Americans for the Arts is committed to lead, serve, and advance the diverse networks of organizations and individuals who cultivate the arts in America. To this end, the Arts Education Program is dedicated to building leadership among diverse stakeholders, including arts education professionals, cultural and education sector leaders, the business community, parents, and young people, to create change in their communities, states, and the nation.

This leadership framework helps guide professional learning experiences of these stakeholders to develop and reinforce the competencies necessary to create equitable systems and strong policies to advance arts education in America.

From 2016-2018, the Arts Education Program at Americans for the Arts engaged in a series of field-wide research initiatives to discover how the arts education field regarded leadership in their work. This framework is the end result and final product of this work and is intended to expand the knowledge of practitioners, educators, funders, and others who share a commitment to supporting arts education leaders in communities across the country.

Download the “12 Core Competencies of an Arts Education Leader” Brochure.

Arts Education Speakers Bureau

The Americans for the Arts’ Arts Education Speakers Bureau serves as essential field education for the on-the-ground professional development of arts education supporters to become effective leaders and advocates at the local, state, and federal levels.

With curriculum focused on the arts education ecosystem, arts education leadership, and policy & advocacy, the facilitators bring their expertise to increase participants’ skills as effective leaders and advocates for policy change to ultimately increase equitable access to arts education for America’s learners.  The curricula were developed, piloted, and evaluated by the Arts Education Program of Americans for the Arts from 2014-2018, and were authored by Dr. Stephanie Milling and Jeff M. Poulin.

Contact [email protected] to book a speaker.

Annual Convention

Every June, Americans for the Arts brings together nearly 1,000 arts and community leaders for an Annual Convention. This is one of many opportunities for arts education professionals to network and discuss key issues impacting arts education. Attendees can participate in numerous arts education-specific sessions that engage thought-leaders from the field.


ArtsU is Americans for the Arts’ online education forum for arts professionals to gain new skills, knowledge, and connections to further their personal and organizational goals.

With Americans for the Arts membership, individuals gain access to every upcoming webinar, the complete archive of on-demand webinars, the National Arts Administration and Policy Publications Database, interactive digital lessons, and discounts to Digital Classrooms.


Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog is the place to read and write about the hottest topics facing our field today. This widely read blog, with an average of 10,000 views per week and more than 700 contributors from across the country, covers many areas of the arts field with arts education consistently being one of the most popular subjects. Visit ARTSblog now to learn more about the latest from the field!

Tools & Resources

In addition to these professional development opportunities, Americans for the Arts regularly produces tools and publications to inform and inspire anyone concerned about arts education.