The Tennessee Arts Academy is the nation’s premier professional development institute for arts education. A program of the Tennessee Department of Education, the Academy has been held annually since 1986 on the campus of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Tennessee Arts Academy annually trains more than 325 educators each summer, directly impacting between 150,000 - 200,000 students the following school year in classrooms all across the nation. Since 1986, the more than 7500 teachers trained by TAA have touched the lives of over 3 million students. The Academy’s advanced curriculum, cutting-edge methodology, and unique philosophical perspective maximize participants’ learning experiences.
With renewed energy and knowledge, teachers trained at the Tennessee Arts Academy return to their classrooms better equipped to provide Tennessee students with the necessary skills and experiences to become creative and productive members of our work force and society.
The Tennessee Arts Academy consists of two divisions, one geared to elementary/lower middle school teachers (K–6) and the other designed for upper middle/high school teachers (7-12). Participants are grouped according to their specific teaching assignment into one of the three core TAA academic areas – music, theatre and dance, and visual art. The primary TAA participants include K–12 arts specialists, regular classroom teachers, librarians, and school and district level personnel.
A special session in Arts Leadership and Administration is provided for school administrators, supervisors, teacher-leaders, pre-service teachers, and university professors. Classroom teachers and librarians form the main constituency in the elementary theatre session, which focuses on techniques to enhance all subject areas across the curriculum through arts integration, creative drama, and movement. A unique Trio Track integrated arts session allows participants to attend daily individual classes in the three core areas of music, theatre, and visual art.
Two to three core classes a day are spent by participants in intensive study with a highly trained faculty of national and international scholars, professors, award-winning educators, and renowned artists assembled anew each year. Besides the core classes, there is an extraordinary daily array of world-renowned speakers, multiple artist performances, special mini-course choice sessions, networking opportunities, and social activities. The “TAA Experience” is a week like none other!
The Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization established to aid and assist in the growth and expansion of the Tennessee Arts Academy and Arts Academy America. The Foundation financially supports the goals and activities of the Academy through various programs and fundraising endeavors.
The TAA Foundation Board of Directors shares in the belief that educators trained at the Tennessee Arts Academy are better equipped and motivated to serve their students, significantly raise achievement levels, and effect positive and lasting change in classrooms throughout the state.
The board meets regularly and accepts both individual and corporate contributions.
The mission of the Tennessee Arts Academy is to provide exceptional quality professional development, arts training, support, encouragement, information, and renewal to K-12 teachers and to promote and honor the role of the arts in the lives of all Tennesseans. The Tennessee Arts Academy is a project of the Tennessee Department of Education and is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee. Major corporate, organizational, and individual funding support for the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation in 2023 is generously provided by
Significant sponsorship, scholarship, and event support for the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation in 2023 is generously provided by Stephen Coleman; Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee; Morel Enoch; Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation; Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation; Patricia Hudson; Lingner Gift Fund, in memory of Marilee Stites; Dean Pitchford; Amy Savell, in memory of Sara and Las Savell; Tabor Stamper; Theatrical Rights Worldwide; Jeanette and Bill Watkins; and Watkins College of Art at Belmont University.
The Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation is funded in part by Metro Arts / Nashville Office of Art + Culture.
Special thanks to the Robert K. & Anne H. Zelle Fund for the Fine and Performing Arts of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee for their funding support for the 2023 TAA Winter Retreat.
Click here to see how you can help continue the Tennessee Arts Commission’s arts education grant funding by buying a Specialty License Plate!
Tennessee Arts Academy • Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation