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Happy National Arts in Education Week!

Congress lauds benefits of arts education for students

This week, Monday, Sept. 12 through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 is designated National Arts in Education Week by the US House of Representatives.

The week coincides with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's "Courage in the Classroom" Back to School Tour, which is broadly themed around education as a civil right.

Congress designated Arts in Education Week to promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college and career-ready students. The resolution states that "Arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theater, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students."

The resolution notes the importance of the arts across all level of studies and quotes Albert Einstein who said, "After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well."

It says the arts equip students with a "creative, competitive edge" and they tend to achieve better grades, have a lower dropout rate, a more positive attitude about school, and a greater tendency to go on to college.

The resolution also praises nonprofit organizations like Youth Education in the Arts for playing an important role in the economic health of the communities they serve.

YEA! staffer and marching band fan, Charity Musielak, says everyone should ask themselves this week, "What can I do to interact directly with arts education?" She suggests making it a point to attend a band show and support the performing students. "The USSBA has 10 shows this weekend!"

Visit this link for a list of this season's shows.

The resolution (H.Con.Res. 275) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives July 26. It was proposed and introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier from California.

For information on National Arts in Education Weeek, and ideas on how to celebrate, check out the Arts Education Partnership website.

Read the entire bill here.


Parents and fans cheer performers at a Sept. 10 marching band show in Danbury, Conn.


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