Arts Education Is Essential

A Unified Statement from Arts and Education Organizations

This statement of support for arts education has been reviewed and endorsed by the signatories listed below.


It is imperative that all students have access to an equitable delivery of arts education that includes dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts that supports their educational, social, and emotional well-being, taught by certified professional arts educators in partnership with community arts providers.

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. Here’s why:


Arts education supports the social and emotional well-being of students, whether through distance learning or in person.


Self-awareness, self-efficacy, self-management and perseverance, social awareness and relationship skills are central to any arts education activity, no matter the age and ability of the student or the environment in which the learning takes place. The arts, with their strong emphasis on team-building and self-reflection are supremely suited to re-ignite students’ interest in learning through collaboration, while simultaneously fostering creativity, critical thinking, and communication.


Arts education nurtures the creation of a welcoming school environment where students can express themselves in a safe and positive way.


Celebrating our ability to come together as educators and students is vital to creating a healthy and inclusive school community. The arts, through a rich partnership among certified arts educators, teaching artists, and community arts providers, play a valuable role in helping students and their families build and sustain community and cultural connections.

Arts education is part of a well-rounded education for all students as understood and supported by federal and state policymakers.


As defined in ESSA, “music and the arts” are part of a well-rounded education. Every state in the nation recognizes the importance of the arts as reflected in rigorous PreK-12 state arts standards. Forty-six states require an arts credit to receive a high school diploma, and 43 states have instructional requirements in the arts for elementary and secondary schools. As noted in Arts Education for America’s Students: A Shared Endeavor: “An education without the arts is inadequate.”


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. As states and schools work through multiple challenges in the years ahead, arts education must remain central to a well-rounded education and fully funded to support the wellbeing of all students and the entire school community.

National Endorsing Organizations I

Afterschool Alliance

American Choral Directors Association

American Composers Forum

American Orff-Schulwerk Association

Americans for the Arts

American String Teachers Association

Barbershop Harmony Society

Carnegie Hall

Casio America, Inc.

Chorus America

CMA Foundation

College Band Directors National Association

Conn-Selmer, Inc.

D’Addario Foundation

Eastman Music Company

Education Through Music

Educational Theatre Association

Give a Note Foundation

Hal Leonard

Historically Black Colleges and Universities

     National Band  Directors’ Consortium

Jazz at Lincoln Center

Jazz Education Network

KHS America


League of American Orchestras

Little Kids Rock

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation 

Music for All

Music Teachers National Association

NAMM Foundation

National Art Education Association

National Association for Music Education

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Association of Secondary School Principals

National Coalition for Core Arts Standards

National Dance Education Organization

National Education Association

National Federation of State High School


National YoungArts Foundation

Organization of American Kodály Educators

Quadrant Research


Recording Academy

Save The Music Foundation

State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education

The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation

United Sound, Inc.

Varsity Performing Arts

West Music Company


Yamaha Corporation of America 

Young Audiences Arts for Learning


National Endorsing Organizations II

Alfred Music

American Alliance for Theatre & Education

American Bandmasters Association

American Dance Therapy Association

American Music Therapy Association

American School Band Directors Association

Arts Schools Network

ASCAP Foundation

BandLab for Education

Breezin’ Thru, Inc.

DeMoulin Bros. & Co

Educational Tours, Inc.

El Sistema

Excelcia Music Publishing

GIA Publications

GRAMMY Music Education Coalition

Halftime Magazine

Harmony Helper

Kappa Kappa Psi


Lesbian and Gay Band Association

Macie Publishing Company


Manhattan Concert Productions

MFR Holdings, LLC

Music and the Brain 

Music Together 


National Association of School Music Dealers

National Dance Institute

National Dance Society

National Music Council

National Organization for Arts in Health

Newport Festivals Foundation

Nuvo Instrumental, LLC

Peripole, Inc.

Progressive Music

Retail Print Music Dealers Association

Schmitt Music

Soundtrap for Education 


Sweet Adelines International

Sweetwater Sound

Tau Beta Sigma

Teaching Artists Guild

Teaching for Artistic Behavior

Teaching With Orff

Ted Brown Music

The Midwest Clinic

The mPowered Music Educator Academy

The Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance

The National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians

The Society for Online Music Education

The Suzuki Association of the Americas

Theatre Communications Group  

TI:ME- Technology in Music Education 

Todd Rundgren’s Spirit of Harmony Foundation 

WGI Sport of the Arts 


State Endorsing Organizations

To navigate list of signatories, filter by state or search for organization name. To download or print list, click "..." below.


© 2021 National Coalition for Core Arts Standards