KET Arts Resources

Classroom Resources for Teaching the Arts

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Art School

Art School is a web video series that introduces contemporary artists who discuss their careers and intentions, then demonstrate hands-on techniques or concepts. Art School provides resources for learning how to break dance, draw comic strips, create animations, and much more. Empower folks of all ages to engage with contemporary art, and discover new ideas for creativity from a variety of professional artists through this fun and engaging series.

Arts in the Renaissance

The arts flourished during the Renaissance, a period of cultural revival and growth which began in early 15th century Florence. This KET collection, Arts in the Renaissance, provides examples of Renaissance music, dance, and drama. The music segment includes an explanation of polyphony and a performance of a work by an Italian composer who greatly influenced the music of the Roman Catholic Church. Elizabethan drama is represented by two excerpts from Shakespeare, a soliloquy from Hamlet and a scene from Much Ado About Nothing. The collection also features two Elizabethan court dances as well as a dance that was popular with British upper classes in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Beat Making Lab

Explore the inspiring musical mission of DJs Pierce Freelon and Stephan Levitin, and their globe-trotting Beat Making Lab. Produced by PBS Digital Studios, the Beat Making Lab travels all around the world sharing their love of electronic music with aspiring artists from developing countries, using this emerging new genre to communicate ideas of culture, health, and artistic expression. Learn about the process of digital music creation, the technology that makes beat-making possible, and the amazing artists who are pioneering the electronic music revolution.

The Beauty of Jasmine Collection

The performances in this collection were filmed at the Beauty of Jasmine Chinese Music and Dance Concert at the University of Kentucky's Singletary Center for the Arts in March of 2012. The program was presented by the Chinese Music, Dance, and Arts Program (CMDAP), led by director Hong Shao. CMDAP is an educational performing and visual arts program that promotes the understanding and appreciation of Chinese culture.

Chuck Vanderchuck's "Something Something" Explosion

Chuck Vanderchuck's "Something Something" Explosion is designed to help children ages 6 to 9 understand music and music composition by teaching basic musical concepts and performance skills through the study of popular song styles from around the world. The main goals of this project are to teach children: instruments and their sounds, song structure, lyric writing, musical styles, and ear training. Extend the learning of the Chuck Vanderchuck videos with the audio-enhanced lessons that explore components of music training.


DIORAMA is a series of digital shorts from the wondrous halls of The American Museum of Natural History, taking inspiration from the Museum’s classic dioramas and behind-the-scenes archive. DIORAMA is an exploration of curiosity — where science, art and history all meet.

Early America

This collection, Early America, from KET provides examples of early American culture through storytelling, music, and documentary. Several music segments feature musician Mike Seeger, who is an authority on traditional American music. Another segment features Saxton’s Cornet Band, an ensemble that recreates early brass bands. Segments on the Hensley Settlement and Dr. Thomas Walker are from the KET program Kentucky Life. The Thomas Walker segment includes interviews with members of the Bell County Historical Society, who discuss the early explorer and his journal documenting the settlement of Kentucky.

Idea Channel

Explore the crossroads of art, science, and pop culture with PBS Idea Channel. Hosted by Mike Rugnetta, the Idea Channel launched in 2012 and has since posted over 100 videos, with more added every Wednesday. The program has quickly grown to one of the most watched on the web, winning multiple Webby Awards and recieving praise for Mike's active engagement in the viewing community. Each video contains feedback and replies to previous work, keeping the program fresh and establishing a platform for discussion.

Noh Theatre

Noh Theater is a form of Japanese drama performed in masks and costumes. Noh performances are traditionally all day and feature a play from each of the five categories; God, Warrior, Woman, Deranged, and Demon. Each category has a specific mask and costume. View Mask Making, Music, a Student Performance, and Noh in the Classroom.

Off Book

Learn about the art, the people, and the culture of the digital revolution with Off Book. This revolution program from PBS Digital Studios combines top-tier journalism with the underground, and often ignored, subject matter of today’s modern digital age. With topics ranging from internet culture and graphic design, to the worlds of videogames and coding, Off Book examines the changing world of contemporary art like it’s never been seen before.

PBS Digital Studios

Explore top selections from the PBS Digital Studios library. This content is edgy and engaging, educational and thought-provoking — designed to grab your students’ attention. Explore our collections curated towards design and innovation, social studies, and even popular culture, with many more subjects that highlight the cross-disciplinary, exciting topics that have made Digital Studios such a powerful classroom resource.

Picturing America

Find innovative ways to integrate works of art into your teaching with this collection of resources based on video from Picturing America on Screen. The artworks are those included in the Picturing America project of the National Endowment for the Humanities, launched in 2008 to introduce Americans to their artistic heritage and to the possibilities inherent in using art as a link to teaching and understanding America’s past.

Shakespeare Uncovered

Shakespeare Uncovered explores the complete plays of William Shakespeare—one of the greatest writers to have ever lived. From his comedies to histories to tragedies, the series looks at the stories that have shaped our cultural history: seeking out each play’s inspiration, finding the moments and places that set every scene, as well as examining the words that gave life to Shakespeare’s world both in the past and present. This thematic collection -- which adheres to national learning standards -- contains video segments from the series, informational texts, discussion questions, and suggestions for extension activities to enhance your students’ reading, viewing, and appreciation of Shakespeare’s works.

Social Studies Toolkit

The Social Studies Arts Toolkit, which can be found within PBS LearningMedia, includes multimedia resources designed for use in K-12 social studies and arts classrooms. In addition to being an effective way to teach, the arts are a critical component of social studies. The arts reflect the unique cultural perspectives of diverse cultures. Because artists respond to and impact the societies in which they live and create, the arts also provide a window into other times and places. And learning about diverse cultures through their arts can help to explode stereotypes. The resources in the Social Studies Arts Toolkit are organized by social studies topic. Integrated teaching offers general information and ideas for lesson plans that integrate social studies and the arts.

Collections include:

African/African American Culture

Drama Based on Historical Characters

Japanese Culture

Kentucky Appalachian Culture

Native American Culture

and more.


Spark documents visual and performing contemporary artists, from well-known painters, to ethnic dance companies, to artists working with new technologies. In short video pieces that are under fifteen minutes, Spark takes you backstage at performances and into artists' studios to witness the creative process firsthand. Accompanying each Spark video is a robust educator guide highlighting historical and cultural context for each artist or arts organization, plus lesson plan ideas, vocab lists, and additional resources. Spark makes it easy to bring contemporary artists into your classroom to inspire creative careers and engage your students in the arts.

World Languages and Culture

The first of video resources in World Languages and Culture introduce primary students to Spanish by immersing them in the language—all instruction is in Spanish—and by engaging them in participatory lessons addressing arts and humanities content. The next set of video resources explore the world at the time of the early Roman Empire.

KET Arts eBooks

The Beauty of Jasmine - Teacher's Guide

The Beauty of Jasmine Teacher's Guide features performances taped at the Beauty of Jasmine Chinese Music and Dance Concert as well as valuable cultural information, teaching tips, discussion questions, and helpful links.

Visual Arts Toolkit: Arts & Culture

The KET Visual Arts Toolkit contains a variety of resources exploring the role the visual arts play in preserving, transmitting, and celebrating cultures around the world. The Arts & Culture section from the Visual Arts Toolkit contains information to assist educators in teaching students about the arts of various cultures.

The Little Rabbits

The Little Rabbits is a children's story based on a well-known Chinese Folk Tale.

Dance Toolkit

Now in its second edition, the Dance Toolkit includes five DVDs with more than 160 video segments of performances, commentary, and demonstrations. Included are dances from cultures around the world, as well as examples of a wide variety of dance styles. The Dance Arts Toolkit binder includes more than 600 pages of informational resources, from lesson plans and glossaries to folk dance instructions and a guide to periods and styles. The 2nd edition Dance Arts Toolkit also includes a poster and the World of Dance and Music CD-ROM, which takes students on a tour of the dance and music of 39 countries around the world as well as regions of the United States.

Drama Toolkit

Now in its second edition, the Drama Toolkit includes two DVDs offering nearly 80 video segments of performance excerpts, artist interviews, and historical and cultural information, including a set of segments on Japanese Kabuki theater. The 2nd Edition Drama Arts Toolkit binder includes nearly 600 pages of lesson plans, glossaries, informational resources, and teaching tips. The Drama Toolkit also includes idea cards, a poster, and the CD-ROM From Page to Stage, which explores the collaborative process of theater though video, audio interviews, and images.

Music Toolkit

The Music Toolkit includes more than 12 hours of instructional and performance video in 150 classroom-friendly segments, a CD-ROM entitled A World of Music that introduces styles and instruments from around the globe, and a wealth of lesson plans and other teaching ideas.

Visual Arts Toolkit

The Visual Arts Toolkit includes two DVDs offering 72 video segments of demonstrations and artist interviews. The artists featured represent a wide variety of cultures and work in a range of media. The Visual Arts Toolkit binder includes more than 600 pages of lesson plans, glossaries, informational resources, project instructions, and teaching tips. In the e-edition, these materials are provided as PDFs on a flash drive. The Visual Arts Toolkit also includes idea cards, a poster, and the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum, a CD-ROM featuring images of more than 200 works of art from 20 Kentucky museums. The Visual Arts Toolkit is also available as an e-edition.

A State Divided: Exploring the Civil War Through Images

A State Divided: Exploring the Civil War Through Images includes 75 images related to the Civil War in Kentucky, ranging from medals and photographs to portraits and weapons. This resource was produced as a partnership of the Kentucky Historical Society and KET. The goal is provide images of artworks, artifacts, photographs, and source documents that can be used to teach social studies and arts and humanities.

KET Arts Programming

Kentucky Muse

From world-renowned traditions and artists to performances and exhibits that reflect unique cultures and communities, Kentucky abounds with creativity. The KET-produced series Kentucky Muse celebrates the world of creativity found within the Bluegrass state. It offers thoughtful and provocative documentaries on artists, issues, events, and places that reflect Kentuckians’ diverse and exciting means of expression while offering a fresh perspective on contemporary artistic life.

Reel Visions

Reel Visions highlights the efforts of talented filmmakers living and working in the Commonwealth, providing Kentucky filmmakers a broadcasting outlet for their work. Each season of Reel Visions features a variety of experimental, documentary, and narrative films ranging in length from one minute to twenty-five minutes.


KET’s Jubilee series features the performances of nationally known artists and popular local musicians at summer folk music festivals in Kentucky. Since its premiere in 1996, Jubilee has presented an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary bluegrass, blues, folk, gospel, and other forms of music from around the world to your backyard. Artists that have graced the Jubilee screen include Jean Ritchie, Arlo Guthrie, Nanci Griffith, Roger McGuinn, Barbara Lamb, Nils Lofgren, Homer Ledford and Cabin Creek, Jerry Douglas, Maura O’Connell, Ralph Stanley, the Osborne Brothers, IIIrd Tyme Out, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, the Grascals, J.D. Crowe and the New South, Mountain Heart, Nickel Creek, and many, many more.

Art to Heart

Art to Heart is an eight-part KET production that explores the importance of visual arts, music, dance, drama, and literature in the lives of infants, toddlers, and young children, providing useful ideas and information for parents, caregivers, and early childhood teachers.
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