Organizational History of the Florida Art Education Association - 1952 to 2004

The Florida Art Education Association had its beginnings in October 1952, when Julia Schwartz and Hal Sutton of the young Art Education Department at Florida State University encouraged and worked with those art educators who thought it would be helpful for a few art teachers throughout the state to organize and meet once a year. In 1952, the first state conference was held in Orlando under the name of the Florida Art Teachers Association. The attendance was small, but enough to get officers elected and statewide interest generated.

In the decade that followed, the number of art teachers grew statewide and so did the organization. The members of FATA merged with a small group of African-American art teachers and the first state-wide integrated education association changed its name to the Florida Art Education Association. In 1964, as a result of pressure and needs demonstrated by the organization, the State Department of Education appointed the first State Art Consultant, Neil Mooney. In September of 1971, FAEA was the first state association in the nation to become unified with the National Art Education Association.

Developments in the 70’s and 80’s included the adoption of a new constitution and bylaws, incorporation as a state non-profit organization, approval of a new Division of Museum Education, recognition of a new category for student members, the publication of a quarterly newspaper, Fresh Paint, and a statewide membership directory. For 35 years, every elementary and secondary school, college and university, both public and private, throughout Florida, has felt the work of FAEA. Membership in FAEA grew over the years making FAEA one of the five largest state art education organizations in the U.S.

In June of 1989, FAEA became the first state to employ an Executive Director to manage the day-to-day operation of the association. Writing grants and administering special projects of the association, the Executive Director led professional arts administration to an organization, which had heretofore been the product of countless volunteer hours.

In 1992, FAEA created a Middle and High School Division from the former Secondary Division, giving voice to a group of teachers heretofore caught in the “middle” and began publication of Wet Paint. FAEA continued to be responsive to the needs of its teachers, the profession and to arts education through involvement in the Florida Arts for a Complete Education (ACE) project. Providing advocacy materials and know-how and being active in the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, FAEA was on the leading edge in the cause of visual arts education in the state of Florida and throughout the country.

In 1997 the national climate of downsizing also affected FAEA. The Executive Director position was dissolved to refocus resources on member benefits. Board members assumed the job responsibilities of the Executive Director. In 1998, the Board’s new 5 year plan consisted of Implementation Teams to accomplish the responsibilities or Initiatives which assisted in attaining our FAEA goal of implementation of the Sunshine State Standards.

The late 1990’s saw a shift to internal reorganization of the Board of Directors, an emphasis on technology with the appointment of a board position, and the creation of the first website for the organization - faea.org. FAEA members worked on the development of the national art standards and the development of the state art standards. Emphasis was placed on board leadership development and strategic planning in alignment with the NAEA plan.

The years 2000 to 2004 FAEA experienced the addition of Summer Regional Institutes offered to the membership statewide; workshops with a multicultural focus tied to the permanent collection at the Harn Museum in Gainesville. FAEA employed consultants and staff to address the day to day management needs of the organization. This included on-line data collection systems to address membership, electronic record keeping, communications, and conference registration procedures. Arts Advocacy and Literacy in the Arts are now a major focus of the Florida Art Education Association.