National Arts in Education Week


In July of 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution #275 designating the second week of September as National Arts in Education Week. The resolution expressed congressional support for arts education:

Whereas arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theatre, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.







AEP 2014 National Forum

AEP’s 2014 National Forum ushered in National Arts in Education Week with 270 leaders representing 178 organizations and more than 30 states.  In case you were unable to join us, tune in here. More resources are coming soon, but in the meantime check out this roundup of media features on the Forum:

Life Of Learning Series – American Education and the Arts WESA 90.5 (NPR Radio)

Integrating the Arts into Education Focus of Two-Day Forum in Pittsburgh WESA 90.5 (NPR Radio)

General Roundup of WESA Stories on the AEP 2014 National Forum WESA 90.5 (NPR Radio)

Arts Education Forum Comes to Pittsburgh KDKA-TV

Arts Being Used in Local Schools KDKA-TV

Nation’s Top Education Leaders Meet in Pittsburgh KDKA-TV

Arts Education in the Pittsburgh Area KDKA-TV

National Forum in Pittsburgh Focuses on Art’s Role in Improving Education Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

National Arts Leader Tours Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Urges Arts in Education Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Educators, Experts Share Ways to Protect Arts Programs at Forum Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Sandra Ruppert – Director, Arts Education Partnership

Forty-nine states and district of Columbia have adopted standards for what students should know and be able to do in the arts. In addition, 45 states require, by law, that elementary schools in their state provide arts instruction.  And 26 states define the arts in statute or code as a core or academic subject.  Given these facts, then, why do so many education leaders and school officials still treat the arts as extracurricular, extraneous or expendable when making school staffing and funding decisions?  How do we explain the “policy paradox” of strong policies for the arts in education at the state level but weak implementation of those same policies at the school level?  Let’s see more stories where the commitment from the state house to the school house has produced a coordinated strategy and decisive actions to ensure that all students receive a complete and balanced education that includes the arts as an essential component.


Get Involved

Get the facts about the benefits of arts learning for students and teachers. Did you know that arts learning is linked to positive student outcomes such as engagement and persistence, overall academic achievement, communication and collaboration, and positive behavior, among others? Visit, a first-of-its-kind clearinghouse of arts education research, to learn more about these and other benefits of arts learning for teachers and students.

Find out what is going on in your school, district, and state. What are the policies in place in your community that either support or hinder student access and participation in arts learning? You can use ArtScan, AEP’s clearinghouse of arts education policies to find out information about your state. Released just this past April, this searchable database contains the latest information on arts education state policies and practices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

#StartTheArts with National PTA during Arts in Education Week! From September 15-19, National PTA and PTA’s across the country will participate in Start the Arts Week, the official PTA Reflections kick-off event, to raise awareness of the significance of arts education and encourage school community participation in the arts.

Join the first PTA Twitter Chat on Monday, Sept. 15 at 9PM ET. Follow #StartTheArts and Tweet @NationalPTA for the opportunity to promote your organization’s work and resources to millions of child advocates. Email to learn more and support National PTA’s Start the Arts Week.

Important Resources

Preparing Students for the Next America (2013): AEP’s latest research bulletin offers a snapshot of how the arts support achievement in school, bolster skills demanded of a 21st century workforce, and enrich the lives of young people and communities. It draws on the research in AEP’s, the nation’s first clearinghouse of research on the impact of arts education on students and their school communities. (Download the PDF)

What School Leaders Can do to Increase Arts Education (2011): As the top building-level leaders, school principals play a key role in ensuring every student receives a high-quality arts education as part of a complete education. This brochure-length guide, prepared by AEP with support from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) offers three concrete actions—supported by low-cost or no-cost strategies—school principals can take to increase arts education in their schools. (Download the PDF)

New Opportunities for Interest-Driven Arts Learning in a Digital Age, The Wallace Foundation (2013): This report delves into “interest-driven arts learning,” that is, exploration of the arts that emerges from children’s and teens’ own creative passions. The report identifies challenges and offers suggestions for future research, practice, and policy that build on current knowledge about interest-driven arts learning to enable more youth, particularly disadvantaged youth, to participate in the arts. (Download the full report)

The President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH): In 2011, PCAH released a major report documenting the benefits and potential opportunities for the advancement of arts education. (Download the full report)

Arts Access in U.S. Schools (2009-10 FRSS): Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10, released by the U.S. Department of Education and its Institute of Education Sciences (IES), reports on data collected on student access to arts education and the resources available for such instruction. AEP and a coalition of partners have developed a toolkit for understanding, communicating, and utilizing the Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools report. (Learn more)