Celebrating National Arts in Education Week 2020
September 14, 2020
National Arts in Education Week is a national celebration recognizing the transformative power of the arts in education. Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week that follows the second Sunday of September as National Arts in Education Week. The celebration is intended to bring attention to the cause of arts education across the country and to support equitable access to the arts for all learners. At Perpich Center for Arts Education, Minnesota’s state agency dedicated to arts education, this week’s celebration is an opportunity to talk about our work that happens everyday.
Teaching and learning will never quite be the same in our post-COVID-19 world. However, our commitment to provide rich and varied educational experiences remains unwavering. The arts have played an important role in these tumultuous times and will continue to do so for all students, including the traditionally underrepresented, those with special needs, and from low-income families. The healing and unifying power of the arts has been evident as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country. We have seen and heard it play out through works of art on sidewalks, shared musical moments from porches, in plays and dance performances, and every other imaginable iteration of art making.
In addition to the pandemic, states and schools are working through multiple challenges: equity and racial justice; access for rural communities; access for students who are classified as low-socioeconomic status, English Language Learners, or require special education; social and emotional well-being of students, etc. When intertwining the arts in and through education, research shows that we are better preparing our future leaders to face these challenges. According to a decades-long study, youth who participate in the arts are more likely to be successful in school, college, and career than their peers who did not have arts education. Arts education must remain central to a well-rounded education and fully funded to support the well-being of all students and the entire school community.
Minnesota is one of only a handful of states in the nation with a dedicated state agency supporting arts education. We value education in and through the arts because the arts are a driving force in Minnesota’s economy, quality of life, and its national and international reputation. Our work increases student performance, raises standardized test scores, and leads to a better-educated and innovative workforce to support the continued arts and economic vitality of Minnesota. In the coming months and years, we will continue to value arts education for ALL our students.
Dr. Charles Rick
Executive Director, Perpich Center for Arts Education