This week, Sept. 13-19, National Arts in Education Week is taking place across the United States. The annual campaign was created in response to a 2010 congressional resolution setting aside the second week of each September for celebration of and advocacy for arts education, including music and theatre programs.
The yearly event is spearheaded by Americans for the Arts, America’s leading nonprofit organization for arts advancement. The organization encourages teachers, parents, and students to get involved in both virtual and community events. A media kit is made available on the Americans for the Arts website, giving local advocates the tools needed to get involved and create partnered events on the ground.
Information on how to act as an advocate for arts education, both within local communities and on a governmental level, is also included, as is a helpful list of talking points based on the research-driven benefits of art education.
Study of the arts, music, and theater in the classroom has been correlated with numerous benefits, including:
- Better mental health: Time spent in art class is linked to reduced feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety. It is also correlated with raised feelings of well-being, a positive outlook, a sense of personal meaning, and a sense of self-esteem.
- Improved physical skill: In addition to improving visual and spatial reasoning, participating in art class helps children to refine their gross and fine motor skills, improve their hand-eye coordination, and increase their competence and confidence when trying out new tools.
- Boosts to language skills: Kids who study theatre have unique access to language benefits, including better use of language, story comprehension, creative writing skills, and reading skills.
- Opportunities for social development: Participating in art classes naturally facilitates group activities that teach empathy, tolerance, conflict resolution, and resilience to constructive criticism.
Visit the National Arts in Education website to learn more about advocacy opportunities and partner events, including an upcoming virtual chat with singer and songwriter Josh Groban and actress Annette Bening.
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