Young Audiences of Western New York is joining thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation to celebrate National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 13-19.
Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week that follows the second Sunday of September as National Arts in Education Week. The celebration is intended to bring attention to the cause of arts education for elected officials and educational decisionmakers across the country, and to support equitable access to the arts for all students.
Young Audiences, working in collaboration with many of the region's cultural organizations, will mark National Arts in Education Week by writing advocacy letters to government representatives and sharing stories of arts learning on social media platforms.
A press release said, “We know that teaching and learning will never quite be the same as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, our commitment as an organization to provide rich and varied educational experiences remains unwavering. Arts education continues to play an important role in these tumultuous times and will continue to do so for all students this school year, including the traditionally underrepresented, those with special needs, and from low-income families.
“We will recognize and celebrate the transformative power of arts education through activities that honor the efforts of teachers, artists and cultural groups working to make the arts a crucial part of education in the lives of community members. As our schools work through multiple challenges and changes this year, arts education must remain central to a well-rounded education. Now, more than ever, we need supporters across the country to advocate for the arts in education.
“Everyone in the community is encouraged to participate in what has become the country's largest annual collective celebration of the arts in education. Americans for the Arts provides plentiful advocacy tools for teachers, parents, and artists to advocate on behalf of arts education on their website. A listing of tools for making the most of Arts in Education Week, can be found at this link.”
A few facts pulled from those resources:
√ Arts education is part of a well-rounded education for all students as understood and supported by federal and state policymakers.
√ Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.
√ High school students from under-resourced environments who are highly involved in the arts have better grades, are less likely to drop out, and more likely to go on to college.
√ The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually, which supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.