FRANKFORT, Ky. — Some of the state’s most influential leaders in business and education will meet Sept. 11 to discuss the role arts education plays in preparing Kentucky’s young people for the workforce. The forum at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History is sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council in recognition of National Arts Education Week, this year celebrated the week of Sept. 8-14.

A morning panel will address the importance of creativity and innovation in the workplace with business representatives who understand the connection between arts education and the development of critical thinking. The panel will focus on what businesses are looking for in a 21st-century workforce and how arts education can help develop those skills.

“Kentucky businesses need employees who are adept at critical thinking, analysis, problem solving and navigating a complex world,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. “Research shows a solid education that includes the arts can significantly help children develop these skills.”

Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. with a presentation by Tom Shelton, superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools. A panel discussion will follow with business leaders:

  • Kris Kimel, president of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation and founder of IdeaFestival
  • Susan Brewer, human resources director, Gray Construction
  • Rick Hesterberg, manager of external affairs, Toyota Motor Manufacturing
  • Representative from Big Ass Fans

Elected officials, arts organizations and their arts education directors, community leaders, artists, and business leaders are encouraged to attend to discover the role they can play in shaping tomorrow’s workforce through the arts. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required and is online at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Opportunities/CreativityInnovationReg.htm.

The address of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History is 100 W. Broadway, Frankfort, Ky. For more information on the forum, contact Jean St. John at jean.stjohn@ky.gov or toll free at 888-833-2787.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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