ArtWorks seeks to make the arts personally meaningful to elementary school students and teachers through an integrated program of art-making, viewing live performances and exhibits, and achieving understanding through inquiry and reflection.

ArtWorks uses an aesthetic education methodology developed at Lincoln Center Institute in New York City.  Designed to awaken the imagination, ArtWorks’ teaching methodology promotes:

  • Active engagement in learning
  • Attention to differences in learning styles
  • Self expression and respect for others’ opinions
  • Student involvement in authorship of their work, not consumption of others’ ideas
  • Self-esteem and self-empowerment through pride based on achievement

ArtWorks provides aesthetic education training to local artists in the fields of music, dance, poetry, theater and the visual arts.  These trained Teaching Artists form the artistic faculty that provide the classroom workshops and accompany students to poetry readings, museum exhibits, concerts, plays, operas and dance performances.

Funding for ArtWorks is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, City of Santa Fe, Melville Hankins Family Foundation, Frost Foundation, Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, Susan K. Black Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation, Norma Green Foundation,  and generous individuals in our community. Significant in-kind support is provided by Santa Fe Public Schools, local museums, performing arts organizations, and performing arts venues.


Professional Development for Teachers

ArtWorks provides intensive Summer Arts Institutes and school-year Professional Development Workshops for Santa Fe public school teachers and administrators.  The hands-on training opportunities introduce teachers to Santa Fe’s extraordinary arts resources—museums and performing arts organizations—and to the inquiry-based teaching methodology upon which ArtWorks activities are based.  For details on upcoming training opportunities, contact ArtWorks Program Director Lisa Arnold, 505-474-0240 or

What teachers say about ArtWorks:

“Each encounter my students have with ArtWorks truly opens doors for them and lights a fire within.  It is not only an awareness of the arts, but ArtWorks awakens in them an excitement about their existence and the possibilities ahead,” Chaparral Elementary School Teacher.

I learned more in the ArtWorks Summer Arts Institute than I did my entire college art career,” Salazar Elementary School Teacher.

School Partnership Program

Teachers who participate in the School Partnership Program must first attend a Summer Arts Institute.  ArtWorks serves approximately 1,800 students each year and almost 100 classrooms.  Each participating teacher chooses two art activities for his/her class to participate in each year—usually one performance and one museum exhibit.

What students say about ArtWorks:

We really enjoyed your workshop because you (ArtWorks Teaching Artist) didn’t give us tests or sit around and blab away . . . you taught us that we could learn and have fun at the same time,” Turquoise Trail School student.

ArtWorks allows your mind to be blown wide open,” Eldorado Community School student.