Mentor Project

The Arts Education Mentor Program is an extension of the Ohio Arts Education Assessment Project.

The Mentor Program began in March 2000 and was initially designed to provide educators and administrators the opportunity to build and implement assessments that focus on their district courses of study—working “internally” within classrooms, buildings, or districts to meet their needs and then taking the work “out” to others.

Today, the Mentor Program relates to the mission and goals of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network specifically in:

  • positioning the arts as an integral part of a complete education
  • establishing collaborations and networks
  • providing professional development opportunities

This program extends and builds on the work of the Ohio Arts Education Assessment Project, developed and implemented through the partnership of the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education. This multi-year project focuses on:

  • building greater awareness and knowledge of current research and practice in the field of assessment
  • developing a clear understanding of the practitioners’ assessment need
  • identifying those arts specialists who would be invited to participate in subsequent components of the three-year project

The leaders of the Arts Education Mentor Program are veterans of the Arts Assessment Train-the-Trainers Institute. For the one-week institute, more than 45 arts practitioners were brought together in 4-5 person teams, individual team members representing each arts area. Each team participated with the understanding that they would offer two assessment workshops in their region of the state and a workshop in their individual school districts.

The data collection and evaluation of this project, as expected, has had a rippling effect

  • providing model assessments establishing ethnographic and action research possibilities
  • building a third and fourth generation of mentors/facilitators from the classroom level
  • creating opportunities for additional projects beyond assessment

Increased knowledge about and comfort level with arts assessments will cause key players at the state level to recognize the arts as a critical part of the education of all children in Ohio. The work of the arts educators mentored during the project will be shared beyond the classroom and district through the publication of “Lessons Learned: Reflections on a Three-year Arts Assessment Mentoring Project”, the summary of the evaluator’s analysis of the project and companion arts assessment items.



Under the leadership of Elayne Lowe, Arts Education Mentor Program Coordinator, Ohio teachers developed a series of Family Guides focusing on music and visual art.  The Fine Arts Standards Guides for Families provide parents with information and ideas to support the arts at home and in the community.  The Guides are published by grade level K-8 and high school.  These resources can be downloaded free on this website under the Resources tab.  Professionally printed sets of the Fine Arts Standards Guides for Families were sent to every district superintendent in the state.  This resource distribution was made possible with financial support of the Ohio Foundation for Music Education and Ohio Art Education Association. The Guides are also available on the Ohio Department of Education's website.