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

Nov 04, 2015

Last night, at a ceremony and reception held at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, The Ovation Foundation, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and

Oct 20, 2015

Stefani Germanotta, better known to us all as Lady Gaga, took home the Young Artist Award last night at Americans for The Arts 2015 National Arts Awards at Cipriani 42nd St.

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. 

Nov 18, 2015

In April 2014, New York City Comptroller Scott Springer released the report, “State of the Arts: A Plan to Boost Arts Education in New York City,” which revealed unequal access to arts education for children living in New York City’s lowest income communities. It also revealed violations of the state’s mandates for the number of middle and high school arts teachers employed in New York City schools. To help address these issues, New York’s Department of Education (DOE) received $23 million in additional funding in its 2015 budget to help support new arts teachers, programs, and facilities.

Nov 11, 2015

In collaboration with the Maryland State Arts Council and the Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland’s First Lady Yumi Hogan opened the First Lady’s Gallery, which is located

Oct 28, 2015
Purple Dreams, a documentary that chronicles a powerful theatre arts success story in an urban high-school, promises to be a model illustration of why the nation must embrace public arts education and recognize its immense role in producing engaged, successful, college and career-ready students.
GreyHawk Films is currently in post-production on their feature length documentary that is an inspirational testimony to the transformational power of arts in education, particularly in underserved at-risk communities.
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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.