Des Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative honored for enriching St. Louis arts community

Robert Nordman is the director of the Des Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative, which was selected by the Arts and Education Council to receive a 2014 St. Louis Arts Award in the category of “Arts Collaboration.” (Photo by August Jennewein)

The E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative has been recognized for enriching St. Louis’ arts and cultural community.

The collaborative was selected by the Arts and Education Council to receive a 2014 St. Louis Arts Awards in the category of “Arts Collaboration.”

“The award is a significant and much-appreciated recognition of the work of the E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative over the past 17 years,” said Robert Nordman, the director of the collaborative and the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Music Education at UMSL.

Also recognized for his leadership is E. Louis Lankford, the E. Des Lee Endowed Professor in Art Education at UMSL. The collaborative is part of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision, which is administered through UMSL.

The collaborative has grown from three school districts to 15 and from three to 17 arts institutions, which provide a wide range of in-school and off-campus fine arts learning experiences for students plus professional development opportunities for fine arts teachers.

Nordman and Lankford were recognized for their vision, leadership and generosity in linking key organizations, schools, and individuals to facilitate creative arts programming and engagement opportunities for children, teachers, families and the community.

“The collaborative is an ideal example of UMSL’s commitment to civic engagement through community partnership,” said Patricia Zahn, director of the Des Lee Collaborative Vision and manager of community outreach and engagement at UMSL. “The program really represents the spirit of Des Lee who inspired us to go beyond traditional academic activities to make a difference in the community.”

She said students, teachers and the St. Louis region have greatly benefitted from the combined efforts of the cultural organizations and schools in the E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative.

“This recognition is a fitting tribute to this valuable program,” she added.

The E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative at UMSL was established in 1996. It works in partnership with a myriad of St Louis arts organizations, including Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Dance St. Louis and the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries, among many others.

The DLCV brings together key educational, cultural, governmental and social service institutions to establish programs and share resources that benefit the St. Louis community. This is accomplished through the collaboration of more than 30 endowed professors with over 100 partner and community organizations both in the St. Louis region and worldwide.

The St. Louis Arts Awards is the preeminent award ceremony honoring individuals who achieve a legacy of artistic excellence, and organizations and businesses that enrich St. Louis’ arts and cultural community. The awards ceremony will be held Jan. 20 at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis.


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