20th Anniversary

Celebrate ~ Share ~ Inspire


A Celebration of Teaching and Learning Through the Arts
August 3-5, 2015


Thanks to everyone who joined us in Durham, NC on August 3rd through 5th to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the A+ Schools Program!  At this engaging national conference on learning through the arts, participants celebrated the importance of the arts in education, shared innovative practice, considered current trends that impact policy around arts in education and were inspired to action towards the vision of a complete education that includes the arts for every student.  Conference reflections were overwhelmingly positive with wonderful comments and lots of ideas for action steps and for continuing the work for the next 20 years.  Thanks to everyone who made the conference possible and especially the A+ staff and Fellows in NC, OK, AR, and LA, and the conference and legacy planning teams!

Conference Survey

If you attended the conference, please take a moment to share your feedback and reflections by completing our survey.

Here are some of our participants' thoughts on their experience at the conference:

“We wanted to say THANK YOU to you, and to everyone who made the 20th celebration such a remarkable event. We have been to lots and lots of conferences, but this one stood out as by far the most inspiring.” - Susanna Abell, Teaching Artist, Silver Trout Arts

“Great time in Durham! Great folks, presenters, facilities, food (trucks!!!), and networking! Awesome experience - excellent conference!” – Mark Sidelnick, Associate Professor of Education, UNC Asheville

“It was the most creative and thoughtful conference, from an attendee point of view. It felt like a small family gathering, despite how large the attendee population was. I felt considered and cared for ~ this I can not say for other conferences.” – Conference Attendee

“It was wonderful...uplifting...rejuvenating...inspiring. There was so much to take away that was positive. Kudos to all who shared themselves at this event. I came away ready to go back to my classroom eager to work with my students. Thanks for reinforcing what I've always known in my heart were the best teaching practices!” - Conference Attendee

Concurrent Session Handouts

Handouts and resources provided by conference presenters are now available in PDF format.  CLICK HERE for a listing of session materials.

Presenting 20 Years of A+ Schools

At the 20th Anniversary Conference Legacy Event, a new video by filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman was premiered, highlighting the impact of the A+ Schools Program on former students, faculty and A+ Fellows. Watch the inspiring documentary that illustrates the importance and effect of the largest, longest running, most successful arts-based whole-school reform effort in the nation.

Also check out the A+ Schools Program 20th Anniversary animated timeline designed by Duncan Burrows:


Funding support for the A+ Schools Program 20th Anniversary Conference was generously provided by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.