Partners in the Arts

Partners in the Arts was founded in 1994 to train educators to integrate the arts into their preK-12 curriculum and provide support to implement school-based projects created in our courses, workshops, and professional development sessions.

The program helps teachers create a transformative learning environment that engages all students, regardless of the subject area, and allows teachers to use their personal passions and skills in the classroom.

Partners in the Arts includes public schools in the City of Richmond and in Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, and Powhatan counties, in addition to a number of private schools. The program is overseen by the associate dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies and with guidance from a board of advisors.

What We Do

Partners in the Arts (PIA) is the Richmond region’s premier resource for arts integrated learning and teaching in preK-12 classrooms. The center’s signature program is the Joan Oates Institute for Partners in the Arts, itself a component of the Arts Integrated Learning Certificate.

PIA provides a spectrum of services to regional educators through the support of the PIA Consortium, which consists of schools and educators in the City of Richmond and in Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, and Powhatan counties, in addition to a number of private schools.

PIA Services

PIA offers the following educational services to educators and teaching artists in Richmond and surrounding areas. Through the generosity of the PIA Consortium, Consortium members receive discounts for most services listed below.

Professional Learning and Instructional Coaching

The following services for educators and teaching artists build upon one another to enable teachers to engage to any extent possible, from individual workshops to earning an Arts Integrated Learning Certificate. Programs may be offered remotely or on the University of Richmond campus, and may also be provided as contract training through prior arrangement with the director.

  • Workshops
  • Modules (consisting of several workshops)
  • Courses (consisting of several modules)
  • Certificate (consisting of several courses)
Consulting in Arts Integration

Designed for division and school leaders and educators alike, consultation is available in the following formats:

  • Individual
  • Group (educators, artists and leaders)
  • Entire schools
  • School divisions
Implementing Arts Integrated Projects

May be developed through the Joan Oates Institute course, Foundations of Arts Integration, or may be designed through consultation or professional learning experiences.

Funding may be available for planning, implementing and sustaining projects through PIA Engaging Creative Thinkers (ECT) project awards.

PIA Consortium

The PIA Consortium consists of educators and schools in the following Richmond-area public school divisions:

The Consortium also consists of several independent schools in the region.

Members of the Consortium contribute funds annually to support the work of Partners in the Arts. As a result, educators and administrators in each school and division are eligible to participate in PIA programs at a discount or, in some cases, free of charge.

Division Arts Coordinators

Arts coordinators and their designees serve as primary contacts for PIA programs.

Division Contact Phone
Chesterfield County Michael Gettings (804) 594-1776
Chesterfield County Robin Yohe (804) 594-1772
Hanover County Jennifer Stackpole (804) 365-4546
Hanover County Barry Flowe (804) 365-4563
Henrico County Michael C. Kalafatis (804) 652-3756
Henrico County Rick Tinsley (804) 652-3759
Powhatan County Sandra Lynch (804) 598-5700
Richmond City Christie-Jo Adams (804) 780-6837


Advisory Board

The Partners in the Arts (PIA) Board of Advisors provides guidance to the PIA Director in collaboration with the Associate Dean of the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.

The work of Partners in the Arts is overseen by the director, supported by a program coordinator and advised by its board of advisors. The SPCS Associate Dean for Academic Affairs serves as an ex-officio member of the board, representing the School’s interests in the management of the program.