National Arts & Education Week: Promotion for the Arts

Educators around the country will be encouraging and possibly promoting the role arts play in today’s education throughout this week.

This year’s Arts in Education week kicked off this past Sunday, Sept. 8. This week dedicated to the arts was proposed and introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier from California July 2010 by the United States House of Representatives.

The movement was not nationally recognized until May 2011 when The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities released their report called Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.

According to the text of the HR275 Arts in Education Week Resolution the passing of this resolution “calls on governors, mayors, and other elected officialsàto issue proclamations to raise awareness of the value and importance of arts in education. Officials seem to be doing their part to spread the word on this week.”

The promotion has already begun.

Ronald Shields, Ph.D., dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication at Sam Houston State University, wrote his support of the dedication in a Huntsville Item letter to the editor.

“We are fortunate to live in a community that offers many affordable or free cultural eventsàdance, theater, music, film, and visual arts,” he said in the letter.”

He encourages people to celebrate this week by taking advantage of all the different blends of culture displayed at SHSU.

Former domestic policy advisor to President Barack Obama, Melody Barnes, was the first to speak publicly about the resolution live on Ustream in 2011. Barnes spoke about the importance of having art related courses in schools.

“Education without the arts is an incomplete education,” she said. “It made me a better person. It made me a better professional.”

Research done in the report argued that incorporating the arts into a regular curriculum for all ages encourages creative thinking. Students are more compelled to attend classes and be more engaged. Melody Barnes also mentioned that students who participate in art courses score higher on tests and are more likely to graduate.

There is also a promotional video for arts in schools available via YouTube link on the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communications at SHSU’s Facebook page.

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