HEC Media features innovative new website from Des Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative

by | Dec 6, 2021

The website serves as a digital resource for educators and students to access arts videos, master classes and other tools from local arts organizations.
Des Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative resources page

The E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative’s website is a digital resources for educators, students and parents featuring arts videos, lesson plans, master classes and other content from St. Louis’ arts community. (Screenshots)

A newly launched E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative website is helping teachers, students and parents connect with resources from the richly talented St. Louis arts community, and HEC Media recently featured the site on its fine arts show, “Spotlight,” broadcast on KPLR (Channel 11) on Nov. 28.

The innovative website is a digital resource where educators and students can find fine arts videos, lessons plans, master classes and other downloadable teacher tools and student activities from a wide range of local fine arts organizations.

Michael V. Smith interviewed by HEC-TV

Michael V. Smith, the director of the E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative, was interviewed on a recent broadcast of the HEC Media show “Spotlight” discussing the new resources available on the collaborative’s website.

Michael V. Smith serves as the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Music Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and is the director of the Fine Arts Education Collaborative. He told HEC Media the new site was developed in part as a response to COVID-19 and the challenges it created.

“We really needed to think hard about how to help our community during the pandemic,” Smith said. “Putting these resources online helps not only the teachers but our families. It’s not just the teachers who provide education anymore. Families need to be involved. They’re involved with their students lessons at home, and they need resources.”

The content has been created by organizations such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jazz St. Louis, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Metro Theater Company, St. Louis Ballet, The Sheldon and the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation.

“I think I have about 18 or 19 Fine Arts partners, and we’re a lively group. And we just work really hard at providing access to quality, fine arts experiences, particularly for populations that would be students who don’t generally have the opportunity to go to Powell Hall or the Jazz Bistro and so on,” Smith told HEC Media. “I think it’s just the opportunity to collaborate and dream and think way outside the box and to connect with the community in ways that professors generally just don’t have the charge, really, to do. That’s what that’s my job is to look out into the community.”

The E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Education Collaborative was established at UMSL in 1996 with a mission to develop and expand a national model for collaborative efforts that serve the advancement of fine arts education through broad, collective impact structures. It currently works with 15 school districts throughout the St. Louis region.


Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik