Artists in Schools Program

The Arts Council of Greater Greensboro (The ACGG) is gearing up to launch its Artist in Schools Program, a pilot initiative that aims to bring arts integration into classrooms. Mary Beth Ausman, an Independent Evaluation and Assessment Consultant with deep connections to the Arts and Science Council and the North Carolina school system, is playing a key role in planning and assessing the program’s effectiveness. Melinda Waegerle, an A+ Fellow and retired UNCG Assistant Professor of Dance Education, will contribute to curriculum development and the recruitment of teaching artists. 

While initial conversations are underway, the goal is to identify Guilford County classrooms for the program by the end of the school year, with the specific timeline yet to be determined. Once classrooms and teaching artists are chosen, the next steps involve a teaching artist entering the classroom to develop a sample lesson plan and collaborating with classroom teachers to create additional arts-integrated lessons.

At the core of the program is a focus on recognizing the crucial role teachers play in students’ daily lives. The ACGG’s program actively involves both students and teachers in the creative process alongside teaching artists, aiming to equip educators with the skills to independently develop their arts-integrated lesson plans. 

Josephus Thompson III, head of the Poetry Cafe, leads poetry-based workshops and performances with students at Lincoln Middle School.

In the context of a school system recovering from the pandemic, Artist in Schools programs are increasingly vital for student well-being. Ausman highlights the significance of art in building empathy, community trust, and respect, essential elements for post-pandemic classrooms.

Jaymie Meyer, Community Engagement & Impact Officer at ACGG, emphasizes the program’s goal of empowering students. Meyer notes, “As we shape this program, we want students to leave it feeling empowered. Arts are about uplifting people, and arts integration teaches skills to help demonstrate learning beyond just traditional assessments, showcasing learning in diverse and meaningful ways.”

For those interested in learning more about the Artist in Schools program, stay tuned for updates on the program’s evolution at

Support was made available through The Arts Council of Greater Greensboro New Creative Investment Initiative, with Guilford County and NC Arts Council American Rescue Plan Act funding.