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.

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.

Create CA

Create CA advocates for high quality arts education for all students by providing policy expertise and by mobilizing a statewide network of advocates and allied partners.

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. API news 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.

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.

SRI International

SRI International, an independent research 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. The study, entitled, An Unfinished Canvas, Arts Education in California: Taking Stock of Policies and Practices, is linked here.

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.

VSA Arts

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.


Arts Journal 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.

ArtsEdge: Newsbreak

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.


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.

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.

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