Sahar Javedani: Why Arts Education Matters Nationally and in the Iranian American Community?

By PAAIA Staff

March 23, 2011, New York, NY – Did you know that young people who participate in the arts for at least nine hours a week and for at least one full year are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement?  Arts Education Advocate, Sahar Javedani, knows this statistic and is hoping to bring more awareness to Arts Education Programs – both through her work as a choreographer and administrator and by advocating for arts education nationally.

New York-based Javedani, Director of Educational Programming at Pentacle (Danceworks, Inc.) and Artistic Director of compani javedani, was recently elected to the Arts Education Council of the Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading non-profit organization for advancing the arts.  The Arts Education Council represents the Arts Education Network—a segment of the professional members of Americans for the Arts, who work to improve access to and quality of arts education.  The Council provides guidance on the development and execution of programs and services that meet the needs of the Arts Education Network.

 “Sahar Javedani brings expertise, skill, and passion to [the Art Education Council]. She will ensure that arts education thrives in our nation’s schools and communities,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

 As part of the Pentacle team, Javedani uses her numerous talents and vast experience to strengthen educational programming for dance industry’s future generations of performers, technicians, administrators, and enthusiasts.  As a choreographer, teacher, and arts administrator, she is well aware of the positive impact of arts on a young person’s academic and personal performance.  Javedani has a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance, Theater, and French from Hollins University.  Javedani’s family left Tehran before the revolution in 1978 and relocated to southern California when she was very young.  Her dance theater company, compani javedani, is largely influenced by the rich art culture of Persia.

 “We have performed many pieces that share the beauty and richness of Persian culture.  My company’s mission is to integrate Persian culture and arts education, bringing it to all patrons, but especially to the Iranian American community,” Javedani explained to PAAIA.  “We, as Iranian Americans, need to encourage our youth that there are viable careers as artists, dancers, singers as well as doctors, lawyers and bankers.  We must not discourage our young people from expressing creativity in or out of school.  Our community needs more creative thinkers.”

 Along with other fellow Arts Education advocates, Javedani is heading to Capitol Hill this spring to speak to legislators regarding the importance of funding arts programs in schools and communities.  She is also preparing more programming focused on career development that will bring more awareness of the need for arts education.   

For additional information about the Americans for the Arts or to learn more about the importance of arts education in schools, please click here.

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