This guest post comes from Jeff Poulin, arts education program manager at Americans for the Arts.
As most students and educators around the nation return to school, supporters of the arts in education also gather together to celebrate the transformative power of the field. From Sept. 9-15, states and communities across the country will participate in National Arts in Education Week ― passed by Congress in 2010 ― and share how the arts in education impacts student success in school and beyond.
Every year, hundreds of local organizations unify their communities ― students, educators, PTAs, organizations, arts institutions, school leaders and municipal officials ― to bring attention to the cause of arts education. In over 600 communities across the country, leaders will discuss the current state of arts education ― including the most recent data on the access gap to quality arts learning, state implementation of the arts opportunities available under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and new professional development opportunities fueled by community partnerships.
In New Jersey, Arts Ed NJ, a statewide arts education organization, partnered with the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association to support a student art exhibit and professional development opportunity hosted by NJ Teen Arts. This collaboration also launched Arts Ed Now, a visibility campaign reliant on state longitudinal data from the state department of education that seeks to close the access gap through data-informed funding strategies.
In California, a group of San Diego community members will join educational leaders from the county’s school districts for an event at the New Children’s Museum to foster greater collaboration between community-based creative youth development organizations and the school district to best serve all students ― regardless of income or ZIP code.
Continuing the nationwide celebration, the business community will leverage the week to supply educators and families with the best resources possible. Crayola is launching a new campaign, creatED, which will introduce educators and families to different arts-infused learning solutions. The company will host contests on social media, with opportunities for participants to win family engagement events, project-based take-home kits, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) class field trips to the Crayola Experience and Crayola art supplies for the classroom.
National Arts in Education Week can foster the meaningful partnerships, visibility and conversations that lead to a celebrated understanding of how students benefit from arts as an essential part of their well-rounded education. Join and follow the conversation online using the hashtags #BecauseOfArtsEd and #ArtsEdWeek.