Arts in Education Week Sept. 14-20, 2014

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At the start of each school year we train, in-person and through webinars, nearly 1,000 parents, teachers and community volunteers. Yesterday I spoke to 40 third grade parents and teachers and realized that among the key concepts we teach them are three “Ps” that speak to why Arts in Education is so important: Placement, Portrait and Perspective. These concepts, while they have very specific meaning related to space and style in a painting, also perfectly describe the impact of an arts program to a student at such a fertile time in their development. Placement can mean finding your own place among your family, school, community and society. Perspective means testing out points of view — so important for young learners. And your Portrait is the way you view yourself — or want the world to view you.

This week we celebrate National Arts in Education Week, along with hundreds of other arts education organizations, representing the visual arts, performing arts, music, and dance that work tirelessly to make sure that our children have access to essential arts programs. We also celebrate with the hundreds of thousands of educators, parents and students whose lives are enhanced through participation in the arts.

What I really like about this week is the use of the word “IN.” It is an unfortunate truth that instead of Arts IN Education, it has far too often been Arts AND Education, with the arts serving as an enhancement or an elective rather than a vital and necessary part of the core curriculum at a school. That’s why programs like Art in Action exist, to help schools deeply integrate art into their culture and community.

Join us in celebrating Arts in Education week as we endeavor to teach the three “Ps” along with the three “Rs.”