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 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 August 18, 2017 by Monica

From The Washington Post:

The remaining members of a presidential arts and humanities panel resigned on Friday in yet another sign of growing national protest of President Trump’s recent comments on the violence in Charlottesville.

Members of the President’s Committee are drawn from Broadway, Hollywood, and the broader arts and entertainment community and said in a letter to Trump that “Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed.”

The arts commission has focused on three main tasks: promoting a program called Turnaround Arts that supports arts integration programs in mostly urban and rural schools; encouraging economic revitalization through the arts; and undertaking cultural diplomacy, including a visit to Cuba to meet with some of the island country’s artists and entertainers.

Read the full article on The Washington Post.

Posted on July 5, 2017 by Monica

An article in EdSource discusses the challenges affecting arts education in California, using recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress:

Students in the western U.S., which covers 13 states including California, showed slight improvements in their overall arts and music scores since 2008, but lagged in arts enrollment, with arts attendance dropping from 35 percent in 2008 to 33 percent in 2016. By contrast, almost 70 percent of students in the northeast were enrolled in a music or art class.

Read the full article.

Posted on June 7, 2017 by Monica

The Education Commission of the States has released a detailed report highlighting the ways that states and districts can engage the arts in the ongoing work of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Designed to continue growing as ESSA implementation proceeds, this report currently contains chapters exploring the opportunities for arts education within the following topics: Accountability, Assessments, Stakeholder Engagement, State Plans, Tiers of Evidence, Title I, and a Well-Rounded Education.

Read the report.

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Monica

A policy brief published by The Brookings Institution discusses how states can approach measurement of arts education in implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):

ESSA presents a timely opportunity for states to adopt policies that facilitate accountability and comparability in arts education through measurement. In many cases, the burden on states would be minimal. Making existing data publicly available and incorporating it as a measure of school quality is an easy first step. Adding basic measures to state accountability systems, such as the percentage of students enrolled in the arts, student/arts teacher ratios, and arts course availability, would facilitate an informed appraisal of the state of arts education and incentivize schools to promote arts education.

Read the full brief.

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Monica

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts has released a working paper detailing progress on a pilot project funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to increase access to arts education in rural Massachusetts. This working paper shares highlights of research conducted as part of the project, including impediments that prevent arts education from being fully utilized in rural areas, and promising practices for increasing access to arts education in rural areas. It also shares insights from a subsequent convening aimed at generating cross-sector collaboration on the subject.

View the report.

Posted on April 27, 2017 by Monica

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has released its “report card” assessment of student learning and achievement in visual arts and music. From NPR:

And in many ways, the numbers aren't great, with little progress shown in most categories since the last time the assessment was given in 2008. One bright spot: The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white peers has narrowed. But Hispanics and African-Americans still lag far behind white and Asian eighth-graders. . . .

Overall, the national scores on arts achievement remained flat when compared with 2008, said Peggy Carr, the acting commissioner of NAEP.

Read the article on NPR.
View the interactive NAEP Arts Assessment.

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.