Arts Info arts education
Arts Education: the study and expression of creativity. The California Department of Education (DOE) identifies four disciplines of the visual and performing arts -- dance, music, theatre, and visual arts with each discipline having its own body of knowledge and skills. In 2001, the DOE adopted the Visual and Performing Arts Framework and Standards in each discipline. The Standards incorporate both traditional means of artistic expression and newer media, such as cinematography, video, and computer-generated art. The California Arts Council strongly supports arts education in a number of ways.
how the california arts council funds arts education


Through the agency's Strategic Plan, at least 50% of CAC grants funding supports arts education.

  • Artists in Schools. Professional artists teach students during class hours and through after-school programs; technical assistance to professional teaching artists in the classroom and to full-time credentialed teachers giving the tools necessary to provide daily, sequential arts education.
  • State-Local Partnership. Supports county-designated arts agencies to provide arts services, often including arts education and services to schools at the local level.
  • Creating Public Value. 40% of current grantees include arts education in their program activities.
  • Poetry Out Loud. Encourages high school students statewide in the study of poetry and spoken-word recitation; is California's participation in the nationwide recitation contest.


For parents

what can I do to ensure that my child has access to high quality arts education?


Parents can maintain contact with the vital players in their child's education - with the teachers, principals, support staff, and even the school board and superintendents of the district. Become involved in school activities, join the Parent-Teachers Association of your school and other organizations, write letters to school administrators asking them to create a multi-year arts education plan, and attend school board meetings. Many K-12 educational decisions are made at the local level, and parents and community leaders can make good things happen.


outside of school, how do I encourage the arts and creativity for my child?


It is important for parents to be supportive of their children's creativity and to provide them with the freedom and tools to express themselves. Plan a family outing; go to a museum, attend a play or an outdoor art fair, listen to live music or watch a dance performance. Many arts venues have discounts and free days, especially for children, so check your local listings.

Support your child's creativity and Take Part in California Arts!
Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate


CREATE CA—an inter-agency, broad-based coalition of partners—is more than an initiative. It’s a movement.

CREATE CA is teaming innovative thinkers from multiple sectors of California’s creative economy, public and private, to design an educational environment for all children that features arts education as part of the solution to the crisis in our schools.

More about CREATE CA.

Every private school in California offers a rich curriculum that includes arts education, and their students are matriculating into college and successful careers. We must insist that what is good for those who can afford private education is all the more critical for children of lower socio-economic status. We want to be the voice for those children, so that they can succeed in school and in life. It is our sacred duty as Americans and as Californians.

Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Former Chair
California Arts Council


is there proof that the arts help kids learn and do better in school?


Studies indicate that children participating in the arts use different parts of the brain in a way similar to multi-language learners. The arts significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds that students will enter and graduate from college. And students who study the arts outperform their peers on the SAT by more than 80 points.

  • U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's announcement of a program to track arts education nationwide and his 2011 blog entry on arts ed.