Professor Joins American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on Arts
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has invited Angela LaPorte, professor of art education in the School of Art in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, to join its Commission on the Arts.
Commission on the Arts members include artists, scholars, educators, art leaders and philanthropists from around the country. Commission member Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, nominated LaPorte in 2019 to join the commission.
“Angela brings a unique perspective with dedication to arts learning research,” said Bigelow. “Her work with teachers pushes forward a more inclusive environment and elevates teacher development. This important research will help further the commissions’ exploration of the role art plays in American life.”
LaPorte recently returned from her first meeting with the commission in Los Angeles. Commission members broke into working groups exploring arts in civic engagement, arts in community and economic development, arts in education and arts in everyday life. LaPorte joined the working group studying arts in education.
LaPorte earned her doctorate in art education from Penn State University and Master of Arts in art education from Arizona State University.
She joined the University of Arkansas in 1998 as an assistant professor of art education and is currently professor and director of art education in the School of Art. Her research interests have long included diversity and inclusion across social, generational and cultural boundaries. She is currently researching refinements to her innovative approach to inverse inclusion. She is focuses on understanding and reducing the implicit barriers that often segregate individuals and communities.
“Angela has a clear understanding of the contribution art has in a community, and her expertise has made a positive impact on the university, college and school,” said Gerry Snyder, executive director of the School of Art. “She will be an incredible resource to the commission and we are excited to see the collaborative work the commission is doing to support arts in America.”
LaPorte has edited a book published by the National Art Education Association and contributed numerous scholarly papers to journals including Studies in Art Education,The Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education,The International Journal of Lifelong Learning in Art Education andArt Education.
She was named as a Kenneth Marantz Fellow and was distinguished with the Ziegfeld National Award for Outstanding Service by the United States Society for Education Through Art. She has been recognized as the Art Educator of the Year, and selected twice as the Higher Education Art Educator of the Year by Arkansas Art Educators Association.
She has conducted teaching experiences with her students in Rome, and a collaborative curatorial research project in Bolivia with her colleague Injeong Yoon, supported by Partners of the Americas in Washington D.C. under the auspices of the United States Agency for International Development.
About the Commission on the Arts: The Commission on the Arts with distinguished co-chairs, John Lithgow, Deborah Rutter and Natasha Trethewey, has more than $1 million of support from foundations and individuals and a commitment to explore the role of the arts in American life. The commission was launched in 2018 with the support of the Ford Foundation, The Getty Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and The Kresge Foundation, as well as a generous contribution from Roger W. and Victoria P. Sant. It was established to examine the role of the arts in a diverse democracy and address how the arts can help build empathy among individuals and strengthen connections between communities.
A version of this story also appeared in the U of A’s Newswire publication.