Founded in 1989

Arts for a Complete Education (ACE) began in 1989 as a collaborative effort among the Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, represented by Valerie Ohlsson, Arts in Education; the Florida Department of Education represented by the late June Hinckley, Fine Arts Specialist; and Dr. Mary Palmer, Professor, University of Central Florida. With funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Arts in Basic Education Grant Program, over 150 arts, arts education and community leaders crafted a strategic plan for arts education in Florida. This plan was vetted through 12 public meetings in which over 1,200 citizens participated throughout the state. ACE merged with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education in 1994 to serve as the statewide umbrella organization for arts education in Florida.



2016 The Careers in the Arts Workshop Series was strengthened.  Events were held at Full Sail University, Ringling College of Art & Design, and Florida State University.  FAAE invited leadership from the state arts associations to collaborate on the development of a strategic plan that would increase equity and access to high-quality arts education for all Florida students.  Phase 1 of the plan was completed in May 2016.   Fourteen schools received the Florida Arts Model Schools designation.  The annual Summit was held in Daytona Beach with over 200 participants attending. 
2015 The Careers in the Arts Workshop Series was begun.  Events were held at UCF-Valencia and The University of Florida’s Digital Worlds Institute.  The Florida Arts Model Schools and Partnership Program was begun.  From a pool of over eighty applicants, fifteen schools received the designation.


“Arts for Life!” program, a legacy program of Mrs. Columba Bush, was moved to the management of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. ACE/ Florida Alliance for Arts Education invited to work with advisory board.


Though a partnership with the Museum of Florida History and The TREX program of The Department of State, lesson materials were developed to support the Uncle Monday and the other Florida Folk Tales.

In collaboration with the University of Central Florida Department of Digital Media, a full length animation of one of the folk tales was completed.


Florida First Lady Columba Bush’s Arts Initiative re-branded as “Arts for Life!”

“Florida History through Art: The Middle School Murals Project” draws outstanding essays and works of art based on student research emulating Still’s work.

Legislative Leader Award is developed.


Office moved from Orlando to Tallahassee and re-structured as a means of sharing resources and services, office moved back to Orlando in 2007.


Under leadership of FAAE, House Speaker Johnnie Byrd, and June Hinckley (Florida Department of Education), in cooperation with Melane Byrd, "Florida History Through Art" was begun with Florida artist Christopher Still . The project was supported by lesson plans developed by visual arts, social studies, and language arts teachers. Interactive Murals CD developed and distributed across the state.


Coalitions development strengthened.


  • State adopts Grade Level Expectation (GLEs) for music and art education.

  • Doris Leeper Award for arts education developed.

  • Arts Achieve Awards Program for schools developed.


  • Established Senate President's Student Art Exhibit in Senate Office Building.

  • Legislation signed by the Governor to include the arts as a core credit within the 19 credits required for graduation, and in student GPA.


First Lady Columba Bush initiated "First Lady's Arts Recognition" Initiative - resulted in increased state funding


Alliance develops a Business Plan with support from the Denali initiative on Social Enterprise, a program of the Manchester Craftsman Guild


"Creative Solutions Model Programs in Florida Youth Development Through the Arts" document published.


"Youth Development Through the Arts" Leadership Conference in partnership with the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and VSA arts of Florida.


Alliance Action Agenda for Arts Education adopted and endorsed by 18 statewide arts, education, and social service organizations (Annual Legislative Program).


  • Arts and the Very Special Learner - Partnership research project with VSA arts of Florida.

  • The Arts and the Integrated Curriculum document published.

  • Florida's Action Agenda document published.

  • Florida Intersections document published.

  • Alliance received Strategic Planning grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


ACE Coalition Development Grant : Teacher Assistance Program

FAAE Homepage development


ACE Coalition Regional Forum held on Student Success


FAAE implements Kennedy Center's Creative Ticket for Student Success campaign tour in Florida Alliance for Arts Education


  • Florida Higher Education Arts Network (FHEAN) conference held in partnership with ACE/FAAE

  • Implementation of standards within school reform

  • Sunshine State Standards adopted with arts education included as a core subject


Goals 2000 Regional Workshop series in partnership with Florida Department of Education and Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs


  • Florida was the first state to endorse the National Standards for Arts Education - ACE led the effort; role within blueprint and Goals 2000 adopted.

  • ACE merged with FAAE (Florida Alliance for Arts Education) to build stronger network for arts education; ACE Coalition model established and handbook produced.

  • The Role of the Arts and in Dropout Prevention (research/document project)

  • Technology and Arts Education (document published)

  • Education Commissioner Frank Brogan was actively involved with ACE; provided a close connection with the Governor's Office.


Arts Education Recruitment of Minorities (research/document project)


ACE Teacher Incentive Program established; included published anthology for many years


State funds to grants were cut , but because ACE had federal monies from the Kennedy Center, funds to ACE were maintained


ACE/FAAE publishes Children and the Arts: early intervention arts programs

Funding came from the Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Department of Education


ACExpressions newsletter distributed statewide


ACE Day at the Capitol held; was the first annual arts education event in Tallahassee


Task Force formed to develop an Arts Education Strategic Plan for Florida

  • 100+ people representing education, the arts, and communities worked together to develop the plan

  • Presented at 10 meetings throughout the state - all input was considered

  • Plan was revised and finalized


ACE (Arts for a Complete Education) was formed


AISBEG (Arts in Basic Education Grant) - funding flowed from the NEA (National Endowment of the Arts) through the Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs - a collaboration among the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of State/Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Arts Council.


FAAE (Florida Alliance for Arts Education) established as a non-profit organization