March is Youth Art Month, and as the month begins the RI Council on the Arts (RISCA) is partnering with arts educators throughout Rhode Island to kick off a national campaign to punctuate the ongoing value of arts education for pre-K-12 students.
Entitled Arts ARE Education, the goal of this educational campaign is to emphasize the importance of arts education as a central component to the well-rounded education of all students. Arts educators in dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts throughout the school year and the summer will be contacting legislators, and school boards and administrators to remind them of the long-lasting benefits of the arts, and their overwhelming impact on students in our schools.
Rhode Island has a commitment to arts education, recognizing it as a core subject and requiring it in the schools as a "comprehensive program of study." With budget shortfalls expected for the 2021-22 school year due to the pandemic, the campaign points out the key intersection of the arts in enriching students' lives, reigniting motivation to learn, as well as helping to bring successes in many other subject areas. When considering budgets, Arts ARE Education presents a clear picture of the critical arts acumen students need to develop to assist them in being productive, and college- and career- ready individuals.
In learning more about Arts ARE Education, Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, said, "This educational campaign couldn't be more welcome, as arts educators are facing challenges beyond what other classroom teachers face. RI arts educators, parents and students should remind education leaders at the state and local level about the economic and educational impact of creativity and the arts to all students." He added, "I am glad that this campaign will help RI arts educators carry the message that the arts are an essential part of every student's education, particularly during a pandemic, when so much else has been changed or lost."
Throughout Youth Art Month, which is themed Arts Connect Us, and during this summer, arts educators will be asking for school boards to pass the Arts ARE Education Resolution, and for all arts stakeholders to sign the Arts ARE Education Pledge, in addition to other educational activities found on at Arts Are Education https://www.artsareeducation.org.
About Arts Are Education: Arts ARE Education was inspired by the Arts Education is Essential document that was issued by NCCAS in April and endorsed by 111 national organizations. The statement articulated how arts experiences support the social and emotional well-being of students and nurtures the creation of a welcoming school environment where all students can express themselves in a safe and positive way.
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.