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Legacy Survey



In the early 2000s, there was considerable discussion about the role of the arts in public education, but little data about the status of arts education in all schools in Minnesota. To answer this need, the Perpich Center for Arts Education launched The Minnesota Arts Education Research Project during the 2010/2011 school year with funding provided by the Minnesota State Legislature through its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.

The purpose of this project was to gather, evaluate and disseminate quantitative data regarding arts education in the state. The Research Project was designed to document arts education in every school through a statewide voluntary survey, and combine the survey findings with other information to create a 360-degree view of arts education in the state.

This report is a summary of the status of arts education, education policy and delivery. The intent is to provide decision makers and the public with a clear picture of the status of arts education in Minnesota.

Building A Legacy Report

Building A Legacy Recommendations

Building A Legacy Press Release

Link to Interactive School Data


Below are some key points found through the “Building a Legacy” study on arts education in Minnesota.

While access to arts programs is nearly universal (99% of schools), less than half of all middle and high schools and only 28% of elementary schools provide the required number of arts areas.

Assessment of student skills and knowledge is mostly driven by teacher-developed assessments with fewer than 3 in 10 schools reporting district developed assessments in the arts.

92% of elementary, 77% of middle and 49% of high school students participate in at least one arts area in one year, with music and visual arts having the highest enrollments.

Nearly all schools (92%) use licensed arts teachers (full time or part-time) as the primary provider of music and visual arts instruction.

Nearly 2/3 of schools spend less than $10 per pupil per year for arts instructional materials. At the elementary level, the per-pupil arts spending is only 2 cents per day.

To support direct arts instruction, 23% of all schools reported using outside funding to offset budget decreases and nearly half of all schools charge fees for extracurricular arts activities.

While 46% of all schools report using arts integration as a teaching strategy, only 15% reported using this strategy on a regular basis. 67% of schools indicate a desire to introduce or increase arts integration.

93% of all schools reported providing students field trips to museums, theaters, musical performances and exhibitions to engage in artistic experiences.

87% of schools have aligned their curriculum with the state arts standards.

Nearly half of all high schools include the arts in School Improvement Plans.

75% of schools report having no arts coordinator in their school or district.