Blog Posts for National Arts in Education Week

Arts Education Advocacy in a Post-Pandemic World

Posted by Mr. Tooshar K. Swain, Sep 12, 2022 0 comments

National Arts in Education Week is upon us, and it is a wonderful time to reflect on where arts education has been and where it can go with impassioned arts advocacy. K-12 arts students and educators have endured a rocky road through the pandemic, and their perseverance must continue as we head into a new normal of education in the United States. The arts improved the social and emotional well-being of students during the pandemic. In 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, 125 national groups including Americans for the Arts endorsed the Arts Education is Essential Statement affirming the need for all students to have access to equitable arts education opportunities in dance, media arts, music, and theater. The statement was prompted by concerns that cutbacks in staff, funding, and scheduling would put K-12 arts education subject areas at risk, particularly for the traditionally underrepresented, those with special needs, and students from low-income families. While schools throughout the country have resumed in-school learning and arts education programs are thriving in some communities, quality arts programs continue to be limited or not available at all in many schools. The renamed Arts ARE Education statement is a now full-fledged national arts education campaign recognizing that all pre-K through grade 12 students have the right to a high-quality school-based arts education in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. 

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Creative Confidence and the Education Revolution

Posted by Camille Zamora, Sep 16, 2021 0 comments

Art-making seeds a certain bone-deep faith in one’s instincts, a deeply grounded sense of comfort that frees one up to try new things. Developing one’s artistry is an exercise in taking risks and living to tell the tale. Mistakes aren’t only tolerated, they’re expected. Built into the artistic process is the act of rough-drafting, rehearsing, reframing, “take-it-again-from-the-top”-ing. The voice will crack at some point as we seek our sweetest, most vulnerable sound, and our foot will falter occasionally as we attempt a new pirouette. Producing meaningful art means that we’ve given ourselves space to experiment, iterate, fall and fail and get up and try again. The opportunity to correct flies in the face of an educational system predicated on the right/wrong binary of standardized testing. It’s radically freeing to look beyond that binary, and creative confidence is the byproduct. With creative confidence in place, anything is possible for our students.

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10 (Newer!) Arts Education Fast Facts

Posted by Mrs. Kelly Fey Bolender, Rena A. Cohen, Sep 18, 2020 0 comments

During this year’s National Arts in Education Week celebration, we’ve heard hundreds of #BecauseOfArtsEd stories from students, parents, and educators about the transformative power of the arts in education. The stories we share demonstrate the social and emotional impact of the arts, and are a vital part of effective advocacy. Great stories should be paired with compelling data and facts to help round out your advocacy strategy. In honor of the 10th anniversary of National Arts in Education Week, we’ve put together 10 new fast facts—exclusively featuring data collected within the last five years—illustrating the benefits of, support for, and challenges facing arts education in America today. You can put these facts to good use as part of your personal advocacy plan to make the case for arts education in your local schools and communities. 

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From Fearful to Fierce: Creating Authentic and Engaging Virtual Arts Experiences for Youth

Posted by Alex Gartner, Sep 17, 2020 0 comments

Until eight months ago, many arts educators would’ve scoffed at the idea of teaching art, music, dance, or theatre online. Now, virtual learning is a lifeline for arts education. With so many youth enrolled in virtual schooling, the need to design authentic and engaging online artistic experiences is ever more pressing. This challenge is coupled with the reality that so many young people are reeling from trauma caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC reminds us that stark changes in routine, breaks in the continuity of learning, the cancelation of milestone life events, and the perceived loss of safety and security can be very damaging to a child’s social, emotional, and mental well-being. Furthermore, moving arts education online has interrupted social interactions and created limits on self-expression. Can virtual arts experiences still foster the social and emotional needs of young people during this difficult time in their lives? If you ask Maria Ellis and Morgan Luttig, the answer is yes.

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Boston Public Schools Arts Educators Creatively Meet the Moment

Posted by Anthony Beatrice, Ruth C. Mercado-Zizzo, Sep 16, 2020 0 comments

Within a week of Boston Public Schools closing its schools due to COVID-19, the district’s nearly 300 BPS visual and performing arts educators quickly shifted to offering remote learning in the arts. The creativity, responsiveness, and community approach educators brought to this task have ensured the arts remain a priority for our students during the spring and moving forward into the new school year. Within days of school closures, BPS visual and performing arts educators congregated on our first Zoom meeting to take stock of the moment and build a plan going forward. In a traffic-jammed city where it can take over an hour to get from one neighborhood to another, meeting online quickly turned into a silver lining, creating a new outlet for collaboration and camaraderie. Discussions rapidly led to an action plan focused on pedagogy and approaches that would make arts learning relevant and sharing resources to do so.

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Member Spotlight: ArtsEd Washington

Posted by Abigail Alpern Fisch, Sep 15, 2020 0 comments

ArtsEd Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making arts education equitable and accessible to every K-12 student in Washington State. Danielle Gahl has been the Executive Director since 2017, but beginning in September 2020, she will be stepping down from that role and continue to run Internal Operations for the organization. Courtney Clark stepped up from the organization’s Board and became the Interim Executive Director in July 2020 after being furloughed during COVID-19 from Seattle Opera as the School Programs Manager. “It’s easy to send out an email that tells everybody what you’re doing; it’s a lot harder to do it. We’ve been focusing our efforts for a while now on walking the walk before we start talking the talk. ... The work of ArtsEd Washington is an everchanging landscape as the world of education is ever evolving. We choose to advocate through an equitable lens of equality that The Arts Matter! And FOR All!” 

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