Giving Compass' Take:

•  Educators want to improve diversity in arts education by improving access to the arts for marginalized student populations. 

• What proven benefits does arts education have on students? 

• Read about specific programs that are empowering young people. 

As young people around the country return to school, educators take the helm of their classrooms, and educational leaders build learning communities that inspire creative and innovative teaching and learning, the arts education community along with public and private sector leaders join together once again to celebrate National Arts in Education Week. In 2018, we have plenty of reasons to celebrate!

For decades, research has shown the transformative power of arts learning in schools and communities, and its benefits for all young people are clear. When learning in and through the arts, young people succeed in school, in work, and in life. However, decades-long longitudinal studies indicate that access to arts learning opportunities is not equitable, primarily for specific populations like young people of color, students with disabilities, those who are classified as students with low socioeconomic status, or those living in rural communities.

The fact is that the same research reveals that for those marginalized groups of young people, the benefits of learning in and through the arts outpace that of their more advantaged peers. So, how can we as an arts education community—particularly during the national celebration of arts education—improve equity in access to the arts and ultimately close the opportunity gap? We at Americans for the Arts believe that action is needed and advocacy toward cultural equity, cultural diversity, and inclusion is essential to achieve justice for all.

LiRead the full article about diversity in arts education by Robert Lynch at Americans for the Arts