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
May 30, 2018
A nation plagued by school shootings watched the horror play out yet again in Southeast Texas when eight Santa Fe High School students and two teachers were killed and 10 others were wounded recently in the worst school shooting since the February assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Many of these victims were in an arts classroom making art at the time. Schools must be safe places for students to learn and pursue their passions in the arts and beyond. 
Apr 06, 2018

Abreu, the founder of El Sistema, was a professional musician, economist, and one-time cabinet minister, but his life’s mission was to democratize and universalize music education.

Sep 11, 2017

Deutsche Bank invests in New York City's young people's future in the arts! They believe art enhances our ability to respond to an increasingly complex and fast moving world with new perspectives, ideas, and insights.

News
Jun 04, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Art Exhibit Program, which has been in operation since 2004, regularly features a rotating collection of visual art created by both American and international students. On May 4, the program debuted an exhibit called “Total Tolerance.” The exhibit includes various photos, paintings, and poetry by winners of the 2018 YoungArts’ National Arts Competition, a yearly competition for young artists ages 15-18.

Apr 06, 2018

More than 28 states have adopted new arts education standards since 2014. The NCCAS report includes a comprehensive list of states that have revised their arts standards and an up-to-date status of other states that are currently working on standards revision. 

Apr 06, 2018

The Blueprint builds on the 2014 Collective Action for Youth Agenda by prioritizing three strategic areas—Visibility and Impact, Funding, and Field-Building—and identifying specific actions for cross-sector advancement of the field. 

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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.