Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

NEA Announces New Jazz Program

The National Endowments for the Arts (NEA) recently announced the NEA Jazz in the Schools program. The program is intended to be an educational resource for high school social studies, U.S. history and music teachers and will allow teachers and students to study jazz as an indigenous American art form. The curriculum is produced by Jazz at the Lincoln Center and is supported by a $100,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation.

The five-unit, web-based curriculum and DVD toolkit features teacher tips, cross-curricular activities, assessment methods, a timeline poster and a CD and DVD that feature video and musical excepts, alongside digital print materials. A sampler containing the first curricular unit, which addressed the beginning of jazz and the role of African Americans in its development, is available now at, and the entire kit will be available in September.

“Following on the success of our Shakespeare in American Communities educational toolkit, we look forward to providing high-quality, free materials to teachers to help them fill their classrooms with jazz music and history,” NEA Chairman Dana Gioia said in a press release.

Wynton Marsalis (pictured), artistic director for Jazz at Lincoln Center, said, “Since our inception, Jazz at Lincoln Center has been committed to creating jazz listeners of all ages through education, concerts and broadcasts… We’re looking forward to reaching a whole new audience-our American history and social studies teachers and their students. Jazz music gives us a different, more homegrown mythology, with heroes like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. Jazz provides a voice for some of our nation’s most significant historic events.”

Originally Published