Arts educators and advocates around the country are taking the fifth anniversary of National Arts in Education Week, which kicks off today, as an opportunity to celebrate arts in schools—and to call for more investment in such programs.
The second week in September was designated National Arts in Education Week by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 as a way to raise awareness of the importance of arts education and to support equitable access to the arts.
At the local level, some districts and teachers are using the week as a time to promote successful programs and celebrate student work, while others are using it as an opportunity to remind officials and community members about schools where arts programs have been cut or are lacking. The Rockwood school district in Missouri highlighted its fine arts program, for instance, while a piece in the Philadelphia Public School Notebook notes the lack of arts programs and funding in that city.
Arts education groups and arts groups have plenty of online resources and community events to mark the week. Americans for the Arts has resources for advocating for arts education to local, state, and federal policymakers. The organization is also releasing a series of webinars each day at 3 p.m., Eastern Time, and hosting a series of web chats in the evening. Here’s their schedule:
Monday, September 14: Arts Integration (#ArtsIntegration) Tuesday, September 15, 2015: Creative Youth Development (#CYD) Wednesday, September 16, 2015: STEAM (#STEAM) Thursday, September 17, 2015: Arts Education Standards (#Standards) Friday, September 18, 2015: Creative Aging (#CreativeAging).
The National Education Association has a collection of lesson plans and resources for teachers looking for arts lessons. National PTA has even gotten in the game, with suggestions for how parent-teacher organizations can support arts.
Robert Lynch, the president and CEO of the nonprofit advocacy organization Americans for the Arts, wrote in the Huffington Post today about the importance of arts education. The piece highlights a few notable young people and calls for people to send it “stories of celebration” that illustrate how arts can change lives.
Art teachers, parents, and kids are also being encouraged to share student artwork online using the hashtag #encouragecreativity. And here’s a list of ways parents can help their children participate.
We’ll be keeping our eyes out for examples of student art and other creative celebrations this week. Keep us posted!
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.