Associations Partner to Advocate for Arts Education

May 2024

Educational Theatre Association, National Art Education Association, National Association for Media Arts Education, National Association for Music Education, and National Dance Education Organization Join to Advance Federal Policy Goals

(Washington, D.C., May 29) — Research shows that arts education is crucial to a well-rounded education, but U.S. schools too often don’t provide consistent access to robust education by qualified arts educators. The nation’s five arts education associations have officially joined together to work toward changing this.

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), National Art Education Association (NAEA), National Association for Media Arts Education (NAMAE) National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) will partner to amplify the value of arts education through joint advocacy work.

NAfME Assistant Executive Director for Advocacy and Public Policy Amanda Karhuse will lead federal advocacy for the coalition. Karhuse has more than 25 years of experience in federal policy and advocacy with NAfME, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and as a legislative assistant.

Karhuse will lead the associations in building a shared federal legislative agenda on arts education and lobby congressional staff and U.S. Department of Education officials to achieve that agenda. The partners’ top priority is pushing for federal legislation to name all five art forms as integral to a well-rounded education. “We want to see every art form emphasized in educational policy so more students have equitable access to the discipline of their choice,” said Karhuse.

The group is collectively working to support proposed legislation including the Arts Education for All Act, the Reimagining Inclusive Arts Education Act, the Guarantee Access to Arts and Music Education Act, and the anticipated Equitable Arts Education Enhancement Act.

The partners also will be advocating for arts educators to receive the resources they need to provide quality arts instruction: dedicated space, budget, and class time; professional learning opportunities; and a supportive school community.

In addition to the work outlined above, the coalition will focus on sharing data on the use of federal funding for arts education, conducting advocacy campaigns for federal issues impacting arts education, educating association members on policy issues through blogs and webinars, and hosting joint advocacy day opportunities on Capitol Hill.

“Our collective goal is for all schools to be arts-rich schools,” said Karhuse. “This partnership allows us to speak with one voice for the value of arts education.”

Arts educators can follow the progress of the partners’ advocacy initiatives on their respective websites.

About the Educational Theatre Association
The Educational Theatre Association is an international nonprofit that serves as the professional association for theatre educators. EdTA is the parent organization of the International Thespian Society, the honor society for theatre students that’s inducted more than 2.5 million Thespians since 1929. Additionally, EdTA operates the Educational Theatre Foundation, the organization’s philanthropic arm dedicated to broadening representation and increasing access. Visit to learn how EdTA inspires theatre educators to transform lives.

About the National Art Education Association
Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association is the leading professional membership organization for visual arts, design, and media arts education professionals. Members include preK, elementary, middle, and high school visual arts educators; college and university professors; university students preparing to become educators; researchers and scholars; teaching artists; administrators and supervisors; and art museum educators—as well as more than 54,000 students who are members of the National Art Honor Society.

About the National Association for Media Arts Education
The National Association for Media Arts Education (NAMAE) seeks to support and advance media arts education for all learners. NAMAE was founded in 2024 and is just beginning to fulfill its mission and galvanize its community. NAMAE intends to develop curricula that support high quality standards-based instruction, resources and opportunities that support media arts educators and students, and research, networks and systems that support the development and growth of the discipline.

About the National Association for Music Education
The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is a collaborative community that supports music educators and advocates for equitable access to music education. The only association that addresses all aspects of music education, NAfME, together with its affiliated state music education associations, advocates at the national, state, and local levels and provides resources and opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators. Founded in 1907 and representing more than 57,000 members teaching millions of students, NAfME advances the music education profession and promotes lifelong experiences in music.

National Dance Education Organization
The National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), founded in 1998, is the leading nonprofit organization that supports dance educators across every setting, including K-12 schools, dance studios, colleges and universities, community centers, and more. NDEO is dedicated to advancing dance education for people of all backgrounds by providing professional development for teachers and cultivating a community of support, resources, advocacy, and research. NDEO is the parent organization of The National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA). The NHSDA has recognized the artistic merit, leadership, and academic achievements of thousands of exceptional middle/high school and college dance students since its inception in 2005. Learn more about how NDEO is building a future with equitable and accessible dance education for all at

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