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Arts ARE Education News - Feb 2022


Welcome to News from the Arts ARE Education Campaign

Hello Arts Education Advocates, A belated happy new year! Welcome to the Arts ARE Education Campaign’s first newsletter of 2022. As a signatory of the ARE Pledge or a school district that passed the ARE Resolution, we want to keep you informed on how the campaign is continuing to evolve and grow to support grassroots advocates seeking to ensure access to arts education for students in 2022 and beyond. We all know that it has been a rollercoaster year for all of education, including the arts. The pandemic continues to upend how students learn, and how educators teach, with learning loss prompting changes in school district priorities in spending, scheduling, staffing, and resources allocation. Arts ARE Education is committed to providing advocacy support to arts educators and their schools nationwide, as we believe the arts are key to helping pandemic-traumatized-students re-enter the in-person school environment where they can rekindle their love of learning across all subject areas in the years to come. Here's what’s new on the Arts ARE Education website that we think can help!

It’s School Board Budget Season and Time To Pass Resolution 22!

Every year, school districts throughout the country begin planning budgets for the next school year. The process for budgeting 2022-23 funds has likely already begun in your district. This year may be a little different because of the federal funds that schools have received from the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Act (ESSER), the $126.6 billion allocated to education from the Biden Administration’s 2021 American Rescue Plan. On average, most districts have more than eight times what they would have to budget towards their schools for the next two years (ESSER funds must be spent by September 2024). However, there is no guarantee or obligation for school boards to designate any of those dollars towards arts education programs in your district. That’s where the ARE Resolution comes in. Now is the time for you to reach out to your district leadership to advocate for passage of Resolution 22, in which the school board formally commits to funding K-12 arts education programs in their schools for 2022-23. If your district passed the Resolution in 2022, that’s great, but you should ask them to recommit their support; if your district is new to the Resolution, this is a great opportunity for you and your fellow community advocates to mobilize in support of access to arts education for every student in the district. You can find the downloadable Resolution and all ARE’s advocacy support resources to support your ask in our Action Center, including the Advocacy Toolkit; Guide to Federal Funding; ARE Pledge (ask your friends to sign!); Dear School Board template letter; and, most importantly right now, Arts Ed Now’s School Budget Process Guide.

What’s New on the ARE Website

> A new survey of ARE advocates in which we asked how their schools are faring in the current school year, addressing ARE’s Challenges & Talking Points, how the pandemic has affected a return to in-person learning, and ESSER funding for arts education in their district. The survey asks the same question as our 2021 survey, creating a baseline to help compare how things have changed in respondents’ schools in the past year.

> The Talk it Up Podcast Series where we talk to national, state, and district decision-makers who help make arts education available to students nationwide. Here’s a list of those podcasts and links:

  • Podcast 6: Student Roundtable—Five students from throughout the country come together to talk about their arts education experiences during the pandemic-challenged 2021-22 school year—what’s going well, what’s not going well, and how they’re feeling about arts education in their schools now and in the future.

  • Podcast 5: The Intersection of National, State, and Local Arts Education Leadership, Part I & Part II—Mario Rossero, Executive Director of the National Arts Education Association, Alysia Lee, former Fine Arts Coordinator for the Maryland Department of Education, and Nora Schull, K-12 District Arts Program Coordinator for Minneapolis Public Schools discuss how multi-level decision making of leadership support and influence arts education access and equity for students throughout the country.

  • Podcast 4: The Arts Education Social and Emotional Framework—ArtsEdSEL’s Bob Morrison and Scott Edgar explain how the Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning aligns and supports standards-based arts education.

  • Podcast 3: The Arts Education Partnership’s Equity Working GroupErika Hawthorne, AEP’s former engagement specialist, explains the goals and purpose the AEP’s initiative in which representatives from a broad range of national arts education organizations convene to discuss the challenges and strategies their applying to address diversity, equity, and inclusion in their individual and organizational work.

  • Podcast 2: Advocating for Strong Arts Education Programs—The New York Arts Education Roundtable Executive Director Kimberly Olsen and board member Gary Padmore talk about their advocacy strategy on behalf of New York City schools, the largest school district in the country.

  • Podcast 1: ESSER Funding for Arts Education ProgramsNorth Carolina Arts Education Curriculum Specialists James Daugherty and Leigh Ann Little explain how they obtained ESSER funding for their district arts education programs and how they have been using the money.

> Blogs that address critical issues facing arts education today or offer supplemental reflection on topics addressed in the ARE podcasts. To date:

  • Arts ARE Education Survey II: the Results Are InARE director James Palmarini summarizes the campaign’s second survey in November 2021, a follow up to our January 2021, in which we asked advocates about the effects of the pandemic on arts education during the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Arts Education Taught Me to BeHonolulu theatre and music student M Kutty describes her journey through arts education and why it has been so important to her academic success and personal well-being.

  • SEL Is Important, But How Does Arts Education Fit It In? Cory Wilkerson, Education Director for the Educational Theatre Association, describes why and how Social and Emotional Learning has become so important in the pandemic era of arts education.

  • The Equity Working Group—Erika Hawthorne, the former engagement specialist for the Arts Education Partners hip, and ARE Podcast interviewee, dives deeper into the group’s goals and purpose for bringing together arts and education leaders to study and share models of practice and lessons learned related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in arts education.

> Downloadable ARE logos on our Ambassador’s Hub page that can help you announce your individual or district support for arts education.

ARE continues to make available the Talk it Up Video Testimony Challenge where YOU can create your own short video explaining WHY Arts ARE Education for you. And remember to follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtag #artsareeducation.


  • New podcasts focusing on strategies for getting the Resolution passed; media arts; and a profile of ARE’s sponsoring network, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards.

  • “We Believe” student reading of the Pledge video for advocates to use in their ask for arts education programs financial support in their district schools.

And here’s our ask of the day: Do YOU have stories of advocacy success in your district, or questions and comments you want to share with the campaign? LET US KNOW!

We appreciate and need your financial support!—donate to Arts ARE Education here: SUPPORT THE CAUSE


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