June 6, 2022
From the Field
Adding Arts to STEM for Young Students
Policymakers have long been interested in the benefits of STEM education (science, technology, engineering and math) in improving a state’s economic outlook. Yet even after the adoption of STEM programs, systematic youth engagement has not occurred in primary schools, with gaps falling along gendered, racial and ethnic lines. Research and Policy Implications of STEAM Education for Young Students, published by the Education Commission of the States in partnership with the Arts Education Partnership, suggests that interest in STEM education, as well as new capacity, expertise and perspectives, can be stimulated in young learners by fostering and adding the “A” for arts (STEAM). The policy brief offers an overview of the positive impacts of STEAM as a more comprehensive education for young learners in pre-K through fifth grade.
Arts Education Comparison Tools Update
The ArtScan database of the Arts Education Partnership has been updated with a new 50-State Comparison tool and State Profile. This enhancement makes the database more user-friendly and broadens its data coverage on arts education programs and policies throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia. With the new comparison tool, users now have more options for comparing several states within regions and the ability to create reports that best suit their interests and advocacy needs. A list of 160 accredited Department of Defense Education Activity schools and a federally run preK-12 education system for children of military members were also added in this update.
Centering Black Voices in Culture
LaPlaca Cohen and Slover Linett have just published Black Voices for the Evolution of Culture & Creativity, which examines the role of creativity, joy, belonging and connection in Black and African American lives and communities. The report is part of their larger Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation research. It offers recommendations based on the results of qualitative interviews with 50 Black and African American adults that took place in early 2021, who are also featured in an earlier report. The recommendations focus on centering Black voices and experiences in culture through fostering trust and active inclusion, promoting healing, and increasing representation.
Fewer Fundraising Expenses = Higher Returns
SMU DataArts has published a study which shows interesting results for arts and culture fundraising during the pandemic. Studying Early Pandemic Data: Less Fundraising Expenses Led to Higher Returns for Arts and Cultural Organizations revealed that in 2020, arts and culture organizations were more efficient in their fundraising efforts than before the pandemic. Fundraising expenses decreased while contributions increased in 2020, leading to a higher return on the costs of fundraising. BIPOC organizations experienced even higher returns as their expenses decreased more than non-BIPOC organizations. The data raises many questions about the future of fundraising, and SMU DataArts expects to release more analysis as soon as 2021 data is available.
Changes in Cultural Visit Preferences
New data from Impacts Experience highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the types of cultural institutions people prefer to visit. Having collected similar data at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Impacts Experience finds that demand for certain types of onsite cultural engagement are still below pre-COVID levels, while other cultural institutions have seen increased demand. The data suggests that even after a return to pre-COVID-19 behavior, visitors are less likely to want to attend stationary, indoor activities and instead will prefer to attend outdoor activities or spaces with freedom of movement.
In this Issue
From the President and CEO
State to State
- Kansas: Ethnic Markets Initiative: People's Markets Program
- Indiana and Idaho: Partnerships for Expanding Arts Education
The Research Digest
Announcements and Resources
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