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 October 4, 2017 by Monica

The Wallace Foundation has published a case study examining efforts to introduce high-quality after school art programs at Boys and Girls Clubs in the Midwest:

The study explores the efforts of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), a federation of more than 4,000 clubhouses around the country, in the first three years of Wallace’s Youth Arts Initiative. The initiative is based on Something to Say, a 2013 study of successful arts-focused organizations that identified 10 principles their programs appear to share. BGCA, the main grantee in the initiative, is working to determine whether a much larger, generalist organization can use Something to Say’s principles to establish high-quality arts programs of its own.

Read the report from The Wallace Foundation.

Posted on September 26, 2017 by Monica

A tax to fund arts education in Portland, Oregon has recently come up against legal and administrative challenges, as reported by Artsy:

Passed as a ballot initiative with the support of 62% of Portland voters in 2012, the arts tax requires most city residents to pay a flat fee of $35 annually to support and expand arts education in the city’s schools. So why has a relatively small charge for a worthy cause resulted in years of pushback?

Retired Attorney George Wittemyer, who sued Portland over the issue in March of 2013, found legal, rather than ideological, problems with the tax.

Read the full article on Artsy.

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Monica

Music celebrity Chance the Rapper is partnering with arts education advocacy group Ingenuity to fund arts education in response to budget cuts in Chicago Public Schools. ABC reports:

Chicago native and Grammy winner Chance the Rapper announced on Friday that his non-profit organization SocialWorks has raised $2.2 million that will be given to 20 [Chicago Public Schools] for arts education programs.

SocialWorks, in partnership with CPS and arts education advocacy organization Ingenuity, created the New Chance Arts & Literature Fund to bring arts education to schools where budgets have been cut.

Read the full article.

Posted on August 24, 2017 by Monica

The Walton Family Foundation has made a $120 million gift to the University of Arkansas to establish its School of Art with an interdisciplinary approach to learning. A letter from Alice Walton explains:

I am thrilled that through collaboration with the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the University of Arkansas announced today a groundbreaking initiative with the establishment of the new University of Arkansas School of Art.

From Northwest Arkansas, we will inspire students and scholars from around the globe with a fresh approach that will help redefine collaboration and experimentation by infusing the study of art into disciplines across higher education including business, education, architecture and engineering. And with a close connection to Crystal Bridges, we will bring a new level of study to American art to help create a better understanding of our history and our future.

Read the full announcement from Walton Family Foundation

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.