When COVID-19 caused all Missouri schools to shut down in March of 2020, there was an understandable impact on arts education programs statewide. New safety protocols were needed in all arts subject areas requiring the use of face coverings, cleaning and disinfection procedures, and minimization of human contact.
The Missouri School Boards Association created a document of "MSBA Pandemic Recovery Considerations" Rallying the troops, executive director Ben Martin contacted member and affiliate organizations to construct an appendix to MSBA's "living" document helping to reimagine arts classes for safety and continuity of instruction. Contributions included alternative means of instruction, providing ways of mitigating the dangers of large class sizes and the use of shared materials. The studies which provided evidence that the transmission of the disease via airborne contaminants had a particularly profound impact on choral and band programs. The MSBA work served as a model and was utilized by other states as they prepared similar re-opening guides for their educational systems.
As the number of cases began to decline, and lockdown protocols eased, teachers expressed a desire for help in preparing for a new normal. Throughout the summer of 2020, MAAE convened a COVID-19 Work Group which gathered resources and material for teacher use. These resources were subsequently housed in a research hub sponsored by the Alliance called MAAE-MATCH - Missouri Arts Teacher Center for Help.
The site contains a collection of re-opening guides from MSBA, DESE, CDC and other states. It also contains practical guides and lessons for distance learning, modified in-person learning, and other resources designed to help teachers through difficult times.
In addition to the work to provide resources and information directly to teachers, MAAE conducted two research studies in April of 2020 to determine the financial and human impact on schools, teaching artists and creative professionals.