Celebrating National Arts in Education Week

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The Community Arts Partnership Awards is on the horizon, and as the tables start to fill up I feel especially proud because I know that proceeds from this event support arts education in Columbus.

Did you know that this is National Arts in Education week? This is a national celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education.

Tom Katzenmeyer

Tom Katzenmeyer, president of the Greater Columbus Arts Council

Recently, in Washington, D.C., the new Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law replacing No Child Left Behind. This new bill fully supports the arts as part of every student’s “well-rounded” education. It provides the flexibility for students to learn creatively and for local districts and states to create schools that embrace the arts. What research has proven: students attend school more often when they have access to the arts; parents and families engage with the schools when schools embrace the arts; dropout rates decrease; grades increase; and, of course, the halls are filled with artwork, songs, drama, and dancing.

While I am thrilled to see this step forward on the national level, we need to continue to push to ensure that access to arts education is made available to all students.

Arts education is an integral component of a well-rounded education, not just an extracurricular for those students who might be the next great painter or performer. The arts teaches students creative problem solving skills and the value of practice. Arts education helps to ensure that the whole mind is developed and positively impacts a child’s success in more traditional studies.

I encourage everyone to visit the American for the Arts website. Start with their blog, which is currently posting essays from people of all walks of life sharing how arts education has impacted them. These essays remind us that arts education is not a luxury and is often life changing.

Americans for the Arts has set up numerous easy online action steps that anyone can take to show support for arts education. They have sample letters you can write to the editor of you local paper and recommendations for social media posts to share your own arts education stories.

On Oct. 13, nearly 500 community and arts leaders will gather at COSI to celebrate businesses and individuals who support the arts in our community—including arts educators. At our tables there will be centerpieces created by children who participate in the Art in the House and TRANSIT ARTS programs, which are run by Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE), and their mission is to ensure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. It’s a good mission and we are proud to support it with funds raised by this event. I hope you’ll join us in supporting arts education efforts on the local and state level and attend our luncheon to celebrate how the arts impact all our lives.

— Tom Katzenmeyer, connect with Tom on LinkedIn.

Image: Students in the Art in the House class work on the 2015 CAP centerpieces.