Arts Learning

What are the NAC’s Arts Learning programs?
The Nebraska Arts Council strives to establish the arts as basic to education and lifelong learning as a part of its mission. Every Nebraska child is entitled to a well-rounded education including the arts. Through its education-related grant programs, the NAC aspires to promote the arts in education for all preK-12 Nebraska students, support professional development opportunities for teachers and artists, encourage partnerships among arts and educational institutions and champion lifelong learning in the arts for our citizens. In 2014 Nebraska adopted new statewide fine arts educational standards for the very first time, ensuring that k-12 educators and students across the state have clear benchmarks for learning in dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts. This is a milestone in our state, demonstrating a newly strengthened commitment to arts education for Nebraska children.

How can we learn more and advocate for Arts Education?

Why is Arts Education important?
With the passage of ‘No Child Left Behind’ in 2002, the arts were acknowledged as a part of core academic curriculum in k-12 education. However, with increased demands for testing and greater budget constraints, the arts are being squeezed out of the school day in many Nebraska schools. Sequential arts education in the disciplines of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts can help students attain learning and innovation skills, or the four ‘C’s established by the Partnership for 21st Century Learning: Creativity and innovation, Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication and Collaboration. Our young people deserve a comprehensive education that will help them to navigate a complex world and the arts are an essential component.

‘Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement’, published by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in partnership with the Arts Education Partnership, states that “A growing body of studies….presents compelling evidence connecting student learning in the arts to a wide spectrum of academic and social benefits. These studies document the habits of mind, social competencies and personal dispositions inherent to arts learning. Additionally, research has shown that what students learn in the arts may help them to master other subjects, such as reading, math, or social studies.”

"Re-Investing in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools" , is a report recently published by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH), which spent the last 18 months conducting an in-depth review of the current challenges and opportunities facing arts education. The schools covered in the report are improving test scores and fostering their students’ competitiveness in the workforce by investing in arts education strategies, even in the toughest neighborhoods.

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