On July 26, 2010, the U. S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating the second week of September as Arts in Education Week to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college- and career-ready students. The resolution states: “Arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.”
There are many ways you can celebrate Arts in Education week and advocate for arts education in your school and community. We invite you to read about some of these here.
1. Take a few minutes to send a Letter to the Editor of your local paper, explaining why the arts matter in education! Write your own or use this template from Americans for the Arts.
2. Post your Arts Ed Story on social media. Use the hashtag #BecauseOfArtsEd. People from all walks of life can share stories of the transformative power of the arts in their own education and the impact of the arts in their work and life.
3. Celebrate Arts Ed week in your school/organization. Decorate a bulletin board, highlight student projects, write a message in your school/organization newsletter. Organize a pop-up or drop-in arts activity for students and staff.
4. Send an email to your principal, administration, and school board, letting them know it’s Arts Education week and sharing a couple of arts-related ideas, activities or events you’re excited about this school year.
5. Sign up for a fall professional development opportunity. Challenge yourself! What workshops and development will help you grow as a teacher, artist, and person? How will connecting with other educators and community leaders energize your work?
6. Talk about arts learning with family and friends. Successful grassroots movements start with the local. Does your inner circle know why you’re passionate about arts education? What transformative experiences have you seen students have in your school or community?
7. Dig deeper into the Every Student Succeeds Act. Read about how the arts can play an important role in the implementation of ESSA.
8. Celebrate your school successes by writing a short Spotlight for our website. Was one of your lessons or units wildly successful? Have you integrated arts into other classroom subjects? Have you had an artist in residence or afterschool program that you want to share with the world? Write a short description and photos, audio, or video, and we will consider it for a model spotlight on our website.
9. Reinvest in your own Arts Education. As lifelong learners, our teaching and sharing improves as we continue to immerse ourselves in art making. Carve out a couple of hours for your own studio time, let yourself take the time to see a theatre performance, sign up for a class, make time for a few creative exercises….
10. Engage in online conversations about Arts Ed week and the important role the arts have played in your life. Almost everyone has an arts story to tell! After you share your own post, search the hashtags #BecauseofArtsEd and #ArtsEdweek to contribute to the national conversation.
And we encourage you to check out a variety of great resources and ideas at these sites:
Americans for the Arts
Arts Education Partnership
National Education Association