The arts are essential. They teach students innumerable lessons—practice makes perfect, small differences can have large effects, collaboration leads to creativity. The arts also teach children that there a several paths to take when approaching problems and that all problems can have more than one solution.

Research has also shown impressive benefits of arts education on entire school culture—especially student motivation, attitudes, and attendance. Numerous reports discuss the ways that increased access and involvement in arts education encourage students to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in life, and succeed in work.

And yet, despite the impressive benefits of arts education, not every student has access to these quality learning experiences. Below are some talking points about both the importance of arts education, as well as the decline of arts education in our country.

Want to jump in? Download our e-book Getting Started!

Learn More

Browse our tools and resources to get started in supporting arts education in your community:

  • Arts Education Navigator Series
    This series of e-books is designed to help educators, students, and advocates alike navigate the complex field of arts education. Each e-book in the Navigator series covers a specific topic, ensuring arts education supporters like you are equipped with the knowledge, statistics, and case-making techniques needed to effectively communicate with decision-makers.
  • Arts Education Field Guide
    This duo of a brochure and full report describes the ecosystem of partners, players, and policymakers in the field of arts education. It will help you to find the connections and partnerships that will strengthen arts education in your community.
  • 10 Simple Ways
    What if your child's school doesn't provide classes in art, music, dance, and theater? Check out our 10 simple ways to get more arts into your child’s life!
  • Questions to Ask
    Need to know what questions to ask your education leaders to determine the quality of your school or district's arts program? Use our benchmarks to gauge how serious your school's commitment is to arts education.
  • Family Activities
    We all know that learning begins at home. So much of what kids learn comes from watching their parents and taking part in family activities. We've put together some simple ideas to help your child enjoy the arts.

Take Action

Let your mighty voice be heard! Tell education leaders why you think the arts are an important aspect of students’ lives. Check out these two ways to be a part of the solution:

  • Keep the Arts in Public Schools
    Join this community of people dedicated to supporting the arts as part of a well-rounded education for all students. Share stories, photos, and videos from across the country with other arts supporters and pledge to take action locally with the tools shared on this platform.
  • Arts Action Fund
    Find elected officials, including the president, members of Congress, governors, state legislators, and local officials, and contact them directly through our action center. Send the message to our decision-makers that arts education matters to you!

Show Support

A donation to our cause will help us ensure that other arts supporters like you have all the tools and resources they need in order to effectively convey the importance of arts education to anyone.

Americans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to—and takes part in—high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, both in school and in the community. If you support this vision, please consider a donation to support our ongoing work to reach it.


Topic Page News Tabs

Sep 14, 2015

Every year there are new buzzwords which affect our work. Each day during the week of September 14–18, we will gather thought leaders to unpack these terms, where they came from, and their impact on our day to day work in arts education. These daily webinars will be held at 3:00 p.m. (EST) and last approximately 20 minutes. To continue the conversation, join Jeff Poulin (@JeffMPoulin) and special guests for a Twitter chat from 8:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m. (EST) by following the specified hashtag. 

Jul 16, 2015

Through the deft work of the Senate education committee, the leadership team of Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) succeeded in crafting and maintaining a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Today, the Senate voted to approve the Every Child Achieves Act (S.1177), by a vote of 81-17, a remarkable finish, especially considering the number of amendments that were filed (nearly 200 in all) and several other controversial provisions that could have sunk the bill.

Jul 13, 2015

On Sunday, July 12, 2015, Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), presented the 2015 Public Leadership in the Arts Award for County Arts Leadership to Riverside County, California. The award was presented at NACo's annual conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Sep 09, 2015

Turnaround Arts and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts announce a national partnership to support arts-integrated learning in early childhood classrooms across the country. Through in-class services for young children, ongoing training for educators, and resource development for the early childhood community at-large, the two organizations will work together to use the arts as a tool to improve student outcomes and school culture.

Aug 28, 2015

Now that it's back-to-school time and upcoming National Arts Education Week is right around the corner (September 14 - 18), WorldWideLearn's May article on the 15 most inspiring cities for young arts professionals and arts students piques our interest yet again.

Aug 21, 2015

Each year, Americans for the Arts honors the best businesses partnering with the arts in America through the BCA10 awards. This summer, two of our previous honorees, Golden Artist Colors, Inc. (BCA 10 2012) and Scholastic Inc. (BCA 10 2013) have partnered to provide an unprecedented opportunity for art educators. Teachers of students who received recognition in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards were invited to submit painted art-pieces for a chance to participate in a weeklong artist residency through the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation.

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A Shared Endeavor: Arts Education for America’s Students
The inequity of access to quality arts education must be addressed.
A Shared Endeavor

Americans for the Arts recently joined 12 arts and education advocacy groups to release A Shared Endeavor: Arts Education for America’s Students.

This statement articulates the purpose and value of arts education in the balanced curriculum of all students, asserts its place as a core academic subject area, and details how sequential arts learning can be supported by rigorous national standards and assessments.

The model is predicated on the convergence the skills and expertise of several members of the arts education ecosystem: arts educators, community arts organizations and non-arts educators.