Blog Posts for Arts Education

10 Steps to Build a Localized Movement for the Arts

Posted by Mr. Ryan Antony Nicotra, Mar 22, 2017 0 comments

Allow me to set the scene: while attending the 2016 Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Boston, I received a text from a friend in my hometown stating that in a late-night meeting the day prior, the local Board of Education unexpectedly introduced and approved an unreasonably high new fee for all students wishing to participate in extracurricular drama programs. Today, after eight months of coordinating an aggressive advocacy campaign that succeeded in eliminating that same fee with the near-unanimous support of the same board members who introduced it, I aim to identify and share the 10 crucial steps and considerations that made this victory for the arts in Harford County, Maryland possible.

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Invigorate Your Practice and Advocate Through Exhibitions

Posted by Chris Sykora, Mar 15, 2017 0 comments

How do we speak to people who have never taken part in art education? If someone has not experienced the arts personally or effectively, words may not be able to explain their value. In order to speak constructively with opponents, we must provide an environment that cultivates the sharing of ideas. It just so happens that art exhibitions are the perfect venue for advocacy discussions. Art communicates in unique and non-literal ways, which facilitates an openness that allows people to form their own conclusions. Exhibitions provide opportunities to talk about curricular impacts through the work on display. Audiences can connect artwork with student educational experiences in direct and empathetic ways. And most importantly, exhibitions easily unite advocacy for art programs with advocacy for the most powerful evidence we have: the students themselves.

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Empowering and Inspiring Student Voices

Posted by Grace Alt, Mar 10, 2017 0 comments

As a senior in high school, I will be attending my third National Arts Advocacy Day this year. For many students, the words “arts advocacy” make us feel small. Upon hearing that phrase three years ago, it sounded like something I was not old enough to know about. How can my voice matter in changing things so far above my power as a teenager? In school, we are taught to get the best education possible to become someone who can affect change, but often we aren’t told that, as kids, our opinions matter. When policy makers shape decisions about arts education, they are making decisions about us, the students. Yet for some reason, it is the students who feel as though they are out of place in a Senator’s office.

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College and Career Ready—Are We Building Vertical Pathways for Arts Students?

Posted by Myran Parker-Brass, Mar 08, 2017 0 comments

Preparing students who are “college and career” ready is a common goal for success for high school students across the nation’s school districts; “post-secondary readiness” is included as an indicator for school quality or student success in the Every Student Succeeds Act legislation. Our state education departments and local school districts all have working definitions and metrics for this readiness. So, how prepared are we, the arts education community, to engage in this discussion? Are we building solid college and career pathways in the arts with our higher education partners, institutions and employers? Are we engaging and supporting our families and students in understanding that the arts provide viable college and career opportunities?

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Action Both Today AND Tomorrow

Posted by Brea Heidelberg, Ms. Ann Marie Miller, Mar 07, 2017 0 comments

There are a lot of bases to cover when preparing people to be effective arts advocates—especially when those aspiring arts advocates are undergrads. This isn’t work to be done alone. We have the distinct pleasure of working together, a boomer and a member of the Oregon Trail generation preparing arts advocates of the future. We met through ArtPride New Jersey, the state arts advocacy organization and member of Americans for the Arts State Arts Action Network. It was kismet. One had suffered through too many save-the-state-arts-council and save-the-NEA crises, the other through the inherent trials and tribulations of strategically navigating academia.

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The Curious City Challenge

Posted by Claire Meyers, Mar 01, 2017 0 comments

I was fortunate enough to be awarded Urban Gateways’ 2017 PROPS Award for my proposal “Claire’s Curious City Challenge.” Influenced by a phrase our organization often uses, “The City as a Classroom,” I am using the funds to embark on a yearlong mission to explore the exciting and diverse programming that makes Chicago a vibrant city. I see this challenge as an opportunity to learn more about the interesting work happening in the city, for both my own interest as an active member of the Chicago arts community and for the potential it has to inform future programming and partnerships at Urban Gateways.

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