California Arts Council

State of California

Celebrate "Arts in Education Week" September 11th through 17th 
U.S. House of Representatives passes resolution emphasizing importance of arts learning for children

Published: 08-30-2011

Creativity, imagination, and the study of the visual and performing arts are absolutely necessary and a vital part of a well-rounded education. Even the U.S. House of Representatives says so, with a resolution citing the second week of September as "Arts in Education Week."

The resolution states:

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.

This year's celebration is September 11-17. "Arts in Education Week" is a chance to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college- and career-ready students. One way to celebrate is to join the California Arts Council at the Arts Education Partnership's National Forum in San Francisco on September 16-17. SEE MORE

Activities include various plenary sessions, small group sessions, and lunchtime roundtable discussions with arts education experts and other leaders. The keynote speaker is Milton Chen, Senior Fellow and Executive Director Emeritus of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Chen's book Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools was selected as one of the 10 best education books of 2010 by the American School Boards Journal.

The California Arts Council's participation in the Arts Education Partnership forum is just part of the work the agency is doing to further arts education in the state. Council members and staff have been working this year with the California Department of Education and others on the Education Leaders Institute from the National Endowment for the Arts -- a coalition of national leaders exploring and advocating for robust arts education in K-12 schools nationally to properly prepare the U.S. workforce of the future. The initial convening of this year's Education Leaders Institute was in May, and a second meeting and announcement of the coalition's progress will be announced later this fall.

Arts Education Week isn't just for policy makers, of course -- there are plenty of ways for individuals to participate as well. If it's information you want, there are plenty of websites with information on the importance of the visual and performing arts in schools. The National Education Association, California PTA, and others have identified several ways to learn more about the benefits of arts education, teacher resources, and grant funding. In California, the Visual and Performing Arts Standards emphasize the importance of augmenting arts education in school with exposure to advanced artists and professional performers. And the California Arts Council has long supported arts education during and after school hours. 

More information and resources about Arts Education on the California Arts Council site: 

With schools starting up again and California Arts Day / National Arts and Humanities Month just around the corner in October, it's time to celebrate and recognize the importance of the arts for our children's creativity, imagination and innovation. Take time to celebrate in September with Arts Education Week -- and let us know here at the California Arts Council how you participated.

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