What is the Arts Education Partnership?

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  • For nearly 30 years, @aep_arts has used research, reporting and collaboration to connect leaders across the spectrum of arts education in hopes of advancing arts education for all. What resources does the group offer?

  • [email protected] joined @aep_arts as an Affiliate in April 2022. As we continue to grow our coverage of arts education, we aim to shine a spotlight on exceptional educators, school initiatives, and extracurricular community systems using art to support students.

Senate Bill 681 was signed into law in July 2022, officially creating a high school arts graduation requirement in North Carolina. This graduation requirement begins this school year with the entry of sixth graders.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have content or performance standards for arts education, but only 32 define the arts as a core or academic subject, according to The Arts Education Partnership (AEP).1

For nearly 30 years, AEP has used research, reporting, and collaboration to connect leaders across the spectrum of arts education in hopes of advancing arts education for all.

AEP offers research on the impact of the arts on student achievement, school culture, community engagement, and more. through the ArtsEdSearch tool. They release an ArtScan report every year, which does a state-by-state comparison of arts education policies. By aggregating this data, citizens and policy makers can easily see how different states support the arts.

AEP is housed within the States Board of Education and was created with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Department of Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASA).

How we use AEP’s work

EdNC joined the AEP as an Affiliate in April 2022. As we continue to grow our coverage of arts education, we aim to shine a spotlight on outstanding educators, school initiatives, and extracurricular community systems using the art to support students.

We visited theater rehearsals and sidewalk chalk projects, attended choir lessons and listened to the band’s senior students perform their favorite numbers for the last time.

On the way from Washington County to Jackson County, EdNC stopped to find murals in rural town centers and kept an eye out for the ever-growing North Carolina Barn Quilt Trail. The art is not just in our schools; it hangs proudly in our communities.

The most important part of our storytelling is listening to the students. In our interviews, we ask about art, but we really ask about them. Why do you like to sing? What do you like at school ? What are the difficult things? Why did you choose these colors? Do you believe that music can bring hope?

Students across the state opened up and reminded readers what it’s like to be in school, why art matters to them, and the community it builds.

Sidewalk chalk art project at Brevard High School. Caroline Parker/EducationNC

As we visit art classrooms in North Carolina, AEP’s ArtEd Amplified features stories from across the states and beyond. How can dance change the brain? Sloka Iyengar talks about it in his perspective article “Exploring the convergence between arts and sciences, one month at a time”. What key steps did an art director and consultant take to implement a shift to an inclusive arts model in New York? Jenna Masone, Ed.D. and Jennifer Katona, Ph.D. describe the transition in “Transforming a traditional school into an immersive arts integration school”.

AEP is a resource for national research and perspectives on all things arts education. See you tomorrow for an article on how North Carolina’s arts education policies compare to other states. Alessandra Quattrocchi uses the Arts Education Partnership’s ArtScan tool to provide insight into the state of arts education in North Carolina.

1The ArtScan does not yet reflect the North Carolina high school graduation requirement.

Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker is a multimedia storyteller for EducationNC. She covers the stories of rural North Carolina, the arts, and STEM education.

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