Arts education has never been more endangered than it is today. The passage of the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, combined with the financial meltdown of 2008, has led to the widespread elimination of arts programs throughout the United States, both school and community-based. Ironically, there is considerable evidence to support the importance of arts education in engaging students, maintaining them in school, teaching them other subjects, and preparing them for success in college and far beyond. As the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has said: “For today’s students to be the innovators and economic leaders of the future, they will need to have experiences as musicians and dancers, painters and sculptors, poets and playwrights…”
Ways to Take Action
Makin’ a diff one art event at a time. Find an arts program in your community and ask them if they need any help. Volunteer at a Dreamyard festival in NY to celebrate youth arts, or chill with under-served children and fams through Free Arts arts programs in LA.
RAISE YOUR VOICE
Write a letter to your school board to support the arts, sign a petition to better arts education in schools, and hit up local officials for support – even invite them to your school to see the importance of arts education first hand! March is Arts Education Month and a great time to invited elected officials to visit an arts classroom or performance.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION
Let those creative juices flow. Create a video about the importance of arts education, organize an art show at your school, or put on a poetry slam to raise awareness for the cause. Check out the Student Voices Campaign and submit your video by March 31st, 2013 for a chance to win Adobe design and video editing software for your school!