Welcome to the Arts Education PartnershipJBest (AEP) website and thank you for visiting! AEP is a national network of organizations dedicated to advancing the arts in education through research, policy and practice. Our vison is that every student in America succeeds in school, work and life as a result of a high quality education in and through the arts.

In late 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. As a new center within Education Commission of the States, AEP will benefit from the exemplary reach and access the organization has to a wide-range  of education stakeholders across the nation. We will build on AEP’s 20-year legacy by providing our partners and the arts education community with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to elevate the narrative toward realizing our collective goals for the arts in education.

Research continues to shed light on how the arts are making a difference in not only improving  academic performance and nurturing creativity but also in fostering personal development – we are counting on both the arts and education communities to engage, take action and share  promising practices for advancing student success though the arts.

Passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) presents renewed opportunity to highlight the importance of the arts as part of a well-rounded education. ESSA also brings great possibilities to our ongoing effort to leverage  success stories across arts disciplines on how the arts contribute to academic achievement.

I encourage you to download The Arts Leading the Way to Student Success: A 2020 Action Agenda for Advancing the Arts in Education. This action agenda serves as the blueprint for the collective work for the partnership. The Action Agenda identifies four priority areas in which arts and education leaders can situate their work:

  • Raise Student Achievement and Success
  • Support Effective Educators and School Leaders
  • Transform the Teaching and Learning Environment
  • Build Leadership Capacity and Knowledge

I also invite you to explore the many resources currently available on the AEP website such as our ESSA and the arts page, a compilation  of resources from the field and across the partnership,  ArtScan, our 50-state database of arts education policies and ArtsEdSearch, our clearinghouse of research on the benefits of arts in education for both students and educators. Visit our publication store where you will find a variety of resources on the arts in education, many of which are available for free download.  Stay tuned to the ArtsEd Digest for updates on the work of AEP and our partner organizations. Finally, we welcome the opportunity for you to connect with us, share your arts education endeavors and let us know how we all might benefit from one another’s meaningful work.

It is an exciting time for the arts in education!


Jane R. Best, Ph.D.
Director, Arts Education Partnership