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Youth Art Month
Youth Art Month (YAM) is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art and art education for all children and to encourage public support for quality school art programs. Established in 1961, YAM provides a forum for acknowledging skills that are not possible in other subjects. The Council for Art Education (CFAE), a sponsor of Youth Art Month, adopted the national theme, “Start With Art, Learn for Life.” Art Education develops self-esteem, appreciation of the work of others, selfexpression, cooperation with others, and critical thinking skills. All of these skills are vital to the success of our future leaders–our children.
Youth Art Month’s Purposes Are:
1. To direct attention to the value of art education which develops divergent and critical thinking; multicultural awareness; and technical, communication, and expressive skills.
2. To increase community, business and governmental support for art education.
3. To recognize that art is a necessity for the full development of better quality of life for all people.
4. To expand art programs in schools and stimulate new ones.
5. To increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative venues.
6. To provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.
7. To encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
8. To recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.
Who Sponsors Youth Art Month, Why and How?
In 1984, The Art & Creative Materials Insitute, Inc. (ACMI) created the Council for Art Education (CFAE), to administer the national Youth Art Month program and to encourage funding for the program.
Current members of the Council include:
ACMI – The Art & Creative Materials Institute, which provides all administrative support and a majority of funding for national Youth Art Month.
NAEA – The National Art Education Association., whose members carry out local Youth Art Month activities and whose state affiliates help fund state Youth Art Month programs.
The SHIP – A group of art materials exhibitors at the annual NAEA National Convention.
GFWC – The General Federation of Women’s Clubs, a volunteer non-profit organization committed to community improvement through volunteer service.
The Council seeks the active cooperation and support of national organizations and institutions. The Council also seeks and has received monetary and in-kind contributions from individuals, art material manufacturers and distributors.
To help promote observances, CFAE stimulates and coordinates Youth Art Month activities at the national level. The annual event, “School Flag Across the U.S….Flying High,” is an example. Each year, state Youth Art Month Chairpersons hold a student flag design program. A theme is selected that is representative of the individual state and the spirit of Youth Art Month. A design is selected and made into a flag. An opening ceremony is held in Washington, DC (funds permitting) the first week in March to honor the student designers in front of families, friends, teachers and U.S. legislators. The flags are flown in a place of prominence in Washington, DC for the remainder of March. The flags also are displayed in the Youth Art Month Museum at the NAEA Convention and in the ACMI booth at the National Art Material Trade Association (NAMTA) Convention before being returned to the individual state. CFAE has also started some special events to help further promote Youth Art Month, including the distribution of tote bags of donated art materials at the NAEA Convention, and the creation of the Youth Art Month Museum.
Each March, the YAM observance spotlights art education through governors’ and mayors’ proclamations, states’ capitol events, and thousands of local exhibits. It has the endorsement and support of many U.S. Senators and Members of Congress and state legislators who speak out on behalf of art education. The Council and NAEA encourage and assist state Youth Art Month Chairpersons, who are appointed by state art education association presidents, in their efforts to stimulate and coordinate state and local activities. These Chairpersons submit reports to the Council each year detailing their efforts and results.
Each year, at the NAEA National Convention, the Council recognizes outstanding achievement at the state level by conferring awards on certain state Chairpersons. This year, the Youth Art Month Museum and Flag Award Ceremony will be held in the Exhibit Hall of the Convention Center at the 2014 NAEA National Convention, March 29-31 in San Diego, CA. If you would like to get involved in any of the activities celebrating Youth Art Month, contact the Chairperson in your area (see "YAM Chairs" below under "Resources") and download the YAM planning materials (also under "Resources").
Thank you all who participate in Youth Art Month & in supporting visual art education!
• YAM Chairs
• What is YAM?
• YAM Information Booklet
• YAM Ideas for Celebration and Observance
• YAM State Ideas 2014
• YAM Endorsment
• How to Proclamations
• Press Release Template
• YAM Reporting Document
• YAM Chair Info Sheet
• YAM Funding
• YAM Photo Release
• YAM Planning Checklist
• YAM Museum Art
• FLAG Resources
• FLAG Contest Entry Form
• ALL PLANNING MATERIALS (.zip)
Visit the Advocacy section for links and resources!