Back to blog

Collaboration Is Key to (Celebrating) Arts Education

Date: 10 September 2018

As most students and educators around the nation return to school, supporters of the arts in education also gather together to celebrate the transformative power of the field. From Sept. 9-15, states and communities across the country will participate in National Arts in Education Weekpassed by Congress in 2010 ― and share how the arts in education impacts student success in school and beyond.

Every year, hundreds of local organizations unify their communities ― students, educators, PTAs, organizations, arts institutions, school leaders and municipal officials ― to bring attention to the cause of arts education. In over 600 communities across the country, leaders will discuss the current state of arts education ― including the most recent data on the access gap to quality arts learning, state implementation of the arts opportunities available under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and new professional development opportunities fueled by community partnerships.

In New Jersey, Arts Ed NJ, a statewide arts education organization, partnered with the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association to support a student art exhibit and professional development opportunity hosted by NJ Teen Arts. This collaboration also launched Arts Ed Now, a visibility campaign reliant on state longitudinal data from the state department of education that seeks to close the access gap through data-informed funding strategies.

In California, a group of San Diego community members will join educational leaders from the county’s school districts for an event at the New Children’s Museum to foster greater collaboration between community-based creative youth development organizations and the school district to best serve all students ― regardless of income or ZIP code.

Continuing the nationwide celebration, the business community will leverage the week to supply educators and families with the best resources possible. Crayola is launching a new campaign, creatED, which will introduce educators and families to different arts-infused learning solutions. The company will host contests on social media, with opportunities for participants to win family engagement events, project-based take-home kits, STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) class field trips to the Crayola Experience and Crayola art supplies for the classroom.

National Arts in Education Week can foster the meaningful partnerships, visibility and conversations that lead to a celebrated understanding of how students benefit from arts as an essential part of their well-rounded education. Join and follow the conversation online using the hashtags #BecauseOfArtsEd and #ArtsEdWeek.

This guest post comes from Jeff Poulin, arts education program manager at Americans for the Arts.

Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits