Celebrate Arts in Education Month in March – An Education without the ARTS is Incomplete!

by Arts Education Committee

In PTA we believe that arts education is a student right! It is our responsibility to continue to advocate for comprehensive, accessible arts education in your schools and communities. 

Art can be many things – in the PTA Reflections Arts Program we recognize visual arts, film production, dance choreography, literature, music composition, and photography. What do you consider art? It is easy to stay inside the box when it comes to art, but we want you to think outside the box and be inclusive of all the ways we can bring arts to our students and supercharge their creativity.

The Arts can include: 

  • visual arts such as drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, architecture
  • performing arts including singing, dancing, drama, playing an instrument
  • culinary arts
  • digital/media arts including filmmaking, digital photography, graphic design
  • literary art including poetry, literature

California State PTA advocates for our education system  to provide a full curriculum that includes the arts in every school. Too often the arts are forgotten and fall victim to budget cuts and other spending priorities. But an education without the arts is incomplete. You and your PTA can advocate for creativity throughout the curriculum. Below you will learn more about where school districts can improve their arts programs, and find out how you can help promote arts education for all students in California.

Make art easy for your community! Here are some ideas to make the arts accessible and easy to take home:

  • Have art supplies readily available. Paper, crayons, paper towel tubes, etc. If you have supplies in an easily accessible spot for you, as the parent, creativity doesn’t have to be a chore.
  • Encourage families to schedule time to do something artistic. Take twenty minutes each day to stop what you are doing and participate in an art activity. Take photos during your evening walk, listen to music and dance, draw a picture, or bake something fun — all of these count as artistic activities. To avoid distractions, turn off your phone (or place it in silent mode) so you can be in the moment with your family.  
  • Allow everyone’s creativity to flow. Use this time to free your mind and let go of the rules you adhere to the rest of the day. Try not to say no, or give too many directions/instructions. If an activity is messy —move it outdoors, put on old T-shirts as smocks, and leave your shoes inside. Do your best to remove all barriers that might pull you away from your art time.

Arts Video

Resources – How else can you do to get involved?

Take the pledge to fight for creativity and the arts in California public schools by joining the Public Will Campaign for the arts. Help #CreateChange by sending an email to your school board members and let them know that every child in your community deserves access to a full and relevant arts education. Join our partner agency Create CA to find more resources and information that can help you on your path to becoming an arts education advocate.

Creativity is not optional! There is so much to learn about the arts standards in California. Review our Parents’ Guide to Arts Education in California Public Schools, then find out how your school district’s arts programs measure up by visiting the Arts Education Data project. To hear about arts education from a student perspective, check out the submissions from our Reflections participants. Fill out a field service request to  request a specialized arts advocacy presentation for your unit, council or district brought to you by a member of our Arts Education Committee.