The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education is a consortium of arts education associations that represent dance, theatre, music and visual art. By joining together, these organizations in Missouri speak with a powerful and unified voice about the importance of the arts in Missouri schools.
On Wednesday, March 12, 2014, the Mo. Alliance for Arts Education sponsored a Fine Arts Education Day at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. This was the 10th year for the event at the Missouri State Capitol. Schools and other education-based organizations participated in the event. Vocal, instrumental, dance groups and theatrical presentations were held in the First Floor Capitol Rotunda and the South Steps of the Capitol building.
The Kansas City Branch of the ESU set up an information table in the Rotunda along with other organizations supporting the day's activities. One of the featured schools was the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in Kansas City. Makenna Lockhart, a junior at Paseo Academy, was the ESU's First Place winner in the 2014 Shakespeare Competition and she performed her Shakespeare monologue and sonnet during the Fine Arts Education Day at the Missouri Capitol.
Jeff Schnabel, president of ESU Kansas City Branch, noted, "Makenna's monologue of the character of Phoebe from As You Like It received a big round of applause from the large group of teachers and students in the audience." "She not only represented one of many talented students from Paseo Academy but also brought attention to the English-Speaking Union as our First Place Winner with her recitation."
David Luby, Paseo Academy's sponsoring teacher for the ESU Shakespeare Competition brought several students, in addition to Makenna, to perform at the Fine Arts Education Day.
Ben Martin, who is on ESU's board of directors, is the Executive Director of the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education and was the emcee for the Fine Arts Education Day activities. Throughout the day's activities, students, teachers and members of the public are invited and encouraged to visit their school district's State Representative's and Senator's offices and stress the importance of the arts in Missouri schools and express the need for their State legislators to support arts programs.