What We Do

Learn more about AEP’s work and how to get involved.


AEP’s updated strategic mission focuses our work on building leadership capacity for arts and education leaders. Through research, reports, convenings and counsel, leaders gain knowledge and insights to ensure that all learners receive an excellent arts education.


AEP gathers and compiles information that helps arts and education leaders improve practice, build effective partnerships and inform policy.



ArtsEdSearch is AEP’s online clearinghouse of research focused on the outcomes of arts education for students and educators, both during and outside the school day. All studies included in ArtsEdSearch are peer reviewed by staff members of AEP and Education Commission of the States, as well as arts education researchers and scholars.

How you can get involved:



ArtScan is a searchable database of state policies supporting arts education in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. AEP partners with the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE) to update this database every year.


AEP issues relevant and timely reports, providing concise, factual overviews and analysis on priority arts and education issues.


  • ArtsEd Digest is AEP’s bi-monthly e-newsletter highlighting news from AEP partner and affiliate organizations, as well as the arts education field more broadly.
    • How you can get involved:
Researched Writing
  • Policy briefs are publications that provide deeper analysis of one policy issue.
  • Policy outlines are short overviews of a single policy issue with related examples from various states.
  • Special reports are publications that provide a deep dive into research, policy and/or practice related to an issue.
    • How you can get involved:
    • Use and share AEP’s policy resources as part of your work.

Submit an information request to AEP if you need information or a resource that doesn’t currently exist.

Success Stories
  • Success stories highlight successful programs and initiatives of AEP partner organizations. Each success story includes a description of the program or initiative, information about the partner organization, conditions for success, questions to consider and links to learn more.


AEP provides unbiased advice and consultation on arts and education policy and practice.


Information Requests
  • Information requests are one-page responses to inquiries about specific issues or policies from partners and others, including policymakers, media, partners, affiliates and members of the general public. AEP coordinates a response, sends it to the requestor and posts the response on its website. (link to AEP examples)
Staff Services
  • AEP staff members engage in speaking engagements, testimony and technical assistance as requested. Partner organizations receive first consideration for scheduling, followed by affiliates. AEP may engage partner organizations to fulfill these requests when their expertise matches the need. (link to recent examples)
    • How you can get involved: Contact AEP to request a speaker, facilitator, or other support.


AEP brings arts and education leaders together locally, within their states and nationally to interact, collaborate and learn from each other.


Annual Convening
  • AEP’s Annual Convening is a two-day conference that brings together arts and education supporters, including partners, affiliates, policymakers and others.
    • How you can get involved:
      • Submit a proposal to present a concurrent session.
      • Recommend student artists to showcase their work.
      • Host a site visit or reception.
      • Share registration information with networks.
      • Register to attend the event
Policy Academies
  • Policy Academies are two-day meetings where state teams receive targeted technical assistance around a specific issue. By the end of the convening, state teams have short- and long-term policy plans for moving that policy in their state. AEP staff may provide ongoing assistance for an additional 18 months.
Quarterly Partner Webinars
  • Quarterly partner webinars are one-hour, web-based meetings of AEP partner and affiliate organizations. They serve as regularly scheduled opportunities for AEP to connect with partners and affiliates, as well as for partners and affiliates to connect with each other.
    • How you can get involved as a partner:
      • Attend the webinars.
      • Contact AEP to share information about your organization’s work during a webinar.
Thinkers Meetings
  • Thinkers meetings are one-day, invitation-only facilitated meetings designed to gather the collective wisdom of some of the leading thought experts on key education issues to better inform education leaders across states.
Working groups, special project teams and task forces
  • Working groups, special project teams and task forces provide counsel and support to AEP staff, both generally and related to specific products. AEP forms and manages these groups, which are comprised of representatives from partner and affiliate organizations.


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.

Click here to see a history of AEP milestones.