Integration Lessons at ITunes U

Arts integration lessons, created by Walton Arts Center professional development participants, are shared through Arkansas iTunes U, a library of educational content for educators and students, submitted by universities, state agencies, and not-for-profit institutions. These arts integration learning activities are accessible worldwide to any teacher or learner with an iTunes account. By sharing content on iTunes U, Walton Arts Center joins a growing community of institutions including MoMA, New York Public Library, Stanford, Yale, Oxford, and UC Berkeley. Students and teachers can use iTunes on their computer or through the iTunes U app on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to browse and download over 500,000 free resources on thousands of subjects, including arts integration practices at Walton Arts Center.  To access, open your iTunes account and search for "iTunes U Arkansas", or try this link.

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ARTeacher Fellowship

The ARTeacher Fellowship is a professional development partnership between Walton Arts Center, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the University of Arkansas’ Center for Children and Youth focused on building the practice of arts-integration in area secondary English, science, foreign language and social studies classrooms. Now in its eighth year, the Fellowship provides expert training for twenty-five secondary teachers to explore and implement arts-integration methods to help students meet Arkansas State Learning Standards.

The Fellowship supports English, social studies, foreign language and science teachers in Northwest Arkansas junior high and high schools who have experience in arts-integrated teaching or who have an interest in learning more about it. Fellows participate in a three-day Summer Institute at the Walton Arts Center and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with additional training days led by national arts education and integration specialists throughout the school year.

In addition to participating in exemplary professional development, the Fellows interact with other outstanding teachers through state and national conferences, and receive support for their students to participate in both Walton Arts Center and Crystal Bridges field trip programs. Creating instructional plans tied to the Arkansas State Learning Standards through arts integration is among the responsibilities of the Fellows during the program.

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Applications for the next year of the ARTeacher Fellowship program will be available in early spring. For more information, please contact Hung Pham ( or Patricia Relph (