Pictured (from the left) is: Dr. Keely Camden, Dean for the College of Education at West Liberty University; Dr. Bill Baronak, Dean for the College of Arts and Communication at West Liberty University; Lou Karas, Executive Director of AEI
Morgantown WV (June 2011) The
Appalachian Education Initiative and West Liberty University are pleased to
announce a new partnership which will result in the creation of an arts and
education center on the West Liberty campus.
The Center will be a collaboration between AEI and the Colleges of
Education and Arts and Communication at the University. The Center will provide programs, resources
and services for artists, educators, West Liberty students, and others and
focus on the arts, education, and the integration of the disciplines. Funding for the Center and the partnership
has been provided through a $166,000 grant to West Liberty University from the
Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
"We are pleased to have the
opportunity to partner with West Liberty University," said AEI Executive
Director Lou Karas. "This
collaboration will not only provide both AEI and West Liberty University with
access to new resources, it will also provide opportunities to expand programs
and services to support the arts and arts education in West Virginia
Dr. Keely Camden, Dean for the
College of Education, and Dr. Bill Baronak, Dean for the College of Arts and
Communication at West Liberty University, co-authors with Karas on the grant,
are working to involve faculty, staff, students, and the community in this collaborative
effort. "We are privileged to be working
with Lou Karas and AEI and are most grateful to the Benedum Foundation for
their support of this collaboration and center," said Dr. Keely Camden. Many of our faculty, staff, and students are
already actively engaged in the planning process, and they are very excited for
future projects, grants, and professional development," said Dr. Bill
Baronak. The College of Arts and
Communication houses programs in Art Education, Music Education, Theater,
Digital Media Design, Graphic Design, Broadcasting, Communication Studies,
Sports Broadcasting, and Documentary Films.
The College of Arts and Communication partners closely with the College
of Education on Music and Art Education certification programs. A new proposal
for Theater Education with teacher certification is being written for state
AEI will move its office from
Morgantown to the West Liberty University campus this summer. The organization will continue its statewide
work, including its relationships with the Kennedy Center Alliance for
Arts Education Network and VSA, the international organization for the arts and
disabilities from its new location.
Planning for the new Center is
already underway and will continue through the summer and fall. For more information about the new partnership,
contact Ms. Karas at firstname.lastname@example.org or
The Appalachian Education
Initiative (AEI) is
an arts education intermediary, serving as an information broker and
partnership builder throughout West Virginia.
The organization was founded by Jennifer Francis Alkire and her father,
Michael Francis, in 2001 to promote the importance of quality arts in the
public school curriculum and to provide support to teachers, artists,
administrators, parents and others who are working to provide quality arts
programs to West Virginia students.
AEI is the West Virginia
affiliate of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network and a
partner with VSA, the international organization for the arts and disabilities.
For more information about AEI, go to www.aeiarts.org.
About West Liberty
Liberty University, a public coeducational school and West Virginia's oldest
institution of higher education, is situated on 290 hilltop acres in a rural
West Virginia setting just an hour from Pittsburgh, PA. A satellite campus, located at The Highlands
Shopping Complex, sits just off Interstate 70, minutes from the Pennsylvania
and Ohio borders in West Virginia's northern panhandle.
in 1837, more than 2,700 students are enrolled.
While elementary education and secondary educationare the most selected
majors, WLU also provides a variety of other majors including digital media
design, hospitality and tourism management, and dental hygiene. With the
opening of the newly-built Media Arts Center, West Liberty students now have
access to a television studio, recording studio, and digital media labs.
University consists of five Colleges: Gary E. West College of Business, the
College of Liberal Arts, the College of Arts and Communication, the College of
Education, and the College of Science.
WLU also offers a graduate program, Arts in Education.For more information about West Liberty University, go to www.westliberty.edu.