Congress Declares Arts in Education Week (from Arts Watch)

Posted by Tim Mikulski, Aug 04, 2010 1 comment

Tim Mikulski

On Monday, July 26,  the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring the week following the second Sunday in September (September 12-18, this year) as Arts in Education Week.  While there are a number of established arts education-related recognitions already (such as Music Education Week, or National Dance Week), this is the first congressional resolution to recognize all the disciplines: music, theater, visual arts, and dance.

Sponsored by Congresswoman, Rep. Jackie Speiers (D-California), the resolution  states many important advocacy messages that the arts education field has been touting for years including:

“Whereas arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students… 
Whereas arts education enables students to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, imagination and creativity, discipline, alternative ways to communicate, and express feelings and ideas, and cross-cultural understanding, which supports academic success across the curriculum as well as personal growth outside the classroom;
Whereas the nonprofit arts sector is an economic engine and plays a significant role in the economic health of communities large and small with direct expenditures of wages and benefits as well as goods and services;

Whereas attracting and retaining the best teachers is vital and can be achieved by ensuring that schools embrace the arts, becoming havens for creativity and innovation…”

The resolution ends by recommending that cities and states join the House in declaring the same week as Arts in Education Week across the country, so don’t let it end here. Write to your state and local officials, asking them to do the same!

Please also take a moment to thank your Congressperson for co-sponsoring the resolution. You can view the full list of sponsors here

Americans for the Arts is already gearing up plans to celebrate “Arts in Education Week” in September, beginning with another Arts Education Blog Salon on ARTSblog and even more to come.  The Americans for the Arts Action Fund’s 50 States 50 Days initiative can also serve as a way to connect arts education with your member of Congress in September.

I welcome your suggestions for schools, artists, and educators.

 Some initial ideas include starting an art project (whether it be visual or performance) and letting the students/parents/administrators know that it is being done in honor of Arts in Education Week, with the final performance, gallery unveiling, etc. scheduled for a later date like your Back to School Night or even at the end of the year.

What are some of your ideas?

If you need inspiration, check out this video clip of Broadway legend Carol Channing, one of the inspirations for the resolution, as she promotes the importance of arts education recently on The View:

Arts Watch is a weekly cultural policy publication of Americans for the Arts that covers news in a variety of categories related to cultural policy including Culture and Communities, Arts Education and the Creative Workforce, Public Investment in Culture and Creativity, and Philanthropy and the Private Sector. The newsletter also features an Arts Watch Spotlight item and Arts Canvas – News from the Field, a short piece written by a different Americans for the Arts staffer each week.

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1 responses for Congress Declares Arts in Education Week (from Arts Watch)


August 05, 2010 at 6:36 am

Sadly I can't see the video in my country which I living present.

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