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By supporting arts education, state arts agencies help to foster young imaginations and facilitate children's success in school. Arts education also provides the critical thinking, communications and creativity skills essential to 21st century success.

Three male youth drummers play in the background as two male youth dancers face right with left arms raised and left legs stepping. Background wall is colorful psychedelic style.

Express Yourself Drummers perform Bounce at Citi Performing Arts Center Wang Theatre. Set design by youth from Express Yourself. Photo by Bobbie Bush, courtesy of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Key Research Tools

Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement This concise research summary responds to the needs of policymakers, educators, parents and advocates who want factual, nontechnical language describing the value of arts in learning. To purchase hard copies, visit the Arts Education Partnership Publications Store.

Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools This report represents an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education, including an update of the current research base about arts education outcomes and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the field that have emerged over the past decade.

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth Four separate longitudinal studies tracked children, teenagers, and young adults who had high or low levels of arts engagement in or out of school.

Arts Education in America: What the Declines Mean for Arts Participation Commissioned from NORC at the University of Chicago, this report investigates the relationship between arts education and arts participation and examines the long-term declines in Americans' reported rates of arts learning.

Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 1999-2000 and 2009-10 This report presents information over time on the availability and characteristics of arts education programs in public elementary and secondary schools by discipline (music, visual arts, dance, and theatre).

ArtsEdSearch is an on-line clearinghouse maintained by the Arts Education Partnership that collects and summarizes high-quality arts education research studies and analyzes their implications for educational policy and practice.

ArtScan, a project of the Arts Education Partnership, is a searchable clearinghouse of state policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A Research-Based Communication Toolkit This comprehensive document brings together rigorous research, program models and communications templates that confirm and clarify the importance of arts education for our nation's youth.

Statewide Arts Education Assessments

From Anecdote to Evidence provides research guidance for assessing the status and condition of arts education at the state level. Also be sure to explore the state-level studies conducted in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin. South Arts led a multiyear research study investigating arts education in the South to assess access and quality of arts education in K-12 public schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Western States Arts Federation managed the Statewide Arts Education Assessment, which was developed by the state arts agencies of Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming. Currently a four-state technical report is available.

About State Arts Agencies

Arts Education Fact Sheet This fact sheet provides a quick overview of the major grants and services that state arts agencies offer in support of arts education.

State Arts Agency Arts Education Profiles 2009/2010 View comprehensive descriptions of each state arts agency's arts education programs and services.

State Arts Agency Arts Education Managers Professional Development ResourcesNASAA member-only content NASAA coordinates the national network of state arts agency arts education managers, facilitating their professional development and helping them to lead successful arts education program and policy efforts in each state.

National Partners

National Endowment for the Arts The National Endowment for the Arts provides leadership to develop and sustain arts education nationwide. The agency has led efforts to make the arts a part of the core education for all K-12 students and to increase arts education opportunities outside of school.

Arts Education Partnership The Arts Education Partnership is the nation's leading forum for advancing arts education research and policy. Founded by the Council of Chief State School Officers, NASAA, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education, the partnership now includes hundreds of business, philanthropic and government organizations working together to promote education policies supportive of arts education.

State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education This network is a professional development community of state department of education representatives for arts education.

Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network The Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network is a coalition of statewide nonprofits working in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to support programs and practices that make the arts an essential part of K-12 education.

President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Chaired by the First Lady, this committee focuses on arts and humanities education, cultural diplomacy and economic revitalization through the arts and humanities. One of its leading programs, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards (formerly the Coming Up Taller†Awards), is managed by NASAA and recognizes outstanding after-school arts and humanities programs for youth.

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards A partnership between organizations and states leading the revisions of the 1994 National Standards for Arts Education.

For More Information

For more information on arts education research, contact Chief Program and Planning Officer Kelly Barsdate, 202-347-6352 x107. For more information on the national network of state arts agency arts education managers, contact Susan Oetgen, 202-347-6352 x116.

Updated May 2014

NASAA's mission is to strengthen state arts agencies.
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