Arts Education

Professional Development

The Kennedy Center Partners in Education program offers professional development in arts integration.


a group of seven educators lined up behind an instructor during an arts education workshop copy his movements by clapping their hands together

Sessions for 2022-2023

The following workshops were developed in association with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and are partially underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee for the Performing Arts.


All workshops are free, but participants must pre-register. Dinner is provided at each event.

Listening to Comprehend: Hearing the Curriculum Through Music with: Emily Smith for teachers of: Grades K-8

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 | 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Liberty High School Black Box Theater

Music plays a crucial role in providing context, eliciting feelings and creating strong memories in our lives. Let’s access the power of decoding music in order to help students construct and demonstrate understandings of science and social studies concepts. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn how to sharpen your listening skills with Emily Smith, Focus 5 national teaching artist from Valdosta, GA!

Register for Listening to Comprehend Workshop

Drawing Symbols for Reading Comprehension with Jamin Carter for teachers of: Grades 5-8

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 | 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Shawnee Mission Center for Academic Achievement

When drawing is used to make sense of information presented audibly or through text it can’t be beat! If you want to greatly increase students’ ability to accurately recall what they read, organize events in the proper sequence, and make sense of unfamiliar content this interactive workshop is for you.

Register for Drawing Symbols for Reading Comprehension Workshop

Teach Like a MAGICIAN with Kevin Spencer for teachers of all grades

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 | 4-6:30 p.m.
Midwest Trust Center, JCCC

What does it mean to teach like a magician? How can you bring a little “magic” into your classroom? No one is better equipped to answer that question than Dr. Kevin Spencer, an award-winning artist, educator, and researcher. In this teacher training, participants will explore MAGICIAN as an acronym, each letter representing a research-based practice that is vital for creating an environment conducive to learning. Practical applications are made throughout the presentation and each strategy can be used immediately in the classroom.

Register for Teach Like a MAGICIAN Workshop

Puppet Manipulation in the Early Education Classroom with: Mesner Puppet Theater - Meghann Henry and Alex Espy for teachers of: Pre-school - 2nd Grade

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 | 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Midwest Trust Center, JCCC

Kids love them, but teaching with puppets can be intimidating! In this interactive training we will work together to tackle these fears by modeling simple teaching strategies with puppets, providing practical tips and tricks for puppet manipulation, and playing together with puppets in a low pressure environment...you will even take your own hand puppet back to your classroom!


About The Program

The Partners in Education program is a national partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Partners in Education program believes that the professional development of teachers is an essential component of efforts to include the arts in education for young people. The Kennedy Center’s extensive experience with its local professional development program, established in 1976, provides the basis for this national program. The Kansas/Missouri Team is the Midwest Trust Center at Johnson County Community College, the Shawnee Mission School District, Liberty Public Schools and Kansas City Young Audiences. The team is one of three cross-state partnerships in the nation. The National Partners in Education Program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts selects teams across the United States because of their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts.

The Kennedy Center defines arts integration as an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both.

The Kennedy Center Partnership Team collaborates to provide arts integration learning opportunities for teachers throughout the year. Our goal is to create and develop arts programs for the education of teachers to:

  • Expand their abilities to integrate the arts into the curriculum
  • Provide innovative teaching techniques and tools
  • Inspire the artist within each of them

KS/MO Kennedy Center Partners in Education Report Summary 2018-19 (pdf)