Giving Compass' Take:

• In this story piece from Americans for the Arts, authors Ms. Erika Atkins and Matthew Greene discuss the important role that arts education can play in preparing students for adult life.

• What are the best avenues for donors to support arts education?

• To learn more about the effects of arts education, click here.

We’ve had the great fortune of working with multiple programs that have helped shaped the lives of young people through arts education. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see impact happening at that moment ... but what about after? Those of us who work with underserved communities know how critical our work is in leveling the playing field, and are so proud when we see our students finishing school and utilizing those skills to move on to the next phase of their lives.

Imagine a scenario where a young person stepping into their after-school theatre workshop is not only rehearsing for an end-of-year performance, but is knowingly and intentionally preparing for their future. Imagine an ensemble of young artists who understand that the collaborative spirit and network of support they experience in the rehearsal room will be available to them through their academic and professional journeys to come. Imagine how it would feel for that student to know that the stage where the story of their life will play out is bigger and grander than they ever could have imagined.

As arts educators, we need to continually ask ourselves the question: what can I do to support my students’ development at every phase of life? Otherwise, we run the risk of letting the curtain fall before our students have an opportunity to shine into adulthood.

Read the full article about arts education by Ms. Erika Atkins and Matthew Greene at Americans for the Arts.