Arts Education

Research positively correlates arts education to school success factors such as higher graduation rates and stronger achievement scores. Arts education is also correlated to social and emotional development, civic engagement, and future arts participation. Yet low income students and students of color continue to lack access to everyday instruction in the arts while in school. This systemic denial of the arts and instruction through the arts translates into children who are ill-prepared for advanced study in high school and are behind in the skills they need to be successful in the workforce and college.
Posted on January 14, 2016 by Steve

The Arts Education Funders Coalition (AEFC), supported by Grantmakers in the Arts, worked over the past 3 years to ensure that arts education was preserved and enhanced within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESEA is the federal law that provides over $20 billion in funding to states, school districts, and schools to improve academic achievement and improve teacher and principal training and quality. This undertaking by the AEFC paid off when Congress recently passed, and the President signed into law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which reauthorizes ESEA, replacing No Child Left Behind.

Preserving and Enhancing the Arts in ESEA

The new law retains key provisions and enhances others, which both allow federal education funding to be used to support arts education and allow for the arts to be systemically included in programs and activities at the state, school district, and school level. However, this positive result did not come about without some uncertainty. The AEFC stepped up its advocacy efforts when the arts in ESEA came under attack during Congress’ work this fall. The AEFC, and other supportive organizations, worked to convince Congress of the need to maintain and strengthen...

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Steve

Coalition Purpose

Grantmakers are invited to join the Arts Education Funders Coalition

As Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) has seen federal funding for arts education decrease, dedicated champions dwindle, and schools around the country drop art courses, leaders are working together to rethink the policy landscape and their policy agenda, with help from trusted Washington consultants. GIA has formed a coalition of arts and education grantmakers and other concerned arts organizations to research and identify federal policy opportunities that promote equitable access to arts education in all public schools.

GIA, with the support of arts and education funders, has engaged the services...

Posted on January 20, 2015 by admin
The GIA Library features a number of recommended articles on Arts Education. Note: For more research and articles on arts and education, go to Library and search “arts and education” or click here.
Posted on March 15, 2017 by Monica

An op-ed piece written by dance educator Amy M. Wilkinson and published in The Hill argues the importance of the arts as part of a well-rounded education. As states develop their plans as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), advocates argue that the arts must be included in those plans. The article highlights the state of Illinois, which today will vote on an ESSA plan which does not include arts programming as an indicator of school quality. Wilkinson presents evidence of the many benefits of arts education and urges states to “help its children by elevating arts programming within our schools.”

Read the article on The Hill.

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Monica

A recording of GIA's recent webinar on federal arts education policy is now available online. The webinar includes the most up-to-date developments with the Every Student Succeeds Act, arts education policy, and the new administration, as well as tips on how funders and organizations working at the local level can advocate for arts education.

View the webinar.

Note: Some web browsers may require you to download the Adobe Connect Add-in to view this recording.

Posted on March 9, 2017 by Monica

The Aspen Institute has released an online interactive version of its Aspen Institute Guide for Creating Trusted Learning Environments, funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation:

Learning is no longer tethered nor confined within just the walls of a classroom. Instead, learning is active, engaged and personalized. But, how can one protect today's connected learner while empowering them to explore, express & pursue their interests? What does it mean to create a trusted learning environment?

The online guide gives context to the new learner-centered environment, offers best practices for creating trusted learning environments, and most importantly creates activity guides to serve as a framework for dialogue and action among a learning community’s many constituents.

View the guide at The Aspen Institute.

Posted on February 7, 2017 by Monica

From The New York Times:

The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos on Tuesday as education secretary, approving the embattled nominee only with the help of a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. The 51-to-50 vote elevates Ms. DeVos — a wealthy donor from Michigan who has devoted much of her life to expanding educational choice through charter schools and vouchers, but has limited experience with the public school system — to be steward of the nation’s schools. . . . It was the first time that a vice president has been summoned to the Capitol to break a tie on a cabinet nomination, according to the Senate historian.

Read the full article.

Posted on January 31, 2017 by Monica

From The New York Times:

After contentious confirmation hearings, protests across the country and two rounds of voting, Betsy DeVos cleared the first hurdle in her path to becoming secretary of education on Tuesday with a party-line vote in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that advanced her nomination to the Senate floor.

Read more on The New York Times.

Posted on November 23, 2016 by Monica

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Betsy DeVos as his nominee for Secretary of Education.

“DeVos, 58, chairs the American Federation for Children, an advocacy group that has aggressively pushed to expand charter schools and school voucher programs that provide families with public money to spend on private school tuition,” according to Politico.

Read the article.

Posted on October 6, 2016 by Monica

The passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides states with increased flexibility to include the arts as a component of a well-rounded education. A new report from the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a center within Education Commission of the States, ESSA: Mapping Opportunities for the Arts, highlights the ways that states can engage the arts in the ongoing implementation of ESSA.

Read the report.

Posted on October 4, 2016 by Monica

The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts have opened applications for school districts, foundations, or nonprofits to apply to join Turnaround Arts, a program to assist school reform through high-quality and integrated arts education. Selected organizations will partner with Turnaround Arts: National to build locally-based technical assistance programs, bringing in national and regional resources to use the arts as an intervention strategy in clusters of low-performing schools, and their work will begin in March 2017.

View the application.

Posted on August 29, 2016 by Monica

By Tom Teicholz, writing for Forbes:

The Los Angeles City College Foundation announced a $10.1 million gift from The Herb Alpert Foundation, creating an endowment that will provide tuition free attendance at Los Angeles City College to all music majors. This is the largest gift ever for a Southern California Community College.

Read the full article.

Posted on May 10, 2016 by Steve

In response to a recent controversy at a service organization convening discussing equity at the National Endowment for the Arts, Janet Brown, CEO of Grantmakers in the Arts, and Richard Kessler, Executive Dean of the College of Performing Arts at The New School, have penned an open letter to the arts community.

Posted on May 5, 2016 by Monica

Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion has released a new publication, Dancing to the Top: How Collective Action Revitalized Arts Education in Boston. This case study of the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion (BPS-AE), a program supported by Barr Foundation and others, examines the expansion of quality in-school arts instruction as a means to increase equity of opportunity in Boston Public Schools.

Read the report.

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Monica

As announced by The Wallace Foundation, a new report from RAND Corporation outlines how public schools can utilize funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to support leadership improvement:

This RAND report describes major ESSA funding programs that can be used to pay for school leadership improvement efforts; the law’s categories of acceptable evidence, and where and how they come into play; and activities supported by research in the top three evidence categories.

Read the report.

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Steve

From Martin Levine at Nonprofit Quarterly:

Across the political spectrum, there is agreement that our public schools are not meeting their responsibility to our children’s futures. Spanning the Bush and Obama presidencies, a common thread has been the setting of a national imperative to improve public education. In his first inaugural address, President Bush shared his view of our public education system: “The ambitions of some Americans are limited by failing schools.” President Obama began the last year of his presidency saying that the nation still needed to “restore the promise of America’s public education, and ensure that American children again lead the world in achievement, creativity and success.” Policymakers in both administrations and mega-philanthropists like Bill Gates and the Walton family shared a common narrative of the reasons our public schools were failing, which shaped educational policy.

Red the full article.

Posted on January 15, 2016 by Steve

Ingenuity, a hub of arts information, advocacy, strategy, and partnerships based in Chicago, has released its annual progress report examining arts education in Chicago Public Schools in the 2014-15 school year. Among numerous positive developments, the report reflects an increase in the number of certified arts instructors, and 30,000 elementary school students with greater access to arts staffing and instruction than the year before. Data was reported through multiple sources, including individual schools and hundreds of community arts partners, all of which feed Ingenuity's artlook Map – a public website focused on the dynamic landscape of arts education in Chicago.

Read the full report.

Posted on December 10, 2015 by Steve

From Alyson Klein, writing for Education Week:

For the past quarter century, federal education policy has been moving in one direction: toward standards-based education redesign, a greater reliance on standardized tests, and bigger role for Washington when it comes to holding schools accountable for student results. President Barack Obama reversed course with the stroke of a pen Thursday, putting states and districts back at the wheel when it comes to teacher evaluation, standards, school turnarounds, and accountability, through a new iteration of the five-decade old Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Read the full article.

Posted on December 3, 2015 by Janet

The US House of Representatives passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act conference report last night, December 2, 2015, by a strong vote – 359 to 64. The Senate is expected to take the bill up next week.

This bill is a big win for arts education. Specifically, this bill would:

  • Define the arts as a “well-rounded” education activity/subject.
  • Explicitly allow Title I funding to be used for the arts and other well-rounded activities and subjects.
  • Explicitly allow professional development funding under Title II of ESEA to be used to benefit arts teachers.
  • Explicitly allow after school funding through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to specifically be used for the arts.
  • Ensure that the arts are an allowable use of funds under the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment State and local school district grant program.

A successful amendment to the conference report by Rep. Bonamici (D-OR) also allows states to integrate other subject areas, including the arts, into STEM programs.

These additions make it more explicit that the $17 billion in Federal ESEA funding can be used to support the arts and provide arts education. While...

Posted on November 3, 2015 by Steve

From Melissa Bailey of the Boston Globe:

Aspiring doctors may not think they have time to gaze at paintings or play the viola while they’re cramming for anatomy tests. But Harvard Medical School thinks students should be doing more of that — and the school is not alone. This fall, Harvard launched a new initiative to use more drama, dance, and literature to help medical students become empathetic and reflective doctors. In doing so, Harvard joins a growing number of schools making more overt efforts to weave arts and humanities into medical education.

Read the full article.