In July of 2010 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution making the second week of September “Arts in Education Week”, placing a national spotlight on arts education. During this week educators are encouraged to utilize the arts as a resource to complement and enhance their regular academic routine. In May of 2011 the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities released a report revealing an in-depth review on the current condition of art education, emphasizing positive educational outcomes associated with arts-rich schools.
Here in the Bay Area many arts education advocates are teaming up to make a Creative Impact with events happening all week long to help kickstart the school year. Already we are seeing schools utilize their limited resources in a way to create a sustainable arts education system, and there is a great energy around arts education reform. The upcoming election seems to serve as a reminder of all those resources we risk losing, and the potential to strengthen our schools with the arts. The California Alliance for Arts Education is a great resource to help Californians stay informed on state policies in place that affect student access to arts education, and Arts Education Partnership’s state policy report generator helps individuals find arts education related policies in all 50 states.
Of course arts in education shouldn’t be limited to the second week of September. I hope to see schools take the opportunity to rally around the arts this week, and continue using arts related resources throughout the school year. The arts can strengthen literacy, engage students, and equip them with 21st century skills - making them an invaluable tool in education. I’m looking forward to another week of bringing art into the classroom!