SAVE THE DATE: January 24, 2025. Scroll down to see last year's schedule

SC Arts in Education Forum

The SC Arts in Education Forum is a one-day event that invites leaders who influence and impact arts education in SC PK-12 education to:

  • Explore research connecting arts learning to student development, featuring Susan Magsamen, co-author of “Your Brain on Art.”
  • Discover and learn about innovative initiatives, opportunities, policies, and practices
  • Engage and connect with one another to improve the educational experience for all SC students. 

For a complete description of the 2024 Session line up, please scroll down or click here.

When: January 19, 2024, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Where: Embassy Suites, 200 Stoneridge Dr., Columbia, SC



You are cordially invited to join us the evening of January 18th at 5:30 pm at the Columbia Museum of Art for the premiere of:

Seizing the Moment

Celebrating 35 Years of ABC


Refreshments will be served in the Reception Gallery following the film.


To reserve a suite for January 18:

Call 800-EMBASSY or follow this link.

Request the Winthrop University room block; room rates: $139 plus tax.

Reserve by December 28


We look forward to the conversation!



Did You Know?

The SC Arts in Education Forum is supported by Arts Grow SC, which is funded by the South Carolina Arts Commission and the South Carolina Department of Education through American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds. 

2024 Session Information


Plenery Panel Discussion with Co-Author of:

“Your Brain on Art: How the Arts Transform Us”

Susan Magsamen,
Founder and Executive Director
International Arts + Mind Lab (IAM Lab)

For more information on Susan Magsamen, please visit




Harnessing Arts Education to Meet a District’s Vision of a Graduate

Why is arts education an important and necessary component of a district’s success? What distinct goals does its delivery meet, and how can it be capitalized to meet the greater needs of a district? In 2018, Portland Public Schools began the strategic planning process to launch a major academic initiative called the Master Arts Education Plan (MAEP). The central goal of the MAEP is to increase equitable access to high-quality arts education in dance, music, theatre, and visual arts for all students. Across the nation, arts experience may differ greatly for students based on zip code. As an equity initiative, the MAEP lays the groundwork for an early arts education that includes fully-formed K-12 pathways through which students can continue to receive a coherent, thoughtfully planned, and equitable arts education. Participants will learn important steps and strategies that support districts in incorporating the arts to attain comprehensive goals around student engagement and achievement. District leaders and arts organization partners can utilize this approach to ensure alignment and cohesion linked to a district’s vision, mission, values, and resources.


Kristen Brayson, Director of Visual & Performing Arts
Portland Public Schools (Portland, OR)


MUSC Arts in Healing’s Clinical Art Therapy Initiative: A Creative Approach to Group Therapy for South Carolina Students

In the fall of 2021, experts in pediatric medicine and psychiatry declared a national emergency in children’s mental health, urging organizations to put in place community-based systems of care, connecting families to school-based care. The US Surgeon General issued a similar statement in December 2021 and gave action points on how corporations, healthcare organizations, and the community can support the school as a critical hub for mental health resiliency through promotion of prevention and treatment interventions. This is where MUSC Arts in Healing stepped in, creating the Clinical Art Therapy Initiative (CATI) alongside district leads, principals, teachers, and MTSS teams to creatively care for the needs of our students in schools across South Carolina. Over the last year, CATI’s team of board-certified art therapists have served more than 680 students across the state, proving that when words are hard to find, artmaking can be a tool for healing a resiliency.


Katie Hinson Sullivan
Art Therapist
Arts in Healing Department at MUSC Health


Michelle Robinson, Program Coordinator
Arts in Healing Department at MUSC health

Watching the “Arts Grow” in South Carolina

In this presentation, the lead evaluator for Arts Grow SC (AGSC) will share the story of the initiative’s collective impact. Since the initiative’s inception, Dr. Lewis and her team have collected a wide variety of data to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of AGSC efforts across the state. This presentation features the findings from the first two years of AGSC programming along with space to imagine what measuring collective impact might look like for AGSC in the future.


Ashlee Lewis, PhD Assistant Director and Research Associate Professor
Research, Evaluation, and Measurement Center

Rethinking Disability – Inclusive Arts for All

Understanding disability culture allows people to recognize different types of disabilities to pursue shared goals. Learn about the impact of disability and how you can engage with people with disabilities in the arts settings. It will include an overview of disability, relevant Laws and Statutes, myths and misconceptions about people with disabilities, and appropriate and inclusive language for disability populations. This session will pay specific attention to the overlap between Disability culture and arts experiences in general to help you build a more inclusive space for ALL artists.  


David Laird, PhD Director of Strategic Initiatives
Able SC

Troy Hall, Director of Youth Transition Programs
Able SC

SCArts Enrollment Dashboard

South Carolina has partnered with the Arts Education Data Project to create  an Arts Enrollment Dashboard. Have you ever wondered how many students  are enrolled in arts courses at a neighboring school, how many art students  there are in the state, how many schools offer a specific arts course, or what the arts retention rate is in your district compared to similar districts? All of these questions (ANDMORE) can be answered through the SC Arts  Education Data Dashboard. Come and see how it all works and (maybe even  more importantly) see how to MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU!


Roger Simpson Visual and Performing Arts Education Associate
SC Department of Education

Creating Community through Student Voice

When students speak, are we truly hearing what they have to say? How does prescriptive curriculum impact the opportunity for student voice?  In this session, participants will engage in  activities that examine teaching practices and spark dialogue and open discussion about bias, positionality, and teaching objectives versus  student perspective and choice.  Where is the flexibility for our students to see themselves in the curriculum?


Minuette Floyd Visual and Performing Arts Education Associate
SC Department of Education

Exploring the New SC Report Card: Its measures and potential influence of arts-rich practices

Dr. Mathis will provide an overview of the new SC Report Card, explaining the primary categories, the data contained in each category, and how each category is weighted in the total score. Then, the audience will engage in a “deep dive” into the student growth category to explore and discuss the implications of arts rich practices on its measures.


David Mathis Executive Director
SC Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development