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Award Recognizes Educators Using Innovative Ways To Incorporate Arts In Education

A teacher standing in her classroom, teaching K-12 students
Wyoming Arts Council/Mary Billiter
Courtney Widhalm, pictured standing, from Baldwin Creek Elementary and Gannett Peak Elementary schools in Lander was selected as the 2020 Arts Learning Innovation Award recipient for a distinguished Wyoming arts educator.

Nominations for this year's Wyoming Arts Council's 'Arts Learning Innovations' Award, are open.

This award recognizes a Wyoming K-12 art educator incorporating the arts in their classroom or online classes in new and innovative ways.

The award was established in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Education.

The council's arts education specialist Mary Billiter said the award promotes awareness and appreciation of the arts.

"One of our goals is making arts fundamental to education, particularly in supporting our programs and our educators, and raising them and putting them in the focal point for the good work that they're doing," said Billiter.

It also helps highlight educators' creativity and leadership in education, Billiter said.

"The importance of art education is paramount to a full education for our students. And there are so many innovative practices our art educators are implementing right now that we really wanted to recognize,"she said.

Wyoming-based licensed and certified arts educators in any art discipline including theater, dance, visual, literary, and performing arts are eligible for nominations.

Applications are due by August 16. A committee of Wyoming Arts Council board members and staff will select the recipient of this award and will honor the winning educators during the virtual Wyoming Innovations in Learning conference later in September.

Naina Rao comes to Wyoming Public Radio from Jakarta, Indonesia. She has worked at NPR for Story Lab and the nationally syndicated show, "1A". Naina graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with a B.A. in Journalism. Naina enjoys swimming, listening to podcasts and watching Bollywood movies.
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