Advocacy for the arts – for music, visual art, drama and dance – is critical. It’s important all the time, not just when programs are threatened with budget cuts.
The best ways for arts teachers to advocate for the power of the arts is to do their best job every single day – and to make sure that others (parents, administrators, community members, legislators and Board of Education members) are aware of all the good things happening in their classrooms.
The best way for parents, community members and others who share a passion for the arts to advocate is to be knowledgeable about the arts programs in their schools. They need to be knowledgeable about the multitude of benefits that arts education contributes to student achievement and to the overall education of our students.
The following documents and websites are just some of the many resources available to arts teachers, parents, and community members who feel strongly about the arts and their significant role in the education of our students.
- The Arts and Language Development: The arts can serve as a symbol system that parallels and supports language development, especially for students who have a need for language acquisition. This might include students with special needs or students for whom English is a second language. For these students the arts can be a valuable tool in fostering language acquisition and development, as well as an alternate means of communication.
- Make AYP Postcard: This postcard includes the phrase “Make Arts Your Priority”, a play on the official acronym “AYP” from the No Child Left Behind legislation; it stands for Annual Yearly Progress.
- Rationale for Arts Education: This was the introduction to original Fine Arts Plan presented to the Board of Education in 1996 as the rationale for re-establishing the elementary Fine Arts program.
- Ten Lessons the Arts Teach: This eloquent statement is credited to Elliott Eisner, Professor of Education at Stanford University.
- Education and the Arts
- What Can Parents Do to Encourage Young Children in the Arts?
- Why the Arts Matter: This handout was compiled from a variety of sources.
- Yes, You CAN Be an Advocate for the Arts: This piece is directed at arts teachers, K – 12
- Websites: The following websites for the national organizations of each of the fine arts content areas have outstanding Advocacy pages. Please don’t limit yourself to the content area in which you are most interested. Each site has excellent information and research links to arts education information in general – in addition to the information specific to their content area.