March is Youth Art Month, and as the month begins the RI Council on the Arts (RISCA) is partnering with arts educators throughout Rhode Island to kick off a national campaign to punctuate the ongoing value of arts education for pre-K-12 students.   

Entitled Arts ARE Education, the goal of this educational campaign is to emphasize the importance of arts education as a central component to the well-rounded education of all students. Arts educators in dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts throughout the school year and the summer will be contacting legislators, and school boards and administrators to remind them of the long-lasting benefits of the arts, and their overwhelming impact on students in our schools.  

Rhode Island has a commitment to arts education, recognizing it as a core subject and requiring it in the schools as a “comprehensive program of study.” With budget shortfalls expected for the 2021-22 school year due to the pandemic, the campaign points out the key intersection of the arts in enriching students’ lives, reigniting motivation to learn, as well as helping to bring successes in many other subject areas. When considering budgets, Arts ARE Education presents a clear picture of the critical arts acumen students need to develop to assist them in being productive, and college- and career- ready individuals. 

In learning more about Arts ARE Education, Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of RISCA, said, “This educational campaign couldn’t be more welcome, as arts educators are facing challenges beyond what other classroom teachers face. RI arts educators, parents and students should remind education leaders at the state and local level about the economic and educational impact of creativity and the arts to all students.” He added, “I am glad that this campaign will help RI arts educators carry the message that the arts are an essential part of every student’s education, particularly during a pandemic, when so much else has been changed or lost.”  

Throughout Youth Art Month, which is themed Arts Connect Us, and during this summer, arts educators will be asking for school boards to pass the Arts ARE Education Resolution https://www.artsareeducation.org/our-resolution, and for all arts stakeholders to sign the Arts ARE Education Pledgehttps://www.artsareeducation.org/sign-the-pledge, in addition to other educational activities found on at Arts Are Education https://www.artsareeducation.org.  

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