arts education

  • AEP’s ArtScan

    Mike Lawson | March 25, 2014

    Arts Education Partnership debuts new tool to shed light on state arts policies

    The Arts Education Partnership has just debuted ArtScan, a searchable database of the latest state policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    This resource not only includes policy language excerpted directly from each state’s education policies, but also information on state-level surveys of arts education and a set of descriptive education indicators (from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics’ Digest of Education Statistics: 2012).

  • From the Trenches: Déjà Vu All Over Again

    Mike Lawson | March 17, 2014

    New music/arts standards will drive education for the next decade… or longer

    In March of 1994, 20 years ago this month, two of the most historically important efforts to advance music and arts education came to fruition:

    1. The codifying of the arts as a core subject with the passage and signing of the Goals 2000 Educate America Act (the Clinton Administration’s name for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that governs all of public education in this country) and,

    2. The release of the National Standards for Arts Education.

    These two events, culminating simultaneously, set the stage for the future growth, and defense of, music and arts education.

  • Change for… Music Education?

    Mike Lawson | December 11, 2008

    "Everybody had access to Music, and everybody had access to Art. And the reason is because people understood, even though they hadn't done the scientific research back then, that children who learn music do better in math. Kids' whose imaginations are sparked by the Arts are more engaged in school... so these things aren't extras, but they are part of a well-rounded education. Part of the reason why many schools have been eliminating or diminishing arts programs is because of No Child Left Behind... as school districts felt pressured to teach to the test." Although these are words that we have heard ourselves saying over and over to each other for the past eight years, the above quote is from our new President-elect, Barack Obama, made during a recent speech made in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Not only does he believe in the importance of music education, but he also indicated that we need to increase funding for arts and music not only in schools, but outside of schools as well. Clips of this speech can be seen on YouTube (

    In a statement delivered after the results of the election became official, Robert L. Lynch, the CEO of Americans for the Arts, reflected on the words of President-elect Obama: "His commitment to arts and arts education on the campaign trail is just a preview of what his administration can accomplish. Obama demonstrates the leadership and vision to advance the arts in America through investing in more arts education in public schools, advocating for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, promoting cultural diplomacy, and supporting artists rights."

    The incoming administration offers a significant change in direction from the Bush years, when the arts suffered for a variety of reasons under the No Child Left Behind plan. One specific postive move Obama has already made was the appointment of Bill Ivey as the head of the transition team for Arts and Culture. Ivey served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1998 through 2001 and is the director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University. An article on Vanderbilt's Web site states that, "Ivey is familiar with leading cultural agencies during difficult times. Ivey was appointed to the National Endowment for the Arts at a time when the arts were not allotted much importance by politicians, according to Metro Councilman Ronnie Steine, an advocate of the arts who has served on many Nashville boards."

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