Op-Ed: National Arts in Education Week

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Especially as we begin a new school year, it is important to remember the value of arts education. For decades, research has shown that when students participate in the arts, they go on to succeed in school, work, and life.

Designated by Congress in 2010, the week beginning with the second Sunday in September is National Arts in Education Week: a national celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education. We are celebrating here at the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council and encourage all supporters of arts, culture, and education to join us.

The new national Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law in December 2015, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act. This new bill fully supports the arts as part of every student's "well-rounded" education. It provides the flexibility for students to learn creatively and for local communities to embrace the arts.

What we know is simple: students attend school more often when they have access to the arts.

However, so often we see gaps in access to arts education in communities across our state and the country. In a public opinion poll, 67 percent of Americans believed that there is not sufficient access to the arts for students to reap the benefits.

As we celebrate National Arts in Education Week, let’s take pause to cheer for our accomplishments, but also remember the work we have to do.

We need to provide equitable opportunities for all of our young people and utilize the new law to create arts-rich schools.

We need to support parents, families, and the community by providing more opportunities for engagement. It's up to us —the arts education community —to take a stand and lead.

Kelly Lie
Arts Education Manager
Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council


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