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The Power of Art: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD

Posted on: Feb 28, 2013

The Power of Art is a national competition that celebrates the excellence in arts education and recognizes innovative teaching methods. The Power of Art is a partnership between The Lab School of Washington, D.C. and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution. The Lab School of Washington has been providing a college-preparatory academic experience for students from the first grade through the twelfth grade, who have ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities for over 45 years. The Lab School believes that the most effective education for children with learning disabilities combines multi-sensory instruction, experiential learning, and an arts-infused curriculum. Robert Rauschenberg was a contemporary American artist that worked in various mediums including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, and performance. The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation was created in 1990, with a mission in the arts to create works for organizations involved in matters of world hunger and education.


The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation supports the Power of Art competition; in 1985 Robert Rauschenberg was honored at The Lab School of Washington’s first Outstanding Learning Disabled Achievement Awards Gala. In his adulthood Rauschenberg was diagnosed with dyslexia, and had a desire to emphasize the importance and benefit of art education, particularly those students in classrooms with learning disabilities and ADHD. Every year the competition begins with the selection of thirty-two art teachers from a large pool of applicants, who work with students with learning disabilities and ADHD. During the three-day workshop the winners will participate in a one-day workshop where they will learn the ways in which art can be used to teach academic skills to students with learning disabilities and ADHD. It also provides the selected teachers with original ways to teach, and how to incorporate the arts into existing curriculum. The three-day workshop in Washington, D.C. marks the 20th anniversary of The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and The Lab School of Washington.


Applications for art teachers interested in participating in The Power of Art are due by Friday March 8, 2013. Information on The Power of Art and applications can be found at http://www.labschool.org/powerofart . The Power of The Art: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD will be held, April 25- April 28, 2013.


The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation has a very important and pivotal aspect to their vision, where they state, “ We will strive to encourage a dialogue that is a voice for positive change.” The Power of Art is a true reflection of a positive change in art education. Highlighting the merit of arts-infused curriculums within classrooms, and providing art teachers with tools and resources to better understand the effectiveness that art education can have for children with learning disabilities.