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Happy National Arts in Education Week!

Kristen Engebretsen

To celebrate our second annual National Arts in Education Week, Americans for the Arts is hosting its biannual arts education blog salon.

We’ve chosen the topic: “Career Development for Students and the Role of Arts Education.”

I asked our contributing authors to interpret this broadly: careers in the arts, post-high school options, 21st century skills, workforce development, investment in an innovative workforce, etc.

Throughout the week, you’ll hear from many staff members from Americans for the Arts, several of our Arts Education Council members, and other key players in our field including: a former assistant superintendent, a corporate arts education funder, the Deputy Executive Director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, and more.

You’ll hear about partnerships between businesses and schools; first jobs; numbers and types of jobs available in the arts; and, skills gained through the arts that have continued to serve and inspire people in their current careers.

To me, two really important issues stand out that the authors grapple with:

1)    How can businesses invest in developing an innovative workforce? How can they move beyond event sponsorship to true partnership? (I love the proposed solution by Harvey White and Massachusetts State Senator Stan Rosenberg –  Look for it on Tuesday.)

2)    What evidence do we have that the arts really impart 21st century skills like creativity and innovation? Do the arts have a monopoly on teaching creativity? Does the creativity gained in arts transfer to other domains? (Several authors, including myself, tackle this issue throughout the salon.)

What issues are important to you when thinking about career development for our students?

If you had career advice for a student, what would it be? Would you advise them to pursue a career in the arts? Would you advise them to take arts classes, even if they weren’t hoping to become an artist?

I hope you will join in the conversation by adding your comments throughout the week. Please share the blogs with your friends and colleagues via this URL.

As always, feel free to email me directly with questions or ideas!

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