Skip to Content

Arts education takes center stage

NEA provides educators with resources during National Arts in Education Week

WASHINGTON - September 10, 2010 -

The arts play an important role in providing students with a well-rounded education.  National Arts in Education Week, celebrated September 12th-18th, offers opportunities to focus attention on the imperative to offer students a variety of learning experiences. During this year’s observance of National Arts in Education Week, the National Education Association is offering a number of resources on its website, including background information, teaching ideas and interactive tools to help educators incorporate the arts into the classroom. The Association’s website also will include details on grants, scholarships and contests relative the arts in education.

“When a student is captivated by the brushstrokes of Picasso’s paintings, the agony of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, or the rhythm of Duke Ellington’s music, doors to a brilliant world of imagination burst open,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of NEA. "Every student in every school should have access to the power of the arts.”

In addition to sparking creativity and engaging students, researchers say arts education has academic benefits as well.  Studies point to links between the arts and improved achievement in selected areas, including reasoning and verbal skills for students from both advantaged and disadvantaged homes.

“We must focus on educating the whole child,” Van Roekel added. “Students should be exposed to a broad and rich curriculum that includes not only math and reading, but courses and clubs that focus on dance, music, art, theater and other creative disciplines. The arts are important. They enrich our lives. They have always offered ways to learn and express ideas.”

In addition to offering resources for educators on its website, NEA is working with the Arts Education Partnership. The Partnership also has created a site for sharing information about National Arts in Education Week activities and arts education policy and practice in states and communities.

To view NEA resources for National Arts in Education Week

Follow us on twitter at

# # #

The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing
3.2  million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: NEA Media Relations  (202) 822-7823,