A recent study released by National Endowment for the Arts proves what many arts researchers and advocates have been suggesting for a long time – that the greatest predictor for arts participation is arts education.
The report, “Arts Education in America: What the Decline Means for Participation,” also provides a couple of twists that may or may not have been expected.
The implications are crucial to our understanding of arts participation and arts education.
First, the study shows that both children and adults who have experienced or are engaging in arts classes are much more likely to participate in the arts. Therefore, arts education is an issue that affects all arts organizations, whether those organizations provide arts education opportunities or not.
For arts participation, the cultivation of adult audiences through arts education is just as crucial as providing arts education for children. The nurturing of both populations is necessary to ensure sustained arts participation in the near and distant future.
Second, the researchers demonstrate that while arts education among whites has remained relatively flat, arts education among Hispanic Americans and African Americans has declined significantly.
Cuts in arts education are primarily affecting schools that serve low-income minority students. Read the rest of this entry »