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

News
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. 

Jun 03, 2015

Today, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) will expand its successful Turnaround Arts initiative into five additional school districts, as the program continues to successfully help turn around low-performing schools, narrow the achievement gap, and increase student engagement through the arts.

News
Jul 23, 2015

Words have the power to transform and, in the case of 16-year-old Aidan Kingwell of Oak Park, Illinois, they even have the power to save lives. Struggling with crippling depression, Kingwell read poet Mary Oliver’s “When Death Comes” and came to realize that her life was worth living, even at a time when she doubted it the most.

Jul 22, 2015

This month, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed SF 510, which directs the Iowa Department of Education to fund at least a 0.5 Fine Arts consul

Jul 21, 2015

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, recently announced a major new initiative that will see thousands of London schoolchildren being given the chance to participate in and learn about dance.

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Arts Education
Jul 23, 2015

I’m not sure if it’s because it’s summer and the tourism/events season is really rolling in South Dakota or if it’s the fantastic arts experiences I’ve had the good fortune of experiencing in the past couple of months, but I’m having a hard time shaking...

Jul 09, 2015

This piece by Tom Partridge was originally published The Courier Journal in Louisville. This piece was re-posted with their permission....

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.