This representative list provides some key organizations that advocate for arts learning in our schools.
Advocacy Support from the American Association of Community Theatre
The American Association of Community Theatre sponsors this site. Resources on this portion of their site include links to Economic Impact Studies, a section titled “Why Business Invests In the Arts”, an Advocacy Information Packet that can be downloaded as a PDF file and links to other state, national, and organizational reports. Of particular interest may be “Live Arts Experiences: Their Impact on Health and Wellness,” a monograph by Hospital Audiences Incorporated. Resources can be used to advocate for all arts disciplines.
American Arts Alliance
Although the site is designed for use by non-profit arts organizations, there is useful material here in support of the arts for educators. There is information regarding the impact of the arts on culture and on economy, as well as links to other arts resources and legislators.
Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts is an arts information clearinghouse and an arts advocacy organization. It is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.
ArtsEdge: Advocacy Resources
The Kennedy Center is dedicated to supporting policies, practices, and partnerships that ensure that the arts are woven into the very fabric of American education. This portion of ArtsEdge provides resources for advocating on behalf of the arts in schools and the community. Included are Web resources, print resources, and links to frequently requested documents.
Arts Education & School Improvement Resources for Local & State Leaders
This site can help local and state leaders and arts educators learn about opportunities in U.S. Dept. of Education programs for securing funding to improve arts education and using the arts to improve overall student performance.
Arts Education Partnership
ARTS EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP on the World Wide Web provides a comprehensive listing of advocacy tools in print, on video, and online with links to Web sites for obtaining resources from Partnership organizations. This includes information provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, which assists nonprofit organizations in identifying potential federal support for cultural programs and local access points for that support. Partners are listed in the annual directory and partnering organizations include arts, education, business, philanthropic, and government organizations that have national scope and impact. This site is a resource for all those who need to make a case for strong arts education.
Art Education Research and Policy
The Music Center Education Division maintains this page of links to articles and sites on recent research in the link between arts education and learning. The page has a separate listing for new articles added in the past 6 months and the site has a link available to download Adobe Acrobat Reader for users who need it to access material on the site. The site itself does not require Acrobat Reader, but a number of the links do.
Arts in Education – Hillsborough County Florida
The Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the School District of Hillsborough County have collaborated on an arts in education program. The overall site is devoted to that program, but the arts education advocacy section of the site has a very nice selection of information about arts education and quotes about the value of arts education. Everything in this area of the site comes from elsewhere, but it has been well organized and provides an easily accessible collection of information. It would make a nice information sheet for arts advocacy groups presenting to districts, boards, or legislators.
Artsvision Resource Gallery
Artsvision’s goal is the “presentation of arts for diverse communities across this continent.” This page is a bibliography of articles and books which speak to the importance of arts education for children. The articles named here do not have links on this site; it is quite possible that many or most are not available on the Internet. However, this is a useful list of resources to look at for material supporting the presence and validity of arts in the schools. Authors include Elliott Eisner, Harry S. Broudy, and Howard Gardner, to name a few.
Becoming a Citizen of the Arts
This brief article suggests a well-rounded approach to arts advocacy at any level. None of the ideas are new, but all of them together make a good reminder.
CAAE – California Alliance for Arts Education
California Alliance for Arts Education, a coalition of statewide organizations, arts providers, businesses, and individuals, is the united voice in California promoting visual and performing arts as an integral part of the core curriculum for the youth of our state. This site includes an up-to-date comprehensive calendar of conferences for arts educators.
CAC – California Arts Council
The mission of the CAC is to make available and accessible quality art reflecting all of California’s diverse cultures; to support the state’s broad economic, educational, and social goals through the arts; to provide leadership for all levels of the arts community; and to present effective programs that add a further dimension to our cities, our schools, our jobs, and our creative spirit. You will find current information about educational grants programs on this Web site.
CALAA – California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies
The California Assembly of Local Arts Agencies (CALAA) is a nonprofit, membership organization representing the state’s 250 local arts agencies. CALAA defines local arts agencies as community organizations (private) or agencies of local government (public) which provide services, financial support, or other programs for a variety of arts organizations and/or individual artists, and the community as a whole. You will find links to local arts agencies on this site.
Center for Arts & Culture
The Center for Arts and Culture is an independent think tank that aims to broaden and deepen the national conversation on culture and cultural policies. Founded in 1994 in Washington, DC, the Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, supported by foundations and governed by a board of directors. Its mission is to enlarge the public vision of the centrality of the arts and culture in everyday life. The Center commissions research, holds public roundtables, and publishes new voices and perspectives on the arts and culture. First time visitors to the site may want to select a topic and then choose to view the Site Map to get an overview of what is available.
Coming Up Taller
“Coming Up Taller” is a report on the value and influence of arts education for all children. The report focuses on extracurricular programs, but the rationale applies to all arts programs. Profiles of successful programs are included and links to other arts sites provided.
Community Arts Network
The Community Arts Network (CAN) project promotes information exchange, research, and critical dialogue within the field of community-based arts, that is, art made as a voice and a force within a specific community of place, spirit, or tradition. The CAN project is designed and managed by a partnership of Art in the Public Interest, a national nonprofit organization, and The Virginia Tech Department of Theatre Arts’ Consortium for the Study of Theatre and Community. Click on Conversations to access forums/discussion board where you ask questions, discuss issues, and reflect on what you read on the CAN Web site. APInews is the organization’s regular newsletter on current events, and the Reading Room contains essays and links focusing on community-based arts.
ERIC Database (Free)
The ERIC site is a clearinghouse for articles on all topics. It is an excellent resource and is easily searchable by keyword, but it is best used if one knows the title or author of a specific article. The database can be used to find related links from more than one million abstracts of documents and journal articles on educational research and practice from 1966 through the present. A description of material in the articles, abstracts, is provided free, but one is charged for copies of the actual article.
The 4th R
This article argues cogently for arts education in a technology age. Much of the discussion is geared toward visual art, but it is easy to extrapolate the connections to the other arts as well. The section titled “The Long and Winding Road,” particularly, puts forth the benefits of arts education. The site also links to a wide variety of other visual arts sites.
Gaining the Arts Advantage
This report responds to questions posed by school and community leaders throughout the United States about public school districts that have made literacy and competence in the arts one of the fundamental purposes of schooling for all their students. It includes a database that provides answers to questions that address staffing, program, and resource needs through numerous case studies.
The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation
The National Governors Association site offers a brief of this article and a PDF download of the entire study. The article cites studies in a variety of states that support the value of arts education in workforce preparation, particularly for at-risk populations. Programs in states such as New York, Connecticut, and Mississippi were studied and outcomes are clearly indicated. The article also makes policy recommendations for states.
National Arts Education Public Awareness Campaign
This page offers arguments for arts education, links to more such information, links to standards in the arts, successful arts programs, and connections with other groups participating in this public awareness campaign. It is easy to navigate and chiefly aimed at parents and community members who want more information in support of the arts.
National Association of States’ Arts Agencies
Though this site is primarily for state arts agencies, there are a couple of items of interest. The first is an article detailing the increase in the number of students graduating with arts credit and the second is an article on the value of the arts to senior citizens. Since the second article is predicated on the value of arts to students, it has information that might be used the other way around. There is also a strategic planning toolkit which may be of use to school arts support groups. That item costs, but there is a reduced price for “members.” Links to other state arts agencies are provided on the site and may be of value in creating an advocacy plan.
Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education devotes a section of their overall site to arts advocacy, and a part of that section to how to go about advocating for arts education. The suggestions offered there are useful to anyone wanting to begin an arts advocacy group. It includes information about how to get started, who to talk to, and a series of questions to evaluate one’s comfort level with advocacy. It is accessible to anyone wanting to get started with advocacy at any level.
President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
This site contains information and reports for the support of arts in education. Several reports can be downloaded in pdf format or purchased through the committee. The Champions of Change report (114 pages) cites specific findings based on research that shows the arts advantage. The executive summary is 3 pages long and contains the relevant information.
Project Zero’s mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts as well as in humanistic and scientific disciplines at individual and institutional sites. Investigations include making assessment an ongoing and integral part of the curriculum. Resource material on this site does not directly argue for arts education, but can be used in support of the argument for arts education. Project Zero offers publications, symposia, workshops, and online courses. Online courses can be located under Symposia & Workshops. Users can access information on arts assessment by going to Products and Services and using the search engine. Type in the word assessment to find a variety of materials on arts assessment.
Scores of Students in the Arts
This page contains comparisons between SAT scores of arts students and those of non-arts students. It shows that arts students score higher overall in both verbal and math areas and may prove useful in supporting arguments for arts courses in schools.
SRI International, an independent reserach institute, produced a suite of studies sponsored by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. One of their hallmark studies examined the status of arts education in California. This study revealed that the vast majority of California’s schools fail to meet state standards for teaching the arts, and that access to arts instruction varies widely among the state’s schools. To view the study, entitled, An Unfinished Canvas, Arts Education in California: Taking Stock of Policies and Practices, go to:
TCAP – The California Arts Project
The California Arts Project (TCAP) is the state’s subject matter project in Visual and Performing Arts. TCAP’s central mission is to deepen teachers’ knowledge of dance, music, theatre, and visual arts, and to enhance instructional strategies for teaching these four disciplines to California’s students, pre-kindergarten through post-secondary. This site hosts interesting features such as arts education research and a standards database.
U.S. Department of Education
United States Department of Education site is comprised of the President’s and Secretary’s priorities, funding opportunities, student financial assistance, research and statistics, news and events, programs and services, publications and products, Education Offices and budget, education job openings, and links to other sites. Visit the Educational Resources section on the front page under “Other Academic Subjects” to find a variety of resources for advocacy, funding, and research.
This is a comprehensive site relating to art and the disabled. Provides advocacy, information, and exhibition opportunities for special needs artists and students. In 1999 Very Special arts changed its name to VSA Arts. Now standing for Vision, Strength and Artistic Expression, VSA Arts is an International Organization that creates learning opportunities through the arts for people with disabilities. The organization offers arts-based programs in creative writing, dance, drama, music, and visual arts.
Artsjournal.com has direct links to interesting and important news stories about the arts that are updated daily. Type “copyright” in the site’s search engine and find up-to-date articles on copyright laws as they specifically pertain to the arts.
Arts Wire, an online communications for artists, includes weekly Arts News, job listings, Artists’ Resources, Web reports and an online Web resource area with available technology tutorials and workshops. Consultations are provided to artists and arts organizations – from individuals, small grassroots to professional organizations – with training, planning, and technical support in telecommunications. Free of charge to New York residents, this service requires a membership. Arts Wire resources will help arts individuals and organizations to build your connection to the Internet. An updated version of Building Arts Audiences and Communities on the Web, A Guide for Arts Organization is posted with a print version available for purchase.
Newsbreak is the online journal of Kennedy Center ArtsEdge. Newsbreak provides a daily update on what is happening in the arts and arts education. Click on Headline archive to view the previous week’s news. The archive of articles is also searchable by keyword. In addition, users can sign up to have Newsbreak delivered weekly to a preferred e-mail address.
Cable in the Classroom
Cable in the Classroom is the companion Web site for Cable in the Classroom Magazine and the programming provided free to public and private schools via cable television service. The site provides information to help teachers use cable programming effectively in their classrooms. The site provides program and schedule information, support materials and lesson plans, copyright clearance information, information on media literacy, plus research and professional development information. When first visiting the site be sure to visit the links at the top of the page to get an overview of what is available. A Browse Programs by Subject feature is also available at the top of the page. The link to discussion groups is found at the bottom of the page.
American Music Conference
Web site of the American Music Conference. The main focus is promoting the benifits of music, music making, and music education. In-depth information is provided on the ongoing scientific research uncovering new links between active music making and the inner workings of the human brain. Click on Advocacy Toolkit to view information provided by the American Music Conference on Music Education Advocacy.
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation promotes instrumental music education nationwide by partnering with businesses, schools, and communities to provide new and refurbished musical instruments to qualified schools and individual students through grants and scholarships. MHOF was inspired by the acclaimed motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus, the story of the profound effect a motivated and dedicated music teacher had on his students. The film’s composer, Michael Kamen, founded MHOF in 1996 as his commitment to the future of music education.
Educational Theater Association – Advocacy
This site contains links and resources for teachers, administrators, and parents to update and assist them in advocating for Theatre Education in the schools.
Advocacy Support from the American Association of Community Theater
The American Association of Community Theatre sponsors this site. Resources on this portion of their site include links to Economic Impact Studies, a section titled “Why Business Invests In the Arts,” an Advocacy Information Packet that can be downloaded as a PDF file, and links to other state, national, and organizational reports. Of particular interest may be “Live Arts Experiences: Their Impact on Health and Wellness,” a monograph by Hospital Audiences Incorporated. Resources can be used to advocate for all arts disciplines.
Theater Journal – Project Muse
Theatre Journal publishes articles and reviews to be used for theatre studies. Archived articles are reprinted for subscribed institutions. Theatre Journal focuses on social and historical studies, production reviews, and theoretical inquiries.