Position Statement on Art Education and Social Justice

[Adopted March 2015]

NAEA recognizes the importance of art education to raise critical consciousness, foster empathy and respect for others, build community, and motivate people to promote positive social change. Service learning is one approach to education in which social justice is addressed through service with others, often in arts-based projects.

Artists often engage with the issues of their time, and some treat the creation of art as a social practice. Art can provide a meaningful catalyst to engage individuals and communities to take action around a social issue. The processes by which people create and interact with art can help them understand and challenge inequities through art education and social justice.

The interconnectedness of the Internet has enabled many social justice and service learning projects to grow into global arts-based efforts. Visual art educators are encouraged to have their students participate in pre-existing social justice/service learning projects or to develop their own.