Did you know that arts education has a week dedicated to celebrating the impact of creativity in learning? This week (Sept. 11-17) is National Arts in Education Week, created with the goal of raising awareness and advocating about the values of arts in education programs.
Let’s face it folks, the numbers don’t lie. Research has continually shown the positive effects of arts learning in K-12, but also in college and in senior services. There are many benefits such as developing leadership skills, creative thinkers, the ability to work as a team, and to be able to articulate ideas are just some of the many skills one can gain from the arts. All this helps to prepare individuals for college, careers, and good health.
Looking for a way to celebrate National Arts in Education Week? Here are three ways you can get involved:
Support your local arts program
Many community-based organizations are hosting events in honor of National Arts in Education Week. Go out and show your support, whether it is a performance, an exhibit, an open house, or a class/workshop. The Americans for the Arts has provided a community calendar full of events happening during the week. Check it out here!
Advocate to the key players
Advocacy plays an important role in spreading the word about a specific cause. Use this time as an opportunity to advocate for maintaining/increasing arts in education programs. You can start with local school administrators, the school board, community board, local/state/national politicians, local/state arts agencies, arts services organizations, etc. Speak up and get the word out!
Use social media
Participate in the #Becauseofartsed campaign on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Tell a story, share a video, or post an image about how arts education had an impact on your life. Make sure to use the hashtags #ArtsEdWeek and #Becauseofartsed!
In honor of the movement, here is my story:
Arts in education programming has had a huge impact in my life. Growing up at one time or another, I was involved in dance class, marching and concert band, chorus, and drama club. Taking dance class always proved to be a creative outlet for me. I enjoyed (and still do) being able to express myself in a way that is different from the traditional using your words. It challenged me to dig down deep to learn how I really felt. Being in chorus and band taught me discipline. My band director was strict with us, but in the end we were the best school band around! We did things nobody else was. Drama club was scary at first because I tend to get very shy. Although I chose not to pursue a career in acting, it did build my confidence to be able to “project my voice” and speak in front of large crowds (as I often do for work). I truly believe the arts are part of a well-rounded education and that every child, regardless should have access to quality arts in education programming.
Do you have a story? I would love to hear how the arts has had an impact on your life.