Throughout his long career, arts educator and writer Charles Fowler (1931-1995) articulated the agenda for a growing educational movement and illuminated the most pressing issues affecting its advocacy. Through his brilliant writing he voiced the challenge of change and reform, accumulating a body of commentary as fresh today as ever. He consistently urged teachers to experience their work with students as creative encounters: alive, inventive, and filled with mutual discovery. In reference to his own career, he commented in 1993 on the occasion of donating his papers to the University of Maryland, College Park: "I was not satisfied as a teacher with merely passing on the culture. I wanted a role in creating it. The classroom is not just a place for learning about yesterday, but a laboratory for inventing tomorrow."
In the spirit of "inventing tomorrow," Charles Fowler left another kind of legacy, a Fund for Innovation in Arts Education to support continuing public discourse and publication. A colloquium that bears his name – the Charles Fowler Colloquium for Innovation in Arts Education – was an outreach event of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library until 2003. The colloquium evolved in scope to address all of the fine and performing arts, with a growing participation among the arts disciplines, the community, and the schools. The proceedings for five of the colloquia were published as volumes in the State-of-the-Arts Series:
- Winds of Change, 1993
- Cross Currents: Setting an Agenda for Music Education in Community Culture, 1995
- Music Education as Praxis: Reflecting on Music-Making as Human Action, 1997
- Enlightened Advocacy: Implications of Research for Arts Education Policy and Practice, 1999
- The Art of Partnership, 2001
For information on ordering, please visit the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Publications & Recordings page.
Charles Fowler Fund
The Charles Fowler Fund for Innovation in Arts Education in the University of Maryland Foundation, Inc., receives the royalties from sale of Fowler's publications, thus obtaining ongoing support for Charles Fowler's vision. The Fund also gratefully accepts tax-deductible donations. For further information, to add your name to our mailing list, or to make suggestions for future Fund projects, please contact us.