As the Act for the Arts Back-to-School Campaign officially comes to a close, we want to thank each and every one of you who took a moment this fall to learn a little more about the invaluable benefits of arts learning. When you know more, you can do more to support our students in getting the arts education they deserve. So kudos to you!
And if you went a step further and took one or more actions, however small, to support arts education in your schools, then extra thanks to you! Every action matters, and as we work together to begin the conversation in each and every school and district, we create the forward momentum together that can turn subpar and so-so arts programs into super arts programs for all.
Time to Act – Extra Credit:
- Dig in for a deeper look at how the arts in schools can transform lives (not to mention school culture) with the Arts Education Partnership’s fun, colorful brochure, Preparing Students for the Next America: The Benefits of an Arts Education. It’s a quick read jam-packed with info that will both inform and inspire!
- Invite a school board member to coffee. Tell him or her about the arts that are (or aren’t) being taught in your school and ask for advice on how to increase arts education within your school district. Start by building the relationship, and then build the arts together.
- Find out now when your school’s fall and holiday performances and art shows are scheduled. Invite others in your community — like friends, other teachers, fellow parents, business leaders, and especially district leaders — to attend shows with you to see firsthand how engaged, excited, and proud students are to take part. Seeing is believing, and that’s the first step to building support.
And don’t forget that you can Act for the Arts any time. Visit our Act for the Arts page year-round to brush up on the impact of the arts in schools, access resources like our take-and-go slide show, and find a whole array of actions that you can take both now and throughout the year!
You are making a difference! Thank you and keep on Acting for the Arts!
Did you know? Research shows that students who study the arts are better able to analyze information, solve complex problems, and work through solutions with more patience and persistence. They also develop higher levels of leadership skills such as decision making, strategy building, planning, and reflection.
Research from the National Endowment for the Arts shows that low-income students experience even greater academic benefits than their more affluent counterparts from learning the arts in school. Yet, the not-so-fun fact is that those same students are the least likely to receive arts education in school, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Happily, great programs like the national Turnaround Arts Initiative and the Creative Advantage right here in Seattle are using smart strategies (including ArtsEd Washington’s PAL program) to help students get the arts education that will empower them to thrive.
Time to Act:
- Help ensure that students in your school are getting the arts they deserve by partnering with others. Get on the agenda for your local PTA unit or council’s next meeting and present ArtsEd Washington’s take-and-go arts education advocacy slide show. It’s easier than you think! We’ll walk you through it here.
- The Act for the Arts Back to School Campaign is nearly at an end, but the vital work of creating change in our education system continues. You can help make the change that will bring arts education to every student in every Washington school. Make a gift to ArtsEd Washington in honor of a student or school that you would love to see thriving through the arts to keep the momentum going all year long.
Impact: Did you know… that education in the arts promotes community involvement? Studies show that students with ongoing arts education volunteer more often and are better engaged in their communities as adults. Arts education today builds tomorrow’s civic leaders.
Fun Fact: Real change is possible when we work together! ArtsEd Washington is a statewide nonprofit that has already worked with over 60 schools serving over 30,000 students annually to change the system and change lives. When you stand up and use your voice for the students in your school and district, you can begin the conversation that will lead to increased arts education for all students. (And ArtsEd Washington will help!)
Time to Act:
- Your voice matters, so use it! Use the handy talking points from our smARTS for Students Guide – created in a partnership with the Washington State PTA – to begin a friendly conversation with your principal, district leader, or teacher about your local school’s arts offerings.
- If your school doesn’t offer standards-based arts instruction and assessment in all four disciplines (visual art, music, theatre, & dance), encourage them to connect with us to see how ArtsEd Washington can support them in developing the plan and resources to get there. From arts visioning and action planning to our visual art curriculum, we’re here to support schools in giving our students the best arts education possible.
Impact: Did you know… that students and schools alike thrive when students learn the arts in school? A wealth of research proves that including the arts in the school day improves academic achievement, keeps students actively engaged in their education, and increases attendance and graduation rates.
Fun Fact: Arts education is the law. In Washington State, arts education isn’t just a luxury. It’s defined as a core subject, required by law to be taught to all students. So when you stand up for arts learning in your district, the law is on your side!
Time to Act:
- Educate yourself so you’re ready to educate others. Find out what the law says about arts education here. Then dig deeper with smARTs for Students, an arts education advocacy guide that ArtsEd Washington has created in partnership with the Washington State PTA.
- In honor of National Arts in Education Week, use the hashtag #Act4Arts on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media to share your favorite arts ducation experience, story, or photo, from your own life or that of a young person in your life!
Impact: Did you know? Arts education teaches young people critical skills and capacities for success in the 21st century, including the 4 C’s – creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.
Fun Fact: A 2012 study commissioned by IBM surveyed 1,500 corporate CEOs and found that creativity was the most important skill required for workplace leadership. Business recognizes that creativity drives innovation, and the ability to innovate will open a world of possibilities for our children, our state, and our nation.
Time to Act:
- Lead by example as a smARTS Champion! Tell your local PTA leaders, book club, workout buddies, fellow parents, or coworkers what you’ve learned about the importance of arts education. Then encourage them to sign up for Act for the Arts emails today so they can plug into the Act for the Arts Back-to-School Campaign from the very start. Act now by forwarding this email to at least 5 people. Or invite folks via social media using the above link (www.artsedwashington.org/act4arts) and the hashtag #Act4Arts.
- Next week is National Arts in Education Week (Sept. 14-20). Let your school administrators know NOW. Ask them to announce it school-wide and encourage teachers to hang student art in celebration.
Act for the Arts is made possible, in part, by
Act for the Arts was also supported, in part, by an award from