A True Champion of the Arts in Cleveland Schools

Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD), spent some time at Young Audiences on October 20, 2011 to talk about the role of arts education at the CMSD.

Mr. Gordon is a true champion of the arts.  His stance stems from not only the research showing the value of the arts as a part of a well-rounded education, but also from his personal experience.  Mr. Gordon’s mother is a concert pianist, and he says he grew up in a house filled with artists and music, adding to the richness of his life and his passion for the arts.Eric Gordon speaking at Young Audiences

Mr. Gordon explained how he has been trying to move an arts agenda forward in the CMSD and what is currently in place.  According to Mr. Gordon, the arts have not become “dispensable and sacrificed for math and reading” in the CMSD. Mr. Gordon outlined several points to show how the arts are a part of the district despite their financial struggles:

  • The arts are included in the CMSD’s standards for learning, including music, dance, theater and visual arts
  • CMSD maintains over 300 certified art and music instructors (“while this is not enough, we should feel confident that there is a continued commitment…”)
  • The CMSD All City Arts Program is the “envy of other culturally arts-rich school districts in other cities”
  • The CMSD’s new network of PASS Schools (premier arts specialty schools) give K-8 students more opportunities to engage in the arts than what exists at other schools
  • The CMSD has a strong partnership with Young Audiences’ Art in Education, which brings artists residences to four schools in the district

To hear Mr. Gordon’s speech in its entirety, click on the video link below:

We at Young Audiences were thrilled to hear Mr. Gordon’s encouraging words of commitment to arts education in Cleveland. We know that strong schools must include arts education and we feel confident that Mr. Gordon will continue to include the arts in his strategy and vision to transform CMSD.


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