PARTNERSHIP AGREMENTS: Additional Information on Arts Education

Through the study of the arts, lifelong skills are gained which help us develop creativity, communicate better, and make informed evaluations of artistic work. All students need to have meaningful arts experiences as part of an education program in which the arts are taught in grades pre-K through 12.

A comprehensive arts education program includes:

  • Curriculum-based learning in all of the arts disciplines -- creative writing, dance, design, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts -- that is linked to national or state standards, as appropriate, and that meets the developmental needs of all youth.
  • Hands-on instruction in the arts that includes the creation, production, and performance of works of art.
  • Instruction that balances skills development with arts history and critical theory.
  • Sequential programs, taught by qualified teachers, and strengthened by regular engagement with artists, artistic works, and arts institutions to sustain, expand, and deepen students’ understanding of and competence in the arts.
  • Interdisciplinary programs to enhance the richness of the arts learning experience.

The arts also can be integrated with other subjects to enable students to make connections across the curriculum.

Partnership Agreement Support for Arts Education

Partnership Agreement support is intended to respond to the objectives, strategies, and programs that each state arts agency develops based on national or state arts education standards, as appropriate, and its state's needs, opportunities, and resources. While the focus of our support is on arts education programs within schools, meaningful co-curricular or extracurricular activities also are important. These can take place as part of an extended school day or other after-school program, during vacation periods, and in cultural organizations. Possible components of a state's arts education program might include:

  • Artists' residencies where students and teachers can participate in and learn about specific arts disciplines. Residencies should be planned with teachers and other school and community leaders to be consistent with national or state standards, curricula, and arts education programs. Teacher training, follow-up visits by artists, and assistance with the development of curriculum or lesson units are encouraged as components of residencies.

  • Grants and/or technical assistance to local arts agencies, arts organizations, service organizations, professional associations, and schools for model or demonstration projects, curriculum development, student assessment or program evaluation, public awareness, research, or other efforts in arts education.

  • Training for artists to increase their knowledge and skills concerning the developmental needs of students; school "cultures," policies, and procedures; and other matters related to their work with students, teachers, and others in pre-K through 12 education.

  • Training for teachers, school administrators, and others to heighten the awareness, knowledge, and skills that are essential to planning, developing, and sustaining arts education programs.

  • Consortia, task forces, or similar groups at the state and local levels which increase communication and awareness, provide program coordination, and/or help develop public policy that is important to achieving the partnership goals for arts education.