Monday, April 16, 2012

Arts Advocacy Day 2012

The 25th annual Arts Advocacy Day brought together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from 40 states across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. View highlights from Arts Advocacy Day 2012 below.

The 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy

Alec Baldwin delivered the 25th Annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, a leading national forum for arts policy, intended to stimulate discussion of policy and social issues affecting the arts. The lecture provides an opportunity for public discourse at the highest levels on the importance of the arts and culture to our nation's well-being.

Mr. Baldwin was introduced by Maureen Dowd, Pulitzer prize winning journalist, and preceded by a
musical performance by noted singer-songwriter Ben Folds, accompanied by YoungArts alumni musicians. Bob Lynch, Americans for the Arts' President and CEO, Ken Solomon, Chairman of Ovation and Hill Harper, the 2012 Co-Chair of National Arts Advocacy Day, also gave brief remarks.

2012 Nancy Hanks Lecture - Alec Baldwin from Americans for the Arts on Vimeo.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Arts Education In America 10 Years After NCLB

This week, the U.S. Department of Education released a study entitled Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1999-2000 and 2009-10. This study was previously published in 2002 and highlights the impact that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has had on arts education.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan stated, “despite the importance of providing equal educational opportunities in the arts, today's report shows we are falling well short of that goal.”

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ED Releases New Report on Arts Education in U.S. Public Schools

Posted on by Cameron Brenchley

On Monday, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), part of the U.S. Department of Education, released the findings of the first nationwide arts survey in a decade that comprehensively documents the state of arts education in U.S. public schools.

Arts Report Cover PhotoAt the announcement, Secretary Arne Duncan pointed to the importance of the report because it allows us to compare changes in arts education over time, and it’s the first survey that enables us to get a clear sense of how the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law has affected arts education.
“It’s a good news, bad news story,” according to Secretary Duncan. On the one hand, there have not been significant national declines in the availability of music and visual arts instruction in elementary and secondary schools. However, for theater and dance in elementary schools, the percentages of schools making these art forms available went from 20 percent 10 years ago to only 4 and 3 percent, respectively, in the 2009-10 school year. In addition, at more than 40 percent of secondary schools, coursework in arts was not required for graduation in the 2009-10 school year.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Report: Fewer elementary schools offering visual arts, drama, dance; poor students hurt most


MIAMI - Elementary schools without drama classes. High schools with large numbers of poor students that do not offer music.

Those are two of the bleaker pictures that emerged Monday from a report by the U.S. Department of Education on the state of arts education.

Fewer public elementary schools are offering visual arts, dance and drama classes than a decade ago, a decline many attribute to budget cuts and an increased focus on math and reading. The percentage of elementary schools with a visual arts class declined from 87 to 83 percent. In drama, the drop was larger: From 20 percent to 4 percent in the 2009-10 school year.

Arts Instruction Still Widely Available, But Disparities Persist

[UPDATE: (by Erik Robelen on April 3, 2:13 p.m.) A significant—and disturbing—change I missed in my initial blog post concerns access to music and visual-arts instruction at the secondary level for high-poverty schools. It dropped from 100 percent to 81 percent in music, and from 93 percent to 80 percent in the visual arts, when comparing data for 1999-2000 with the 2008-09 school year. Oddly enough, the opposite was true at the elementary level. Access to music instruction among high-poverty schools grew from 85 percent to 89 percent, when comparing 1999-2000 with 2009-10. For visual arts, it grew from 74 percent to 80 percent.]

There's a ton of data to mine in this new federal report, and I've only scratched the surface here. So you should definitely take a closer look if the subject of arts access in schools is of interest.
I'll close by highlighting a sobering comment from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities about how the percentages revealed in the federal report don't tell the whole story.
"It's important to note that, according to this study, tens and tens of thousands of children in our country have little or no access to arts education in their school," the panel said. "No recorders, no drawing self-portraits, no band or school plays. Disproportionately, this number consists of our neediest students."