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How Can I Support Local Art Education?

Art Can Make Us Human

In a 2021 American Academy for Arts & Sciences article, actor and author John Lithgow said, “We want every child to have access to music, paintings, writing, theater—all the arts—regardless of their socio-economic circumstances. He added that “we want all American children to learn how to express themselves and to understand the ways in which others express themselves.”

Research into U.S. public schooling routinely shows that public schools are putting their budgets more into tech, science and math than the arts. 

While the AMACAD article looked at policy level - encouraging state legislators and schools themselves to offer more art education - there are things you can do too. Let’s take a look at these in the next section.

How You Can Bring Art to the Community

While public education may lack in the arts, there are things that you can do in the community. Americans for the Arts have published a variety of resources you can use that might have some impact.

Among these is a great article called ’10 Simple Ways’. As a first step this involves engaging with your children in art yourself. This might be taking them to a theater to see a show or simply having fun, such as what the Color Swell blog posts.

Beyond direct parenting, encourage your child to get more involved in school and community activities.

Getting political is the next step, which could mean becoming active in the PTA and encouraging the school to offer more options in the arts or talking to your kid’s teacher to coordinate more arts education.

If speaking in Town Hall meetings is a bit scary, then consider volunteering in arts activities and encourage your children to play a part. Is there an amateur dramatic society near you? What about religious school activities? Can you help lead an arts group at a youth group?

Donate Art Supplies Too?

If you do not have the time for these activities, then buy bulk art supplies from Color Swell and send them directly to a group that supports art in the community. Your local Arts Teacher or community group would be ecstatic to receive a box full of paints, crayons, markers and pencils! Call in advance to see what art supplies they may need.