Arts in Education: From National Policy to Local Community Action

by Nancy Langan

Apr 1, 1994
If the national arts education landscape has you confused, you are not alone. There are more AIE policy committees and task forces than ever before. This is also an exciting time, with new resources and increased attention to the arts as a catalyst for improving the country's schools. Doug Herbert, Director of the Arts in Education Program at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) begins this monograph with a guided tour of the national arts education scene. He describes the initiatives and partnerships that are shaping the policy and agenda for the arts in our children's education. He brings into focus the current momentum for supporting the arts as essential to education reform. Tip O'Neil said, All politics is local. All change is local, too. Local communities bring to life the national AIE policy with the excellent work already in progress across the country. To help bridge the gap between the national scene and the local level, the Monograph profiles five communities that are making the arts central in their local schools. Schools, together with local arts agencies and arts organizations, are transforming teaching and learning, and redefining the role of the arts community in education, with a variety of funding and partnership strategies. These local initiatives are described in the second part of the Monograph. There are many challenges for local arts agencies that plan to invest in arts education partnerships. Nancy Welch, Senior Research Specialist for the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, and Paul Fisher, Director of the Arts in Education Program of the Tucson/Pima Arts Council, conclude this Monograph by considering these challenges and the decisions that must be made at the local level to create a vital cycle of local arts education partnerships making the arts a part of the core curriculum. The Monograph ends with a bibliography and resource guide that includes a glossary of the national arts and education agencies, organizations and task forces discussed by Doug Herbert.
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