Make your voice heard
Our national organization, the NAEA, has a great page of tips on how to best communicate the value of visual arts education.
Need help or advice? Reach out to our Advocacy and Partnership coordinator.
Art Advocacy Websites
Aesthetics Online the American Society for Aesthetics, news, links, and ideas to promote art.
10 Lessons the Arts Teach- A nice advocacy page by the National Art Education Association.
American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)- advances the graphic design profession through competitions, exhibitions, publications, professional seminars, educational activities, and projects in the public interest.
Art Educators Association of Indiana - Their advocacy page.
AE Connect - the art educators’ virtual drop in center. Site from Massachusetts College of Art – has extensive art education resources including Choice-Based Art Teaching. Lesson plans, tutorials, art + technology articles and more.
Arts and Smarts: Test Scores and Cognitive Development- How to combat the elimination of the arts in school.
Hobbling Arts Hobbles Innovation- A great article that illustrates how the arts integrate and enhance the sciences and technology.
Indiana Coalition for the Arts- A site that includes links for advocacy, economic impact for the arts, and more.
Keep Arts in School - (Archive) A great site with research, programs and resources.
The NASAA Advocate - Strategies for Building Arts Support.
The Necessary Role of the Arts in Education and Society- An article on research by the Center for the Arts in Basic Curriculum.
Young Audiences of Indiana- An organization devoted to advocacy of the arts.
Quick facts about the importance of the arts
Did You Know?
Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:
- 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
- 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
- 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
- 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
- 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem
Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:
- Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
- Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
- Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
- Perform community service more than four times as often
(“Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations,” Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts Monograph, November 1998)
The facts are that arts education…
- makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries(Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA Imagination Project, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA, Americans for the ArtsMonograph, January 1998)
- has a measurable impact on at-risk youth in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance among those youth engaged in afterschool and summer arts programs targeted toward delinquency prevention(YouthARTS Development Project, 1996, U.S. Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts)
Businesses understand that arts education…
- builds a school climate of high expectation, discipline, and academic rigor that attracts businesses relocating to your community
- strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success
- helps students develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting—skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond
- can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive behavior and another way for students to approach learning
- provides another opportunity for parental, community, and business involvement with schools, including arts and humanities organizations
- helps all students develop more appreciation and understanding of the world around them
- helps students develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well done
(Business Circle for Arts Education in Oklahoma, “Arts at the Core of Learning 1999 Initiative”)
10 Lessons the Arts Teach:
1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.
Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
2. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution
and that questions can have more than one answer.
3. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives.
One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
4. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving
purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity.Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
5. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
6. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects.
The arts traffic in subtleties.
7. The arts teach students to think through and within a material.
All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
8. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said.
When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
9. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source
and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.
10. The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young
what adults believe is important.
SOURCE: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press. Available from NAEA Publications. NAEA grants reprint permission for this excerpt from Ten Lessons with proper acknowledgment of its source and NAEA.