Arts ARE Education National Campaign
NAfME Joins National Multi-Arts Discipline Campaign
to Support Music and Arts Education
The national Arts ARE Education campaign, now in its second year, has refreshed its advocacy talking points and resources, under the thematic “Getting Ready for the 2022-23 School Year”. The ARE website includes new template documents and actionable outreach strategies to help music and arts educators and advocates to “make the case” for equitable PreK-12 arts education for all students. The campaign, sponsored by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), has also recast its 2021 document, Arts Education is Essential, as the Arts ARE Education Statement. The statement was endorsed by 125 national organizations last year; the ARE campaign is seeking re-endorsement of those signatories to further bolster support for school music and arts programs. To kick off the updated campaign, ARE is hosting a virtual Town Hall–“Arts Education for All Students in 2022-23–on September 12, 5-6:30 pm EDT. Registration is now open here.
To support the campaign, we are reaching out to encourage music educators and school boards to indicate support for music and other arts education in their districts through three digital documents:
- The Arts ARE Education Resolution, which asks school boards to resolve that the district will continue to fully fund and provide appropriate resources in support of arts education programs in a manner proportionate to all other subjects that are part of a well-rounded education.
- The Arts ARE Education Pledge that the campaign asks you, as an in-the-trenches music educator, to sign demonstrating your own commitment to the district’s music and arts education programs.
- The customizable Dear Legislator Letter, managed by the NAfME Action Center, asking state legislators to support full funding for music and arts programs in the schools in their district.
The ARE campaign has also created two editable template documents, the Dear Parents and Caregivers letter, and the Dear School Leader letter to help music and arts educators reach out directly to their community members.
Check out the ARE Podcast series–Nine episodes focusing on topics relevant to music and arts education, ranging from federal funding opportunities and SEL to arts integration and DEI.
Why do this now?
The school budget process generally takes place in the spring. However, in our post-pandemic era, American Rescue Plan funds have created a surplus of money in school districts across the country. So it is important to be vigilant throughout the school year, as boards ands school leaders make plans and decisions regarding how those funds are spent, including for music and arts education. Therefore it’s still important to advocate for passage of the Arts ARE Education Resolution, in which your school board resolves that they will maintain music and arts education funding and programming in the 2022-23 school year. Knowing that they have done so will allow advocates to speak up with confidence as discussions are tabled regarding students, staffing, curriculum, and resources.
What can you do?
- Embrace the Arts ARE Education campaign. Encourage your school board to pass the Resolution and urge other educators and community members to sign the Pledge. Share the campaign’s key talking points on social media, using the tag #artsReducation.
- Attend school board meetings. Find out when your local school board meets by checking the district website. Someone representing music education should attend every meeting and report out to other advocates regarding future funding or other issues related to music and other arts education in the district’s schools.
- Speak with school leaders in your district about the power of music education. Share the campaign talking points and your stories of how music and other arts education has continued successfully throughout the pandemic in your school and supported students’ well-being and a positive school climate.
- Celebrate with other area school districts that embrace the Arts ARE Education campaign. Share your successes on the Arts ARE Education website, urge other district music and arts educators to do the same, and ask your school board to post their district’s resolution on the school website.
- Visit the Arts ARE Education website for resources and updates. The campaign has assembled an advocacy toolkit and creating opportunities to help prepare advocates, including:
- The Arts ARE Education Talking Points and Actionables page detailing the challenges facing arts education in the post-pandemic environment and what districts need to do to ensure the continued availability of arts education programs.
- District Resolution and Pledge sign-on documents that allow districts to edit the resolution to meet the needs of their district before passage, and a registration page where anyone who wants to sign the pledge can do so.
- Dear School Board Member Template Letter intended to help advocates engage their school board members in a dialogue about the importance of music education and prepare them to pass the Resolution.
- Customizable State Legislator Letter Template that advocates can send directly to advocates’ legislators, asking them to support full funding of arts education in their district.
- Social Media Kit to help build local, state, and national awareness and support of the campaign.
- The September 12 town hall will be a great lead-in to NAfME’s September 19–23 Virtual Hill Week. Register for Virtual Hill Week by September 9 to ensure you receive updates. Followed Hill Week, NAfME State leaders will be meeting with elected officials throughout the month of March, which marks the 38th annual Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®).
To learn more and to get involved visit https://artsareeducation.org.