Back to blog

New to ArtScan? Here’s What You Need to Know

Date: 13 April 2020

Did you know that Nevada has arts education instructional requirements for K-12 public schools, youth centers, state facilities and detention centers? Neither did I, until I joined the team at the Arts Education Partnership and began working on ArtScan. As part of AEP’s new work exploring the arts across the juvenile justice system, I’ve been researching what arts education opportunities are available for justice-involved youth and found through ArtScan that Nevada is one state addressing this topic.

This is just one example of the breadth of information included in ArtScan, the nation’s clearinghouse of the latest state policies supporting arts education from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

ArtScan, an easy-to-use database, includes up-to-date information on 14 policy areas related to K-12 arts education such as standards, instructional requirements, graduation requirements, assessment, state accreditation, teacher-licensure requirements and funding. Each year, in collaboration with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (an AEP partner organization), AEP updates this database and provides multiple ways for users to explore the data:

ArtScan at a Glance


Individual state profiles




ArtScan also allows a user to see a comprehensive 50-State Comparison across specific policy areas.

New in 2020

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted arts education standards for early childhood, elementary and secondary education, and many state boards have recently updated them. Here are some of the updates captured in ArtScan this year:

  • Arkansas added an arts graduation requirement of 3.5 units, with eligible courses including music and fine arts. Twenty-five states have adopted policies for arts education requirements for high school graduation, but most states have a high school graduation requirement of 1 unit
  • Minnesota added language that specifically includes media arts both in subject requirements and other policies, including grade-level benchmarks. You may already know that the National Core Arts Standards include media arts as a fifth arts discipline, and Minnesota’s policy is one example of how these new standards are influencing states beyond revisions to academic standards.
  • Missouri and South Dakota added arts-related licensure requirements for early childhood and elementary teachers, meaning that teacher preparation coursework for these certifications must include the arts. Missouri and South Dakota are among the 27 states that have arts licensure requirements for non-arts teachers within state statute or regulation.

Navigating ArtScan reveals many changes in policies related to arts education across the country. From expanding language to include new art forms, to teacher credentialing and arts requirements, ArtScan is your one-stop shop for information that can help ensure that all students have access to an excellent arts education. Explore arts education policies in your state and compare with others!

This post comes from the Arts Education Partnership, a national coalition of over 100 education, arts, business, culture, government and philanthropy organizations at Education Commission of the States.

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