Our History

The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) was established in 1995 through a unique interagency agreement between the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, an agreement that has continued unabated since that year. The founding organizations continue to provide support and promote AEP as the nation’s hub for individuals and organizations committed to making high-quality arts education accessible to all U.S. students.

In 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education selected Education Commission of the States to serve as the new host organization for AEP. Believing that informed policymakers create better education policy, Education Commission of the States works with state education leaders to provide unbiased policy research and reports, targeted technical support and the opportunity to learn from peers in other states. As a policy center within Education Commission of the States, AEP has a unique and powerful opportunity to work with key state leaders to advance the 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education and promote AEP’s mission to ensure every child has access to a complete and competitive education that includes the arts.

Click here to see a history of AEP milestones.