Arts ARE Education National Campaign
NAfME Joins National Multi-Arts Discipline Campaign
to Support Music and Arts Education
As a follow-up to last year’s “Arts Education Is Essential” statement by 113 national music and arts organizations and authored by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), in January 2021 the “Arts ARE Education” campaign launched with a public announcement during NAMM’s “Believe in Music” Week. This collaborative campaign by multiple disciplines in music and other arts education will emphasize funding, maintaining, and growing PreK–12 arts education programs in the 2021–22 school year and beyond.
To activate 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 two 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.
Learn more by watching the Town Hall for Music Educators. Please share the recording with colleagues and advocates.
Why do this now?
The school budget process has likely already begun in your district or will soon. By February, a preliminary budget may be available for public review and comment; generally, in March, there is a final presentation of the budget in which feedback will be accepted prior to approval. To prepare for the decision-making meetings that will be taking place, we need school districts to pass the Arts ARE Education Resolution now, resolving that they will maintain music and arts education funding and programming in the 2021–22 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 a digital toolbox 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.
- School Budget Process Guide, with specific instruction on when and how to monitor and respond to proposed budgetary school board decisions impacting district arts education. See also the NAfME Local Advocacy Action Plan.
- Social Media Kit to help build local, state, and national awareness and support of the campaign.
- Five virtual “Arts Education Tuesday Town Halls,” where arts education leaders and decision-makers in music, dance, media arts, theatre, and visual arts will come together to engage in dialogues with teachers, administrators, parents, students, and other school decision-makers. The first event took place on January 19, co-presented by the National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) and National Association for Music Education.
- Arts Education Virtual Capitol Hill Month in March when advocates in each arts discipline will “make the case” for music and other arts education as a well-rounded subject area with their Congressional delegation. NAfME State leaders will be meeting with elected officials throughout the month of March, which is also the 36th annual Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®).
To learn more and to get involved visit https://artsareeducation.org.