DARTS: The Go To Site for Arts and Special Education


President's Message


Welcome to the Division of the Visual and Performing Arts (DARTS) website! As the newest Division of CEC (and with one of the longest names!) we are excited to have a home providing arts educators and special educators to get together, share ideas and advance the opportunity for all children to learn through and with the arts.

As a new division we are working hard to get the word out and grow our membership. If you are a special educator and/or intervention specialist, please tell the arts educators in your building of this new home for them. We are ready willing and able to provide information and support in their vital work. Our quarterly newsletter provides inspiration as well as updates on the happenings in the arts education world. In our work in conjunction with VSA, the International Organization on Arts and Disability, we unite to support the annual conference, VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education. This event provides participants with quality professional development focused on arts educators needs as they work to improve their practice for the benefit of all their students. You will find information on this event and other helpful information on this website.

I encourage you to reach out to us through our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/cecdarts/). This provides an active forum for an exchange of ideas. Click in and post your questions and concerns, and let us join with you to celebrate your successes! Keep checking in to our website for updates on the development of our DARTS journal under the direction of Jane Burnette (https://www.facebook.com/groups/cecdarts/). And, of course, join us on this adventure as we work together to advance engaged, meaningful and transforming arts experience for all our students.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns as we travel this exciting road together.

Juliann B. Dorff 
President DARTS

Our Mission

  • Advocate for arts education for individuals with exceptionalities. 
  • Advance experiences with visual and performing arts for individuals with exceptionalities. 
  • Foster collaboration among special educators, arts educators, arts therapists, and national arts education organizations. 
  • Promote a professional community of educators in the fields of visual and performing arts education, arts therapy, and community arts organizations who work with individuals with exceptionalities. 
  • Encourage research about and disseminate information related to exemplary arts education for individuals with exceptionalities.

New Publications

Jean Crockett and Sharon Malley are pleased to announce that the Handbook of Arts Education and Special Education is available. The volume brings together, for the first time in a single reference volume, policy, research, and
practices in special education and arts education synthesized to inform stakeholders across a broad spectrum of education.The handbook encompasses arts education for students with disabilities, from pre-K through transition to postsecondary education and careers as well as community arts education. Particular attention is given to conceptual foundations; research-based practices; professional standards; students' cognitive, artistic, and social growth; career education; and future directions for research and practice in special education and arts education.
The book contains 22 chapters by invited azuthors who are exceptional leaders in arts education and special education within the US.  Our hope is that this collection of chapters will help to link research with the practice of engaging young people with disabilities in learning through the arts in their schools and communities. The book is available at the following website: www.routledge.com/9781138669598.  It is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and in hardback, paperback, and e-book.

Arts Organizations Links

DARTS Events

Be An Early Bird! 
Start Planning your DARTS Session for the 2019 CEC National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Featured Articles

Building an Inviting Atmosphere Through Inclusive Live Theatre:
From “I Can’t” to “We Will”

by Brad Walkenhorst, PhD     Article


Kennedy Center VSA

VSA Intersections 
2019 Annual Conference 
October 25-28 2019, Irvine, CA
2018 Mini Conference
December 7-8 2018, Columbus, OH 
2019 Mini Conference
New Orleans, LA (March)
Stay tuned for details. 

The VSA and Accessibility at John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts presents:

VSA Papers 4

VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Exemplary Programs and Approaches Professional Papers. Volume 4

Across art form, disability, educational setting, and age group, these papers address best practices, model programs, and rigorous research. The authors represent master teachers whose decades of classroom service provide us with important insights about collaboration to improve instruction, university faculty preparing the next generation of arts and special education teachers, community-based educators, researchers, and more. Together, this volume presents practices and approaches that make good on the promise of our field: to support the meaningful engagement and learning of students with disabilities in and through the arts.


DARTS Membership Benefits 

Free subscription to DARTS News.

Teaching techniques and adaptations to make your teaching easier and more successful.

Networking opportunities.

Discounts to selected conferences.

Click to Join Now

Volume 3 of Intersections: Exemplary Programs and Approaches Professional Papers Series is now available on the Kennedy Center website at http://education.kennedy-center.org/pdf/Professional_Papers_Vol3.pdf

Reprinting Articles / Photo Credits

Article Use: Feel free to reprint our articles, but please give credit to the authors and to DARTS. The content is to be printed in its entirety; additions, deletions or changes in the text, title or illustrations may not be made.

Citations Format:  Author's Last Name and initials. Title of article. Reprinted from the DARTS website (date), http://www.community.cec.sped.org/DARTS.

Photo Credits: Posted photos courtesy of Burst, Pexels, and/or Unsplash free stock photos.