Why Focus on
Arts Education?

A vast body of research shows countless benefits of arts education, ranging from academic improvement to increased engagement of students, parents, and communities. The arts transform the typical classroom into a vibrant space for learning that’s inspiring and engaging. In the video below, see how the arts can create positive change for students and for schools. We invite you to learn more about why Arts Ed Works!

Walk into any great school in America and you will see and hear evidence of arts learning everywhere. Art work on the walls, the sounds of students practicing musical instruments, the bustle of activity as a class prepares for the school play or a dance performance — features of the type of quality education that all parents desire for their children.

What is not as immediately evident, however, are the critical life skills that are being learned via these arts-based programs. Through arts, children are learning qualities like collaboration, perseverance, problem solving and communication — arming them with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the expectations of the twenty-first century workforce.

Only 11% of California public schools are meeting state goals for arts instruction.

Decades of marginalization of arts education in public schools have resulted in marked gaps between the arts learning opportunities available to more affluent white students and their low income peers of color. In 1930, less than a quarter of 18-year olds had taken any classes or lessons in any art form during their childhood. By 1982, that figure changed to 65%. However by 2008, and continuing through the present day, student learning in the arts has dropped below half. While arts education among white children is down slightly since 1982, African American and Latino youth absorb nearly the entire decline.

The Marin Community Foundation has explored innovative ways of delivering high-quality arts education in two Marin County school districts. This website documents some of the creative methods and techniques Marin County Teachers, Arts Educators, and Administrators have used to improve educational outcomes through the arts.

Is every child in Marin getting a quality arts education?

For more information, see:
Neuroeducation: Summary of Neuroscience Research, the Dana Foundation.