Education professor to promote arts in education through task force

As a longtime educator, Jill Fox has traveled around the state, the country and even internationally to speak about the benefits and importance of the arts in education.

Now, the University of Houston-Victoria education professor will have the opportunity to promote the arts as a new member of the Arts Education Task Force of the Texas Cultural Trust.

Jill Fox

“I’m very excited about the work that is being done by the group and the opportunity to work with people who are committed to the arts,” Fox said. “I look forward to meeting more people from around the state who are helping to make sure all children have access to the arts.”

The Texas Cultural Trust is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to be the leading voice for the arts in education, advocacy and economic impact in Texas, spotlighting the artistic excellence of Texas. The trust has several programs and initiatives to help promote their mission, including the Art Can initiative and the Texas Women for the Arts program.

The task force was established in 2018 to evaluate arts education access in Texas public schools.

Fox is one of about 30 members of the task force. The members represent different parts of the state and have various backgrounds in the visual arts, including dance, music, drama and art.

Fox has been an educator for about 25 years and is the author of the textbook, “Art and Creative Development for Young Children,” which is in its eighth edition. She teaches the course “Creativity and the Fine Arts” and has led camps and served as a keynote speaker at workshops on the topic.

Fred Litton

Fox said she is glad to bring her research background in the arts to the group. One of the areas she is particularly interested in is how art impacts cognitive, social and emotional development in children, as well as best practices in visual art for children.

“Here at UHV, we have talented faculty with a breadth of expertise in many topics,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “Dr. Fox is a long-term faculty member, and serving on this task force should prove to be beneficial to the children in the public schools in our area.”

The task force first met in January and will meet again in June, Fox said. The goal of the group this year is to make recommendations about what can be changed at the state and local levels to increase access to the arts in public schools and communities.

“I am pleased to be part of this a worthwhile organization with such a worthy goal,” Fox said.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Amber Aldaco