Teachers College, Columbia University's graduate school of education, health, and psychology, has announced a gift of nearly $6.1 million from Jody and John Arnhold to launch an institute dedicated to expanding the evidence base in dance education.
The Arnhold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy & Leadership will work to advance dance education in public schools, drive research that informs policy and practice aimed at eliminating disparities in dance education availability, and provide guidance and evidence-based recommendations for dance educators, school systems, universities, and cultural organizations. In 2016, the couple established the nation's first doctoral program in dance education at the school with a gift of more than $4.3 million.
Jody Arnhold earned a master's degree in dance education from Teachers College in 1973 and went on to teach dance in New York City public schools for twenty-five years. A longtime supporter of dance education, she previously founded the 92Y Dance Education Laboratory, served as co-chair of the New York City Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Dance (pre-K–12), and created a graduate dance education program at Hunter College.
"The Arnhold Institute at Teachers College is a critically important step toward realizing the vision to which I've devoted my career — a quality, sequential dance education for every child," said Arnhold.
"As a result of Jody's foresight, commitment, and generosity, there are now generations of new certified dance teachers teaching in K–12 schools and a growing corps of faculty at universities and colleges," said Barbara Bashaw, TC's Arnhold Professor of Practice, director of the Dance Education Program, and director of the Arnhold Institute for Dance Education Research, Policy & Leadership. "And now, because of the Arnhold Institute, there will be strong, trained voices using data to create a broader environment that supports and enhances the power of dance and dance education."