Arts Education Issue Paper - DRAFT

The Forum for Youth Investment
February 11, 2004


Issue Summary

Increasingly, parents, teachers, advocates from the allied youth fields, artists, and social scientists are mobilizing around support for arts education. Resulting from years of research and experience, it is now clearer than ever the multiple benefits young people and their communities can gain from the arts. Research has shown that arts education helps young people grow and develop in a myriad of ways ? stimulating learning, increasing cognitive development, increasing emotional literacy and cultural awareness, and building life skills. Arts education can also provide strong and consistent relationships with adults, the opportunity for youth to define for themselves how to get things done, a chance to manage their own ideas, to problem solve, to work with others, and to make a meaningful contribution ? all critical aspects of positive youth development.

However, despite its patent value, arts education has fallen victim to dramatic cuts over the past two decades. According to Connect for Kids, an arts education advocacy organization, as many as one-third of the nation?s public schools music programs have been dropped, and many more programs throughout the country remain in danger. Increased emphases on testing and standards, smaller class size, and computers have also taken away priority from arts education.


Practitioners, policymakers, teachers, parents and young people in the field are face a number of challenges. While the need and benefits of arts education has become increasingly apparent, so too has been the need for high levels of professional development in the field to ensure quality programming. A critical piece of arts education also involves community partnerships. Whether in engaging local artists, bringing musicians into the classroom, or creating and sustaining partnerships with local cultural institutions, schools and afterschool programs are increasingly taking advantage of their communities? resources, while simultaneously making a positive community development impact. In terms of funding, though there are clearly good models out there, they remain a patchwork in need of wider support. Increasingly, foundations are asking essential questions about the benefits of such programs and looking to technology as a key component of arts funding. While the arts can and should be a part of a child's whole environment, increased public support for spending on school-based arts education is also, especially as part of public-private partnerships. On the public funding front, a good example is California Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, who in her report, ARTS WORK: A Call for Arts Education for All California Students, calls for an infusion of state school arts funding over three years, and for the private sector to help local school districts with their arts curriculum.
National Landscape| According to Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations, Shirley Brice Heath, young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:
?4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
?3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
?4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
?3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
?4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem,

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:
?Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
?Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
?Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
?Perform community service more than four times as often
| A summary of findings from seven other additional academic studies revealed that the arts:
?reach students who are not otherwise being reached
?reach students in ways that they are not otherwise being reached
?connect students to themselves and each other
?transform the environment for learning
?provide learning opportunities for the adults in the lives of young people
?provide new challenges for those students already considered successful
?connect learning experiences to the world of real work
?enable young people to have direct involvement with the arts and artists
?support extended engagement in the artistic process
(Americans for Arts Education)

While there is clearly great need, the last few years have seen a resurgence in interest and movement in the push for arts education. Foundations, Corporations, and Nonprofits are working together in a range of interesting and exciting ways to mobilize stakeholders to increase access to quality arts education.

New York City Landscape
| Access to Arts education and the arts (PASE &The Center for Arts Education)
Over a million children attend New York City public schools, where they must learn the basic skills they need to succeed. Due to the fiscal crisis of the 1970s and the following two decades of progressive, system-wide cutbacks, most students received little arts education in school. It was possible for students to go from kindergarten through high school with virtually no sequential instruction in music, art, dance, or drama, despite mounting evidence demonstrating the fundamental connection between the arts, human development and education. By supporting the use of the City's cultural resources and creative talent, the Center provides an important link between New York City?s arts related organizations and public schools, affording students with opportunities to experience the arts in one of the greatest cultural centers of the world. It is ironic that New York City is often considered the arts capital of the country, but many of its young people still do not have access to quality arts education, arts career preparation, nor do they take advantage of the rich cultural resources or arts career paths available to them. In November 2001, A Cultural Blueprint for New York City, a special project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, released its report Culture Counts: Strategies for a More Vibrant Cultural Life for New York City. The report begins by pointing out that ?Art and culture are what make New York New York,? and that ?culture is clearly an effective agent for building positive social change? with remarkable abilities to educate young and old alike, to bring together communities, to engage audiences, and to stimulate the economy. ?
| Funding

?The Annenberg Trust has provided a $12 million, two-for-one matching Challenge grant to support the Center for Arts Education (the Center), an independent nonprofit organization working in collaboration with the New York City Board of Education, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the United Federation of Teachers to administer and provide leadership for a New York City Arts and Education Initiative. This unique public-private partnership is designed to address the uncoordinated and inequitable access to arts education that has resulted from drastic cutbacks in arts education programs throughout the city's public schools. The Center's role is to help the Board of Education and its partners move from a patchwork of arts education efforts to a collective focus that can sustain itself beyond the five-year life of the Challenge.

Project Scope ? I doubt that you?ll want this level of info, but just in case, here are some funding and budget numbers.
-- Challenge Project Grantees Area Total Challenge Percentage
Districts 32 32 100%
Schools 81 1,100 7%
Teachers 2,500 63,550 4%
Students 78,600 1,100,000 7%

-- Average Annual Challenge Funding Annual City School Budget Challenge Percentage of Annual City Budget
Budget $2.4 million $10 billion
98-99] 0.02%

?Renaissance After-School Programs (TASC): Working jointly with The After-School Corporation (TASC), the New York City Board of Education has received a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education's 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to establish after-school programs in 20 Chancellor's District schools. Launched in fall 2000, the 20 Renaissance After-School programs are delivering arts-rich curricula designed and taught by museum educators through collaborations with 14 of the city's major cultural institutions. The programs also offer homework help, sports and recreational activities, opportunities for parent involvement, and trips to museums, gardens, zoos, and sports events at Madison Square Garden. The Renaissance After-School programs are operated by 17 community-based organizations in collaboration with the schools and the Chancellor's District. The goals of the Renaissance programs are to create conditions for sustainable academic success for children in these programs and to promote educational equity. In addition to providing financial support, TASC acts as intermediary in implementing and evaluating these after-school programs.

?Pathways for Youth, a youth development agency in the Bronx, operates a Beacon with an ongoing focus on learning through the arts. A Pinkerton Foundation grant allowed the agency to expand its offerings in the arts and to bring in artists to help youth create high-quality work. After school and on Saturdays in 10-week semesters, 100-150 teenagers at the Beacon engage in hands-on artistic and expressive activities, including publishing a newspaper, singing, dancing, and rehearsing a musical theatre revue, doing photography, making a films, engaging in arts and crafts such as quilting, woodworking, and mask-making, creative writing, storytelling, and literacy and film criticism. IF YOU WANT TO HIGHLIGHT AN EXAMPLE OF A SPECIFIC LOCAL PROGRAM. YOU COULD ALSO HIGHLIGHT EDUCATIONAL VIDEO CENTER ? FABULOUS PROGRAM; THERE?S CURRENTLY A BLURB UNDER AFTERSCHOOL BUT IT COULD GO HERE INSTEAD.