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The White House Supports Arts Education

Submitted by Patrick Torres, Middle School and High School Program Director 

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities released a report on Monday entitled: Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future through Creative Schools.  The report is the result of 18 months of rigorous research on the effectiveness of arts education in our nation’s schools.
While the findings are staggering in their proof of the value of arts integration in schools, they are not all that surprising to those of us working in the field.

We see the benefit first hand. We watch students make deep connections to historical events as they write original material for historical characters or get a stronger grasp on science as they explore ecosystems through puppet making. But even with these first hand experiences, we find ourselves fighting to keep the arts in schools on a seemingly daily basis as schools get more and more focused on ensuring their students succeed on their standardized tests even though (as evidenced by this report) schools that fully integrate the arts into their students’ experiences consistently achieve higher scores on these very same tests.

“I suppose that is what always frustrates me about reports like these – they always make a compelling case for arts education, but don’t offer strategies for putting the findings into action.”

Until now! The most exciting thing about the President’s Committee’s report is that they offer innovative suggestions on how government agencies, schools and companies like Theatre Action Project can work to ensure the arts become a vital part of education.
While TAP has already implemented many of these strategies, I look forward to finding even new ways to bolster our reach into the education system for the benefit of our youth. If you are not currently working in arts education, but feel passionately that the arts belong in schools there are some things you can do on the individual and local level:
  • Volunteer with Theatre Action Project to see outstanding arts programs in action!
  • Donate to Theatre Action Project to help us sustain and grow our programming
  • Contact your elected officials to let them know you believe the arts are essential to a well rounded education.
  • Share this report with your friends, family and community to help spread the word about the value of programs like Theatre Action Project.

I hope you will read the report and join TAP in ensuring that our students are equipped for success in the 21st Century!

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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