Partners in Education

Learn more about the Kennedy Center's approach to professional learning.

The Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is designed to assist arts organizations throughout the nation to develop or expand educational partnerships with their local school systems. The primary purpose of these partnerships is to provide professional learning in the arts for teachers. In 1992, this program was awarded the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' Dawson Award, which recognizes innovative and successful projects.

The Partners in Education program is based on the belief that teachers’ professional learning is an essential component of any effort designed to increase the artistic literacy of young people. The Kennedy Center's extensive experience with its local professional learning program, established in 1976, provides the basis for this national program.

Currently, almost 100 Partnership Teams in 42 States and the District of Columbia participate in the program. Each Partnership Team consists of at least two members: a representative of an arts organization and a representative of the senior administration of a neighboring school district.

The program includes:

  • a four-day Institute that examines program models and planning strategies for establishing or expanding professional learning programs in the arts for all teachers;
  • follow-up consultation and ongoing communication to assist Partnership Teams in program and partnership development;
  • annual multi-day meetings and intensive seminars to assist Partnership Teams in program and partnership development; and
  • special access to Kennedy Center resources.

Review the Guidelines for Participation for more information about Partners in Education.