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Advocacy Resources - MESSAGE

Communicate a clear MESSAGE.

•  The message is the answer to the question:
"Why is learning in the visual arts essential to education
in the 21st century?”

⇒ To strengthen LITERACY
     The arts are an essential language.

⇒ To develop a GLOBALLY COMPETITIVE workforce
     The arts develop essential skills for global competitiveness in the 21st century.

     The arts promote active and complex learning.

•  Use data. Stay informed through the NAEA news feed.
•  Tell compelling personal stories.
•  Tap into your NETWORK's values and concerns.
•  Make your message VISIBLE.

Message Development Tools and Links

Remarks to 2013 Delegates Assembly by Dr. Deborah B. Reeve, 2013 NAEA National Convention, Fort Worth, Texas, March 7-10, 2013
• Remarks made October 12, 2012 by Deborah B. Reeve, NAEA Executive Director, at the Opening of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers 2012 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Exhibit at the US Department of Education: So Much More Than What You See - See also: 10 Lessons the Arts Teach
Leadership in Art Education: Taking Action in Schools and Communities By Kerry Freedman
Art and Other Subjects" Originally published in Art Education, November 1985, Vol. 38, No. 6, p.17.
• View/download/share the Visual Arts Education e-Flyer
Learning in A Visual Age – Compelling case for why the visual arts enhances overall student learning
• Elliot Eisner’s 10 Lessons the Arts Teach – Elegant points for messaging
Reauthorization Key Message Points – Developed by NAEA with colleague arts education organizations for Reauthorization of ESEA, aka No Child Left Behind Federal Legislation
Unified Statement, Arts Education: Creating Student Success in School, Work and Life prepared by NAEA and the other national arts education associations
NAEA Comments on Race to the Top Guidelines
NAEA Comments on Investing in Innovation (i3) Guidelines
• NAEA's A Visual Art Teacher Is...
NAEA Quick Resource Reference Guide on NCLB and Art Education
• NAEA’s Who Enrolls in High School Art Classes?

Research/Information that Supports our MESSAGE
American Express Members' Project
Americans for the Arts- Arts and Economic Prosperity – Annually updated economic impact research for entire country
Arts and Academic Improvement Executive Summary from the Project Zero Report
Arts at the Core: Recommendations for advancing the state of arts education in the 21st Century [2.4MB] – National Task Force on the Arts and Education (NTFAE) – 50 leading educators and artists came together in 2008 to address the opportunities and challenges facing arts education in the United States.  NTFAE advises the College Board by recommending strategies for placing the arts at the core of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education. The NTFAE's report, "Arts at the Core: Recommendations for advancing the state of arts education in the 21st Century" confronts challenges to the state of the arts in education, identifies the many benefits of arts learning, and details eight key recommendations for advancing the place of the arts in American education.  It outlines recommendations for making the arts a core component of American education.
⇒For more information, read the brochure, Arts at the Core [2.8MB]. This brochure introduces you to the voices and ideas that make up the NTFAE. Learn more about the importance of the arts in education through these essays from leading thinkers and policy makers in arts education. • Arts & Economic Prosperity - National | Local data updated annually by Americans for the Arts
• Arts Education Partnership's Helping to Realize the Potential of the Arts for Every Child
• Arts Education Partnership's Critical Links: A summary of key findings of recent research that validates key messages
[VIDEO] Arts in Education Matters. Arts for Learning, the Indiana affiliate of Young Audiences created a terrific video about why arts in education matters.
The Clyde Fitch Report's Arts Advocacy Update: An Arts Watch Partnership. The Clyde Fitch Report is a website exploring the nexus of arts and politics—including news and features, interviews, guest columns, bipartisan opinions, and public comments.
Does Experience in the Arts Boost Academic Achievement? by Elliot W. Eisner, Stanford University, National Art Education Association, 1998 (scanned) 
Dana Foundation Arts Education in the News – A foundation that has devoted resources to brain research as well as to arts education research
Dana Foundation Partner Site – Your Brain at Work – Site created by the foundation to make their brain research more accessible to the general public
Edutopia - Use the Arts to Boost Learning – All points of arts integration -- from implementation in the classroom and engaging students, to linking the arts with core curriculum -- are covered in this roundup of useful Edutopia blogs, articles, and videos.
Arts Integration: Resource Roundup. A newly updated collection of resources for linking the arts and core curriculum, art and technology, and more.
Bring the Arts to PBL. Andrew Miller explores ways to bring the arts to project-based learning (PBL), including using the arts as an entry point or as a culminating event.
Arts and the Common Core. Learn how you can integrate these arts-inspired lesson ideas and strategies to meet the Common Core standards.
VIDEO: Integrate the Arts, Deepen the Learning. This middle school integrated the arts across all subject areas and saw improvements in critical thinking, risk-taking, and collaboration.
The Forgotten Core Discipline By John A. Deskins and Stephanie Morris Lorenze from Principal Leadership (NASSP)
Learning and the Arts: Crossing Boundaries Report – The report of a meeting that took place on January 12-14, 2000 in Los Angeles where 120 people, including program officers, CEOs and trustees representing some 50 foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education came together to look at the arts’ potential for improving the lives of America’s children.
Mr E Racer : on Creativity : The ARTS : Elementary art artshow presentation
NAEA State of the Arts Advocacy Report-Southeastern States
• NAEA's Why Art Education?
National Arts Advocacy Campaigns: Overview of Case Studies and Good Practice, a new report Promoting the Value of Arts Education, was released by the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA). Based on research and responses to a survey distributed in August 2009 to the IFACCA network, the report examined a range of lobbying, advertising and grassroots arts advocacy campaigns that national arts funding agencies have undertaken over the past decade. The report also explores which strategies raised awareness of the arts and which backfired. The report is full of useful information, including the finding that a more effective way to appeal to parents is to use specific phrases such as "your kids" or "your children" rather than the generic "kids" or "children."
National Endowment for the Arts – Arts Education
New Project Zero Study Highlights Importance of Arts Educators. Many children in the United States have little or no opportunity for formal arts instruction and access to arts learning experiences remains a critical national challenge. Additionally, the quality of arts learning opportunities that are available to young people is a serious concern. Understanding this second challenge – the challenge of creating and sustaining high quality formal arts learning experiences for K-12 youth, inside and outside of school -- is the focus of a new report from Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. (Staff News Editor, 6/30/09)
Otis College of Art and Design – Creative Economy Reports – Effective communications about the economic impact of the arts
• Partnership for 21st Century Skills–
      » Learning for the 21st Century – A report issued by a coalition of organizations
         about what students need to learn to be 21st century citizens and workers
      » The Arts Skills Map – Specific ways that arts learning contributes to 21st century
         skills prepared by NAEA and the other national arts education associations
Ringling College of Art and Design – Did You Know Creative Industries Statistics
SAT Scores of students enrolled in the arts 2000-2002, reported by the College Board
• Secretary of Education Arne Duncan August 13, 2009 letter in support of arts education directed to school and education community leaders. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan Releases Letter in Support of Arts Education.
Seeing a Bigger Picture: The Visual Arts, Renee Sandell – An interdisciplinary curriculum that is rich in the visual arts will serve students beyond school and into the future (Principal Leadership, March 2011). Discussion guide available here
Ten Reasons Why Teaching the Arts is Critical in a 21st Century World By Elliott Seif (ASCD Edge Blog post). Due to the impact of K-12 education budget cuts across the country, it is expected that school arts programs (e.g. music, visual arts, dance, theater) in many schools and districts will be reduced or eliminated next year. The arts are often the most vulnerable because they are not considered as important as other subjects and are not evaluated through a high stakes, standardized testing process. But the reality is that the arts have a powerful impact on learning and are important in their own right. In a 21st century world, we should STRENGTHEN and EXPAND arts education, not reduce or eliminate it.
Visual Arts in After School Programs Art can be an important element in after school programs whose missions are to address the needs of the whole child. Through artmaking, children are often able to make sense of their world and their roles within it. Children may be more comfortable in the more informal activities and programs offered in after school care, as they may have opportunities to select from an array of activities to meet their needs and interests.
What Art Did for One Child. “The Cream Does Not Always Rise: The Plight of Visual-Spatial Learners and the Power of Art Education” by Michele Sommer in Harvard Educational Review, Spring 2013 (Vol. 83, #1, p. 40-42),
Why Our High Schools Need The Arts, Jessica Hoffmann Davis [128 pgs. (2011) ISBN 978-0-8077-5286-9] In this follow-up to her bestselling book, Why Our Schools Need the Arts, Jessica Hoffmann Davis addresses the alarming dropout rate in our high schools and presents a thoughtful, evidence-based argument that increasing arts education in the high school curriculum will keep kids in school. Davis shares compelling voices of teachers and their adolescent learners to demonstrate how courses in the arts are relevant and valuable to students who have otherwise become disenfranchised from school. This important book points the way toward rescuing the American high school from the inside out by ensuring that all students benefit from the compelling and essentiallearning opportunities that the arts uniquely provide.
Why Our Schools Need The Arts, Jessica Hoffmann Davis [150 pgs. (2008) ISBN 978-0-80774834-3] This inspiring book leads the way to a new kind of advocacy-one that stops justifying the arts as useful to learning other subjects and argues instead for the powerful lessons that the arts, like no other subjects, teach our children. Davis offers a set of principles and tools that will be invaluable to advocates already working hard to make the case and secure a strong place for the arts in education. Purchase this book from NAEA for $20.00 (member)/$22.00 (non-member).
Why Teach Art?, SchoolArts magazine, November 2012

Effective Advocacy Materials from NAEA Affiliates
Critical Evidence: How the ARTS Benefit Student Achivement (NASAA)
Kansas Art Education Association Web site Advocacy Section
Letter from NAEA Leaders in Support of Art Education Word(customizable)
• Letters to media and decision makers – sample position letters:
   »Mindy Shrago, Young at Art Children’s Museum Founder and Executive Director
      in Davie, Florida - Letter to the Editor
    »Bradford B. Venable, President, Art Education Association of Indiana, Inc. - Letter to
      school board president
Michigan Art Education Association's Advocacy Resources  & Advocacy Panic Button
• RIAEA’s Art Advocacy Video, Artfully Inspired, was created as an Art’s Advocacy video representing the Rhode Island Art Education Association, and all Rhode Island students. Artfully Inspired was filmed in January of 2011 at the RI Scholastic Art Awards Gallery opening at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island. 
• NAEA's Tips for Parents (2003)
Sample Text for Back-to-School Columns, Speeches, or Other Communications. The Learning First Alliance has created sample language available for use in back-to-school communications. Feel free to borrow their words. Take them all, or take only a few. Whatever your needs dictate. This language outlines an emerging vision for 21st century public schools, a vision that is already taking shape in schools from coast to coast. 
Why Arts Education Is Crucial, and Who's Doing It Best (Edutopia)

Effective Advocacy Materials From Other Arts Education Organizations
AEP Arts in Education State Policy Symposium (2014) Resources. 100+ Arts and Education Leaders. 30 States. 1 Day: March 22, Washington, DC: Arts in Education State Policy Symposium, Great Expectations for Learning: The Role of the Arts in Preparing America’s Students for College, Careers, and Citizenship. Our goal: inform, connect, and take action to ensure that every student has the high quality education in and through the arts needed to succeed in school, work, and life. If you missed this Symposium, AEP has compiled the highlights from our rich conversations for you to review, share, and use in your work to advance the role of the arts in responding to – and informing – state and local education policy goals and priorities. Topics and news from the day are highlighted in the audio recordings, handouts, and slide presentations.
• Cleveland Art Is Education – Advocacy Pamphlet – English | Spanish
Friends of the Arts in L.A.U.S.D. Working to Preserve and Restore Arts Education in the Los Angeles Unified School District. View their blog
The Right Brain Initiative in Portland, OR – A community partnership with effective communications and advocacy materials. Tools for everyday advocacy: Tim DuRoche, Right Brain Governing Committee Member and Advocacy Committee Chair, provides invaluable resources for promoting arts education each and every day. Tune in to their blog to read advocacy talking points, to learn how one powerful group in San Diego lobbied their school board to reinstate arts funding, and for the essential bibliography of works for further reading. Read the full series.
A SNAPSHOT OF SUCCESSFUL ADVOCACY: In 2009 a small group of community/arts education advocates, led by a local arts consultant named Victoria Saunders, in San Diego successfully appealed to their school board to save their visual and performing arts department from elimination in a round of aggressive cost cutting. It’s a great case-study in organization, mobilization and civic agency—meaning our capacity to act cooperatively and collectively on common problems across our differences of view. For the whole story, read Saunder’s “How I led a Small Group of Citizens to a 4-1 School Board Victory.”
Speak Up! for the Arts TOOLKIT from the Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation
Supporting Arts Education in Washington State – ArtsEd Washington’s tool kit helps educators, parents, and community members engage district education leaders and community elected officials by inviting them to special student arts events, encouraging them to see arts learning in action and observe first-hand how the arts are impacting schools and students. Visit to access the tool kit and to learn more about the issues and how you can get involved in Washington or gather information to advocate in your own state.

Inspiration for MESSAGE Development
Sir Ken Robinson website – Motivational speaker and education visionary 
Sir Ken Robinson TEDTalk February 2006 – Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Sir Ken Robinson TEDTalk  February 2010 – Bring on the Learning Revolution!
Jill Bolte Taylor, Neuroanatomist TEDtalk March 2008 – Scientist who learned firsthand about the power of “the right brain”

SAMPLE LETTER: Questions of Importance (Contributor: Amy Akers)

2010 National Scholastic Art Award Recipients Speak Out

"There is NEVER a good time to cut school art and design programs. Artists and designers are the past, present and future.  We are forward thinking individuals.  We make the world a better place through our innovations."—Margaret, Cincinnati, OH

"We need to be on the CUTTING EDGE as the next generation to inherit these big problems.  We need to be able to develop CREATIVE solutions."—Emily, Charleston, SC

"Because my art teacher is AMAZING, I have discovered a career path I never knew existed!"—Joe, St. Petersburg, FL

"The arts have given me a way to SHINE and be recognized in my school and community for my unique talent."—Mary, Livonia, MI

"Art captures things about civilization that a textbook can’t.  Art classes have taught me the story of life, the rise and fall of empires and the history of human emotion."—Windsor, Richmond, VA


Advocacy Bookmarks. Click on the images to view the bookmarks.