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Parents As Arts Advocates

In my previous post, I wrote about the value of arts education in keeping students on track to graduation—regardless of their career aspirations—and the role of parents in ensuring that principals are aware of the value of arts learning to students and the school community.

For those students who are interested in a career in the arts, one would think there is no greater place to be than in New York City. Arts-related businesses in the city generate $21 billion annually, providing over 200,000 jobs in everything from set production and theater management to video game design and advertising.

Unfortunately though, far too many of our city high schools are not providing a quality arts education, even though arts instruction is mandated by state law and we are surrounded by an incredible wealth of cultural institutions and amenities.

As part of our advocacy and public awareness efforts we work with parents in new and exciting ways to build support for the arts in schools.

Parents are helping lead advocacy workshops for other parents and school leaders, they are working with principals to encourage local elected officials to support their school arts programs, and they are helping create resources that can move others to action.

In fact, we’ve just completed the latest in a series of resource guides geared towards parents of middle and high school students to help them become powerful advocates for arts learning in their child’s educational experience.

The guides provide information on how parents and students can find the right high school arts program, what the state graduation requirements are for the arts, and what parents can do to ensure their child’s right to a quality arts education.

The guides are available for free download and up to 25 free hard copies can be ordered while supplies last.

While the guides are geared towards parents of New York City high school students we are in discussion with partners to revise the content for a national audience.

Stay tuned.

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