Why Arts Education is Important
Many of us involved in arts education feel the “case for arts education” has been made. And made again. Studies are rapidly piling up that show both the intrinsic value of arts education, its impact on academic learning and the positive effects that employment in the arts has in the economy.
However, we realize that because we are actively involved every day in teaching in and through the arts, we have a natural affinity for and easily latch onto this information. We understand that we must continue to purposefully share the case for arts education and bring the proof of its value to others daily.
We have two primary ways of discussing the value of arts education. First, we want to emphasize the impact arts education is having on overall K-12 academic achievement and preparation for postsecondary education. Second, we want to refute the common perception that “you can’t make a living as an artist,” which leads to an obvious and, to us, dangerous corollary: Why teach the arts?
"A culture populated by a people whose imagination is impoverished has a static future. In such a culture there will be little change because there will be little sense of possibility."
— Elliot Eisner, Lee Jacks Professor of Education and professor of art, Stanford University
"Building a Legacy"
In 2012, Perpich Center for Arts Education published the first statewide assessment of K-12 arts education in Minnesota. This report, “Building a Legacy,” has an excellent section listing almost two dozen links to various reports, studies, articles, and books that look at the connections between arts education and academic achievement. Read it here.