Center for Arts-Inspired Learning


What We Do - Special Projects - Art is Education
Cleveland Integrated Arts Collaborative



Art is Education is a K-12 initiative in collaboration with the Cleveland Municipal School District that employs the arts to teach literacy.

Vision and Goals

The Cleveland Integrated Arts Collaborative Art is Education envisions a public school system where every student will receive the highest quality education that includes continual immersion in a comprehensive, arts-infused curriculum.  This curriculum will address the full range of children’s learning styles and all aspects of their human development, and result in individuals prepared to be productive citizens and leaders of the future.

We affirm that arts integrated learning will:

  • Develop a child’s critical and creative thinking and ability to analyze and solve problems that have more than one solution
  • Ensure that children develop skills in self-discipline, teamwork and perseverance, thus making them confident, adaptive workers
  • Instill in children a love for learning, thus exposing them to wider choices for their futures and making them responsible citizens and contributors to society
  • Instill an appreciation of the arts and the ways in which they can enrich our lives and learning
  • Nurture a child’s sensitivity to and appreciation for the world’s diverse cultures, lifestyles and beliefs
  • Develop children’s abilities to express their thoughts and views of the world through the learning modes representative of the arts
  • Build children’s capacities to see relationships between and among key ideas important to children, the curriculum and all human experience

In order to achieve this vision, the Cleveland Integrated Arts Collaborative will implement Art is Education to establish the arts as a central component of the standards-based, District-wide literacy curriculum (Cleveland Literacy System – CLS) and will prepare classroom teachers, school arts teachers and community arts providers to effectively integrate arts learning and PreK-12 literacy instruction. 

Specific goals for achieving this vision will be to:

  • Develop standards-based arts integrated curriculum that is embedded within the CLS curriculum. This curriculum will advance learning in and through the arts and will use Cleveland’s rich community arts resources on a consistent, academically-coordinated and artistically authentic basis;
  • Build support for arts integration across the community, including school administrators and teachers, parents, school board, funders, corporations, union and civic leaders, artists and arts organizations;
  • Train instructors, including classroom teachers, school arts teachers and community arts providers in the theory and practice of arts integration and literacy instruction;
  • Develop a delivery system for both professional development and direct services to students that provides every CMSD school equitable access to trained internal and external artistic resources and that will maximize effective use of the community’s diverse artistic resources; and
  • Implement curriculum throughout the District, beginning in grade 3 and evaluate its impact

The Ford Foundation granted $250,000 over two years to support these ongoing efforts in Cleveland to establish the arts as a central component of the instructional strategy of the Cleveland Municipal School District and provide quality arts experiences for all students.