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Arts Education

Discover the role arts education plays in creative aging, lifelong learning and facilitating children’s success in school.

Key Research Tools

The Arts and Dropout Prevention: The Power of Art to Engage This paper discusses how the arts promote dropout prevention, boost student engagement and help youth develop career pathways in the arts.

Preparing Students for the Next America: The Benefits of an Arts Education This bulletin highlights how the arts support achievement in school, bolster 21st-century work-force skills, and enrich the lives of young people and communities.

Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement This brochure offers factual, nontechnical language describing the value of arts in learning.

Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools This report represents an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, including an update of the current research base about arts education outcomes and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the field that have emerged over the past decade.

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth Four separate longitudinal studies tracked children, teenagers, and young adults who had high or low levels of arts engagement in or out of school.

Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1999-2000 and 2009-10 This report presents information over time on the availability and characteristics of arts education programs in public elementary and secondary schools by discipline (music, visual arts, dance, and theatre).

ArtsEdSearch is an on-line clearinghouse maintained by the Arts Education Partnership that collects and summarizes high-quality arts education research studies and analyzes their implications for educational policy and practice.

ArtScan, a project of the Arts Education Partnership, is a searchable clearinghouse of state policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Statewide Arts Education Assessments

Explore the state level studies conducted in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virgnina and Wisconsin.

South Arts led a multiyear research study investigating arts education in the South to assess access and quality of arts education in K-12 public schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Western States Arts Federation managed the Statewide Arts Education Assessment, which was developed by the state arts agencies of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming; a four-state technical report is available.


About State Arts Agencies

Arts Education Fact Sheet This fact sheet provides a quick overview of the major grants and services that state arts agencies offer in support of arts education.

State Arts Agency Arts Education Managers Professional Development Resources NASAA coordinates the national network of state arts agency arts education managers, facilitating their professional development and helping them to lead successful arts education program and policy efforts in each state.

Teaching Artist Relationships with State Arts Agencies Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and authored by arts consultant and community organizer Precious Blake, this strategy sampler describes how state arts agencies are adapting their programs, deepening their relationships and demonstrating flexibility with rapid change in support of teaching artists.

National Partners

National Endowment for the Arts The National Endowment for the Arts provides leadership to develop and sustain arts education nationwide. The agency has led efforts to make the arts a part of the core education for all K-12 students and to increase arts education opportunities outside of school.

Arts Education Partnership The Arts Education Partnership is the nation’s leading forum for advancing arts education research and policy. Founded by the Council of Chief State School Officers, NASAA, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, the partnership is managed by the Education Commission of the States.

Americans for the Arts Arts Education Program This program provides leadership development, networking, research and policy tools to diverse stakeholders, including arts education professionals, cultural and education sector leaders, the business community, parents and young people. The program supports state focused initiatives like the State Education Policy Network, State Policy Pilot Program, the Arts Education Policy Center and numerous arts education advocacy tools.

State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education This network is a professional development community of state department of education representatives for arts education.

Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network is a coalition of statewide nonprofits working in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to support programs and practices that make the arts an essential part of K-12 education.

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards Managed by NASAA, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards were known as the country’s highest honor for outstanding Creative Youth Development programs. From its inception in 1998 to its close in 2017, the award was presented to 256 outstanding programs in the United States and to 29 organizations internationally, along with a total of $2,850,000 in support. Additionally, 707 Finalists received a Certificate of Excellence. Formerly a signature project of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards were supported through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to showcase the excellence and importance of out-of-school-time, youth-development focused, arts and humanities programs in the lives of young people.

For More Information

For more information on arts education research, contact Research Director Ryan Stubbs, 202-347-6352 x115. For more information on the national network of state arts agency arts education managers, contact Susan Oetgen, 202-347-6352 x116.

Updated December 2015