Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity -- a great TED Talk about the importance of educating for creativity as a basic skill.

Americans for the Arts -- major arts advocacy organization.

Arts Education in America: What the Declines Mean for Arts Participation -- a 2008 survey report by the National Endowment of the Arts that, among other things, documents that fewer children in general are receiving arts education, with African American and Latino youth clearly hit the hardest.  Only 26% of African Americans are currently receiving arts education, down from 51% in 1982.

The Arts Education Partnership -- a national coalition of arts, education, business, philanthropic, and government organizations promoting the value of arts education in the development of youth.

Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development -- a summary report of numerous studies showing the value of the arts in education.

The Arts and Education Reform -- a 2003 report about the value of using arts education as a central component in meaningful school reform, with information about three model schools that apply this thinking.

ARTSEDGE: The National Arts & Education Information Network -- supports bringing arts education to the center of the curriculum -- news, research regarding the impact of the arts on learning, teaching materials, and other professional resources.

The International Theatre of the Oppressed Organization -- started by Augusto Boal in 1971 in Brazil, this has become an internationally recognized and important organization and movement that focuses on using theatre/drama to educate and advocate about critical issues of social justice.

Performing Arts for Social Change -- a project led by Ithaca College professor, Cynthia Henderson -- "Modeled after Augusto Boal’s 'Theater of the Oppressed,' Performing Arts for Social Change' is theater, music and dance that offers a forum to those groups who are often not heard. Performances are of them and from them—their words, their experiences. We have worked with elementary school children in under funded schools, with gang members in New York City, with incarcerated youth in upstate New York, and women’s groups in Central Africa. Topics have included AIDS education and women’s empowerment in Cameroon, poverty and powerlessness in New York City, and racism in rural America. We use this form of performance to get people to think, to hear what too often remains silent, and to find ways to create necessary change within their society."

Youth-Led Art for Social Change -- a website with links to youth arts programs and related resources -- includes a number of good and interesting programs.

The Tribes Project -- "A multicultural, youth driven, non-profit organization dedicated to race education through the performing arts. We produce evocative and honest theatre performances as forums for the open discussion of race. The Tribes Project produces professional youth theatre with high standards of excellence."

Theatre and Social Change -- a focus group of the larger organization, Association forTheatre in Higher Education, that promotes "the research and practice of theatre whose specific focus is the dynamic relationship between theatre and society, and especially cultural analysis and theatre practice and theory which sees itself as an agent for social criticism and/or change."

The Scribe Video Center -- a community based documentary film program, in Philadelphia, that trains people to make films about issues and stories of significance to them -- includes a documentary history project for youth -- the Center was started by award winning filmmaker, Cornell University graduate, past artist-in-residence at Ithaca College, and McArthur "genius grant" recipient, Louis Massiah.

The Rebecca Davis Dance Company: Dance for Social Change -- a modern dance company that incorporates traditional and modern forms, including classical ballet, jazz, modern dance and hip hop to create dances that address major social issues.

Conflict Resolution Theater Workshop -- the Vermont Commons School is an independent college preparatory day school (grades 7-12) that developed a theater course to teach students about conflict resolution.

The Medium of Theatre As An Alternative Conflict Resolution Mechanism: A Case for the Niger Delta -- this is an essay written by Ifeanyi Ogu-Raphael, a drama/theatre teacher at Delta State University in Abraka, Nigeria. His essay is a proposition as to why theatre should be the approach used for conflict resolution, specifically for the current violence he speaks about in Nigeria.

ActNow Theatre for Social Change -- "a youth led theatre company developing a new generation of socially conscious theatre practitioners" -- they "work with young people, professional artist,s and the community to create contemporary theatre projects that achieve positive social change."

The Imagine Nation -- an organization that believes that "building capacities of the imagination rests primarily with an education in and through the arts and that the arts are essential to invigorating the teaching of other fundamental school subjects." Read about initiatives across the country that are working to put these ideas into practice.

Shawn Ginwright Webpage -- the home page of scholar activisit Shawn Ginwright, a leading expert on African American youth, youth activism, and youth development. He's author of a number of good books (including Black in School: Afrocentric Reform, Urban Youth, and the Promise of Hip-Hop Culture, and Black Youth Rising: Activism & Radical Healing in Urban America) and co-founder of the Institute for Radical Healing, a newly formed institute dedicated to pioneering research and wellness practices that build the capacity of individuals and communities of color to sustain social change efforts.

ArtsEdNet -- The Getty Foundation's arts education website -- lots of resources, lesson plans, and links.

More Art, Better Schools -- a good multi-part essay in support of more arts education in schools.

Advocating for Arts in the Classroom -- An article outlining the ways in which an Art education can benefit our nation's students.

Keep Arts in Schools -- A website devoted to informing educators and students about the highly important role the Arts play in our schools.

Art Smarts: Lessons Learned about Investing in a Well-Rounded Education -- An article from the California School Boards Association outlining the reasons why an Arts education is vital to students.  

Arts Empowerment -- this website contains resources pertaining to the power of the theatre arts. It was developed for The Colorado Council on the Arts with funding from The National Endowment for the Arts.

Assuring Equitable Arts Learning in Urban K-12 Public Schools --  An article outlining the views of various education professionals explaining why they believe the Arts is an essential part of every student's educational experience.

Book Tackles Old Debate: Role of Art in Schools -- A New York Times article calling attention to a 2000 study which stated that "art classes do not improve students' overall academic performance" and the reasons why this conclusion should not mean an end to Arts education.

Music and Multiculturalism -- This article offers evidence that music is an important subject to use for multicultural education.

American Music Conference -- an organization that promotes and supports music education -- includes information about research showing the benefits of music education.

No Subject Left Behind -- an article about arts education opportunities and their value.

National Dance Education Organization -- The NDEO is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and promotion of high quality education in the art of dance.

Hillary Clinton’s Stance on Dance Education -- a video of a speech by Hilary Clinton in which she discusses dance’s impact on other academics and notes how the No Child Left Behind Act hinders dance education programs in schools.

The Status of Dance in Education -- this website provides research supporting dance’s contribution to a higher work ethic and performance in other academics.

Teaching Creative Dance: An Afrocentric Experience -- different approaches to dance are essential for American students to become culturally literate. This website shows different ways dance is celebrated, with a focus on the African American experience.

“DanceVersity:” A World Dance for American Youth Program -- this 10-minute video shows American children learning a variety of dances from around the world.

National Endowment for the Arts -- lots of great links and information about what is going on in the arts in education today.

National Arts and Disability Center -- promotes inclusion of people with special needs in the arts.

Crayola Art Education -- a variety resources for educators, including lesson plans and project ideas that integrate the arts into a number of other disciplines.

Some Good Books & Articles

Bailey, S. 1993. Wings to Fly: Bringing Theatre Arts to Students with Special Needs. Woodbine House.

Consortium of National Arts Education Association. Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts: What Every Young American Should Know and Be Able to Do in the Arts. 1994. Reston, VA: MENC.

Davis, J. 2005. Framing Education as Art. New York: Teachers College Press.

Davis. J.  2011.  Why Our High Schools Need the Arts.  Teachers College Press.

Elliott, D. (1995). Music Matters: A New Philosophy of Music Education. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hutzel, K., Bastos, M. & Cosier, K. (Eds.)  2012.  Transforming City Schools Through Art.  Teachers College Press.

New Museum. 2010.  Rethinking Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education. Routledge.

Quinn, T & Ploof, J. (Eds.) 2011.  Art and Social Justice. Routledge.

Reimer, B. and Smith, R.A. 1992. The Arts, Education, and Aesthetic Knowing. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Schwarz, I. (1979). Arts and Humanities Perspective. Brockport: State University of New York.

Smith, R.A. 2006. Culture and the Arts in Education: Critical Essays on Shaping Human Experience. New York: Teachers College Press.

Sternberg, P. 1998. Theatre for Conflict Resolution: In the Classroom and Beyond. Heinemann.


Responses of Young Children to Contemporary Art Exhibits: The Role of Artistic Experiences -- an article describing a study that tested the impact of trips to contemporary art exhibits on elementary students’ creativity, excitement about art class, and appreciation for modern art.

The Creators Project -- an online database including articles, videos, and interviews. The focus of this site is the incorporation of technology in all forms of art, including music, dance, visual arts, architecture, and more. Provides resources that can be incorporated into math, science, and technology curriculums.

Art21 -- a website organized by the PBS broadcast company. This is an amazing resource for videos and articles about artists working today in all fields. It also provides links to access full-length television episodes, which include interviews with artists about their work.

Cahan, S. & Kocur, Z. 1996. Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education. Routledge, New York.