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Survey Results Show that American Public Supports Arts Education

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Mar 08, 2016

According to recent survey data collected by Americans for the Arts (AFTA), the vast majority of the American public sees the arts as an important part of a well-rounded education, both within the traditional classroom and during out-of-school experiences. AFTA highlighted the following trends in the nationwide survey data:

  • Americans consider the arts part of a well-rounded education: An overwhelming majority of the American public (89 percent) agrees that the arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education—including 55 percent who ‘strongly agree.’
  • Arts education is important at all grade levels: Nine-in-ten American adults believe that it is important for students to receive an education in the arts including dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts as part of the curriculum in elementary school (88 percent), middle school (90 percent), and high school (89 percent). This is a change from past studies that have shown a drop-off in support for arts education as students enter high school.
  • Out-of-school arts experiences are important, too: The value of arts education is not limited to just the in-school experience. 82 percent also agree to the importance of the arts to students outside of the classroom and throughout the community.

Importantly, respondents indicated they value comprehensive arts education, but are less confident that students have adequate access to cultural opportunities. According to AFTA, “Sixty-one percent of Americans agree that students in their area have enough opportunities to hear music, go to plays, visit museums, and attend cultural events, either in school or in the community. Yet, three-in-ten (27 percent) disagree that students in their community have enough opportunities to attend the arts.”

Read the full article, with more information on the data, here.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.