Friday, February 12, 2010

Keep Arts in Schools

There has been much attention recently on the growing challenge to arts education programs and funding in our schools, given the current fiscal challenges that we face. Richard Kessler has addressed it in his Arts Journal blog, recently with Jane Remer as a guest blogger, and I have also seen many tweets and blog entries from all around the country about school districts cutting their arts programs in response to the need to manage challenges budgets and focus on the "core" academic areas.

Perhaps it is appropriate then that recently I was interviewed for the Ford Foundation supported Web site "KeepArtsIinSchools.Org,"  which is part of their Integrating the Arts and Education Reform Initiative. The interview was just posted and can be both read and listened to here. The web site is basically designed to provide tools for arts advocates, for parents, for policy makers. It is a great resource, with lots of useful tools - highly recommended.

It was a great opportunity to talk about support for arts education in Philadelphia, and some of the great programs and efforts we have going on here, from what the School District is doing, to ArtsRising. I also spoke about how best to make the arts education case to policy decision-makers.

We need to be more effective and vigilant than ever in today's challenging municipal, state and federal budget climate, about making the case for arts education, not as a frill, but as an essential component of how we build engaged citizens, and a 21st Century workforce.

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