Learning in a Visual Age

The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education


Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education was updated in 2016.

It contains nine sections:

View the complete publication Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Visual Arts Education

“With the December 2015 reauthorization of ESEA as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), there are opportunities for furthering policies that can support arts education and enhance understanding of the value of arts learning. ”

NAEA’s Conversation

Learn about how to continue the conversation in your own communities.

We see a powerful and disturbing disconnect. Our young people are growing up in a visual age, spending hours in front of screens and being bombarded by imagery almost every where they go. At the same time, America’s schools often are reducing rather than expanding the training in the visual arts that our young people receive.

We have a plan to address it with knowledge, understanding and creativity. As some of the nation’s leading advocates for the visual arts, we believe that with reflective dialog that we grow stronger. Be sure to check out our Advocacy section for more information on promoting the arts. We’re taking this effort online.

We want to hear about successes with integrating the arts, providing excellent teaching, recognizing and promoting the intrinsic and extrinsic values of the arts and much more.

We’re offering you the tools to be a leader and organize your community. Download our Community Conversation Guide and host an Aspen-like conversation in your community.


In 2008, NAEA convened a group of scholars, stakeholders and friends of arts education at the Aspen Institute to engage in deep discussion about the future of the visual arts in education. Learning in a Visual Age captures the important outcomes.

See What Happened in Aspen in 2008

Analyze and Discuss Critical Topics for the Field

Summit Participants

NAEA brought together scholars, leaders in visual arts education, music educators, advocates for the arts, and former Clinton and Bush administration officials. There also were experts on learning and cognition and education association executives. Hear from them about critical issues in the field today.

Participants: Doug Blandy; B. Stephen Carpenter II; Laura Chapman; Jack Davis; Linda Downs; John Mahlmann; David Perkins; Terry Peterson; Deborah Reeve; Bennett Reimer; Elliot Eisner; Bonnie Rushlow; Susan Gabbard; Susan Sclafani; Constance Bumgarner Gee; Scott Sanders Shanklin-Peterson; Mac Arthur Goodwin; Barry Shauck; Olivia Gude; Mary Ann Stankiewicz; Lois Hetland; Gerald Tijrozzi; Kris Kurtenbach; and Louis West.