Advocacy Links


Highly Recommended Resources
Missouri Citizens For the Arts
American for the Art
Additional Resources


Arts Education in Public Schools Resource Center Americans for the Arts and the National School Boards Association haveteamed up to compile a very comprehensive online resource center, Arts Education in Public Schools, which covers topics such as arts and academic achievement, arts education policy, assessing the needs of your district, making arts education a priority, funding resources and other valuable resources.

Arts Education Partnership (AEP) AEP is a private, nonprofit coalition of education, arts, business, philanthropic, and government organizations that demonstrates and promotes the essential role of arts education in enabling all students to succeed in school,life, and work. The AEP web site has a wealth of research and advocacy resources available in print and as PDFs.

ArtsEd 101: Getting StARTed in Marketing Advocacy Americans for the Arts (AFA) has a new addition to its website: Arts Education101: Getting StARTed in Marketing & Advocacy. This section providesstarter tools and resources specifically tailored to reach parents, educators, administrators/decision-makers, and youth. It is geared toward local artsagencies and nonprofit organizations that are in the preliminary stages of strategically communicating the importance of arts education to these audiences. While this section provides a basic start on how to communicate the importance of arts education to specific audiences, it is only the beginning. AFA plans to add other strategies and resources. AFA welcomes feedback from the field about successful strategies for communicating the importance of arts education. 

Arts and Economic Prosperity Report Arts and Economic Prosperity: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations and Their Audiences, released on June 10, 2002, reveals that America's nonprofit arts industry generates $134 billion in economicactivity every year, including $24.4 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues.

Arts Education in Public Schools Resource Center: Supportive Research Americans for the Arts and the National School Boards Association haveteamed up to compile a very comprehensive online resource center, Arts Education in Public Schools, which covers topics such as arts and academic achievement, arts education policy, assessing the needs of your district, making arts education a priority, funding resources and other valuable resources.

Arts Education Partnerships: Lessons Learned from One School District's Experience Examines the range of arts programming partnerships in the Los Angeles Unified School District and provides feedback from principals, teachers, arts organizations and district arts advisors on the challenges and obstacles in these partnerships.

Arts in Public Policy The newest issue of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA)Advocate publication, The Arts in Public Policy: An Advocacy Agenda, provides research findings and facts demonstrating the impact of the arts in five areas: education, youth at risk, business, tourism and economic development. Presented in an easy-to-read, bulleted format, it also incorporates quotations from non-arts leaders. This latest addition to the Advocate series is a useful tool for illustrating the benefits of public investment in the arts and getting the arts on the policy agenda.

Arts with The Brain in Mind Arts with The Brain in Mind, written by neuroscientist Eric Jensen, explores research on the arts and its affect on learning.

Art Works: An Arts Advocacy Video Available fromGlencoe McGraw-Hill, this video features students, educators, parents, and business leadersgiving reasons to support the case for arts education.  

Champions of Change: The Impact of Arts Researchers found that learners can attain higher levels of achievement through their engagement with the arts. Moreover, one of the critical research findings is that the learning in and through the arts can help level the playing field for youngsters from disadvantaged circumstances.

CriticalLinks: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development This compendium of arts education research brings together a group of studies focused on understanding the cognitive capacities used and developed in learning and practicing the arts and the relationship of these capacities to a students' academic performance as well as to their social interactions and development.

Education Project This publication is designed to help parents, local schools and school districts to work together to determine the current status of arts education. It will help provide communities with accurate information about arts education and enable parents to advocate for quality arts programs in their schools.  

Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts During the past decade, arts advocates have relied on an instrumental approach to the benefits of the arts in arguing for support of the arts. Gifts of the Muse: Reframing the Debate About the Benefits of the Arts, a new report by the Rand Corporation, evaluates these arguments and asserts that a new approach is needed. This new approach offers a more comprehensive view of how the arts create private and public value, underscores the importance of the arts' intrinsic benefits, and links the creation of benefits to arts involvement.

HarvardProject Zero Research Projects Project Zero's mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as in humanistic and scientific disciplines,at individual and institutional levels.

How the Arts Can Enhance After-School Programs This document, published by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, focuses on the roleof the arts in after-school activities in neighborhood schools. Summaries of recent research, key elements of successful programs, and highlights of effective partnerships between schools and community-based organizations are also provided.

Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation Released by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation showcases the positive outcomes of integrating the arts into schooling and youth intervention programs. This latest report is second in a series of research summaries designed to help governors and their top policy advisors learn about how the arts contribute to economic development and community vitality.

Improving Arts Education Partnerships Although arts education enjoys public support and has been shown to help school children in many ways, it has recently become marginalized through budget cuts and redirection of resources to other subjects. One way to supplement arts education is through partnerships between schools and arts organizations. This research found that joint-venture partnerships can yield many benefits but are less common than simple-transaction partnerships in which schools typically select prepared programs without a needs assessment.

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) has updated and expanded its popular policy brief, Why Should Government Support the Arts? This resource offers a wealth of reasons why public support of the arts is vital to a thriving democracy, answering frequently asked questions such as:

  • Why invest in the arts during hard economic times?
  • Why can't the private sector pick up the costs?
  • Why are state arts agencies important?

Please feel free to reproduce this brief, borrow portions of its text and incorporate it into communications with your members. To help spread the word about the value of the arts, you also may want to:

  • share this brief through your social media channel
  • post a link to it on your website
  • pick one of its topics for your next blog column or newsletter article
  • fold it into your advocacy toolkit
  • distribute it during arts advocacy events
  • use it for drafting legislative testimony
  • distribute it at your next board meeting
  • use it to spark discussions about the top reasons government should support the arts in your own state

National Education Data Web Site Launch Schoolmatters.com collects and aggregates state data on per-pupil expenditures,standardized test scores and enrollment demographics, teacher compensationand other factors to facilitate comparisons across school districts andbetween states. The site is administered by Standard and Poor's School EvaluationServices, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, and gets funding from governmental and institutional sources.

NCES Survey on Arts Education A recent government study of arts education in public schools reported that the majority of students see or participate in some kind of school-sponsored arts activity. In formal classroom instruction, music and visual artsare available in most of the nation's public elementary and secondary schools. Dance and drama/theatre instruction are less common, available in a minority of both elementary and secondary schools. To read a shortened summary of the study, click here.

Parent Involvement in Promoting Arts Education From the April/May 2005issue of PTA's Our Children magazine, this article discusses how parents can play a vital role in the survivalof arts education in schools.

Teachers in Secondary Schools Published by the National Art Education Association, this study provides a complete portrait of secondary school art teachers--the largest contingency of art educators in the nation-to date. The book's findings will serveto inform and guide decision-making and advocacy. 

Tips for Parent Advocacy The National Art Education Association (NAEA) released a 14-page flyer of tips that parents can use to promote and advocate art education programs in their children's schools. Though the flyer was produced to help parents advocate for visual arts education, most of the information is broad and applies to all the arts. The flyer includes: a listing of what parents can do, a fact sheet on the No Child Left Behind Act, a checklist for parents on school art programs, tips on speaking at hearings and meetings, writing letters, telephone and e-mail trees, personal visits, Ten Lessons the Arts Teach and other rationales for school art programs, a checklist for school board members, web links on advocacy, and resources from NAEA. 

Young Achievers: A National Summit On Arts Learning This document, released by national arts provider Young Audiences, summarizes topics discussed during an arts-in-education summit held in November of 2001 as part of a 50-year anniversary celebration. Three moderated panels focused on the topics of accountability, program quality and community engagement. A condensed version of this report is available in PDF formaton the Young Audiences web site.