September 7, 2018
The Larry Hurt Excellence in Art Education Award has always been presented to an educator — until now.
Edison School of the Arts 47 is the first school to be honored with the award, and Nathan Tuttle is overjoyed and proud of his staff, students and community. The award is given for exemplary service, creativity and passion in developing and educating young minds through the arts in the K-12 school system.
Edison, formerly Nicholson Performing Arts Academy at School 70, is an IPS innovation school for students in Grades K-8. The school boasts more than 500 students.
When asked what the award means, Tuttle (Edison’s head of school, CEO) said:
“I think this means that Edison is doing great work. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” he said. “I think the data shows that there is evidence to support that arts education improves academics. It’s too bad we don’t have as many outlets for this type of education as we want, but it allows Edison to be a true destination and true focal point for Indianapolis.”
The ARTI award was presented to Tuttle and his staff during the 32nd Annual Start with Art luncheon on Friday, August 31. The event is the kickoff to the annual fall arts season.
Although Edison received the award, Butler University professor Henry Leck actually nominated Tuttle to receive the honor. In his nomination letter, Leck mentioned the growth at Edison and how Tuttle transformed the school into a “true arts school.”
Leck noted Edison’s:
- Graphic design lab boasting 27-inch Mac computers
- State-of-the-art Dance Room
- Black Box Theatre
- Insulated instrumental practice rooms
- Two Visual Arts rooms with kilns and construction areas, complete with power tools for set design
- Multiple percussion, string, woodwind and brass instruments
- Cutting-edge interactive piano lab
Leck also praised the training program implemented by Tuttle for Edison teachers to learn how to successfully integrate arts education into the school’s core curriculum for “a deeper educational experience.” The program is through The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
While not on the selection committee, Ernest Disney-Britton, director of grant services and education partnerships for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, believes Edison was chosen for the arts award because of its commitment to arts integration as a method to increase student academic achievement.
“They are committed to a long-term plan to train every single teacher in their school: math, reading, as well as dance and music, to be arts integration experts,” said Disney-Britton. “They are the only school in central Indiana to make that commitment for the entire school.”
Congratulations Edison School of the Arts 47!