Recently, the U.S. Department of Education has given $17 million to 27 grants for art education projects under the Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) program that will help students in 15 different states. These grants were made to national nonprofit organizations, local school districts, colleges and universities, and other arts organizations that will use the money to enrich the academic experience of students and promote arts education for disadvantaged children and children with disabilities.
Arts make school more fun. They also teach students how to be creative, connect with people, and apply what they have learned about things. These skills are important for the future because they will help children think of creative solutions to different kinds of problems when they join the workforce.
The Action Plan
The Every Student Succeeds Act has added the arts and music to the definition of a well-rounded education. National arts standards have been set for Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts that include creating, observing, analyzing and presenting classroom experiences across subjects.
Under the AAE program, projects must have professional development for teachers, principals, and arts educators. Projects can also have instructional materials and programming that are arts-based. Projects must include:
- community and outreach activities,
- do arts-based educational programming, and
- development and dissemination of instructional materials, including online resources for multiple arts disciplines.
Local educational agencies (LEAs), schools communities, and art centres are encouraged to collaborate to promote art education.
Types of AAE Art Projects
Besides the activities mentioned above, 15 AAE projects will include art therapy to help people feel better and do better. It can help them with skills like memory and hearing, self-esteem, self-awareness, insightfulness and conflict resolution.
What is Art Therapy?
Art therapy can be used to:
- Improve Cognitive and Sensory-Motor Functions: Art therapy can be used to help people with brain injuries, visual and hearing problems. Therapists may use art to help people with these problems and to stimulate their senses. They use strategies like matching, sorting and drawing to help people learn how to think clearly and solve problems.
- Foster Self-Esteem and Self-Awareness: People who have been abused or neglected may feel a lack of self-esteem and self-awareness. Art therapy helps them express their feelings using metaphorical symbols in their art. It can help them see how they are feeling and discover how to change the way they think about themselves.
- Manage Mood and Anxiety: People dealing with grief, loss, or other emotional problems can use art to express how they feel inside. Art therapy helps them learn about their moods and deal with feelings that may be overwhelming. Art projects give people a way to express themselves and change the way they think about their lives, including positive ways they can move forward.
- Boost Communication Skills and Social Interaction: Kids with autism or Asperger’s may find it difficult to talk about what they’re feeling in a way that others understand. Art helps them express their feelings and emotions. They may also talk about what they’re drawing. Art therapy can make it easier for kids to communicate and get along with others.
- Cultivate Emotional Resilience: Art can help people deal with their emotions and learn how to be resilient. It teaches them to process difficult experiences and move on from tough times. Art therapy specialists use strategies like imagery and visualization to help people with emotional problems.
- Promote Insight: People who have been abused or suffered from drug and alcohol problems may need help understanding how to move forward with their lives. Art therapy uses art as a tool for insight to help people learn about themselves and think about the future. Art projects also make people more insightful about their feelings.
- Improve Memory: People who have experienced a traumatic event can use art as a way to improve their memory. Art therapy specialists guide people through the process of imagining what they will draw until the drawing becomes automatic and it’s easier to remember key details about an event.
- Reduce and Resolve Conflicts and Distress: Art is a good way to help people resolve conflicts through creative expression. It can help them identify problems, explore options for resolving issues, and practice new skills to improve relationships with others. Art projects can also help students relieve distress and express strong emotions through art.
- Rediscovering or Developing Creative Ability: Art therapy can help people with brain injuries, dementia, cancer and other physical problems to rediscover or develop their creative abilities. The act of creating art is therapeutic in itself; it can help people feel better about themselves and find peace within themselves.
Transtutors Arts educators and tutors can help you with all these projects and more.
Why is Arts Education so important?
An artwork is a visual or auditory creation that is the result of applying creative imagination to existing resources, such as found objects, sounds, movement, language and other artists’ works. A lot of art forms have been integrated into daily activities including folk arts and crafts, pottery, basket weaving and more.
Art has a cathartic role in many societies, providing an outlet for emotions related to experiences of sorrow, joy and other strong emotions. This has led to the creation of genres in art like landscape painting, portraiture, still life, etc. which are meant to heighten these emotions via their visual nature.
Art provides people with a way to see things that they would not be able to see otherwise, often due to the use of visuals, colours and other techniques. Art also protects people from psychological harm which can result from the experience of traumatic events.
There is some evidence that art has improved health in some communities resulting in an increased life span for people.
Arts education improves academic performance at schools with students’ self-confidence and critical thinking skills improving as well as their appreciation of art. They can handle criticism from peers better as well.
How promoting Arts education will help American society in general?
In the works of many artists, art-making has been described as a process that alters people’s perception and understanding of themselves and their place in the world. Artwork can be created to express a political message or simply to convey feelings about a subject through an artistic medium. To say that one likes or appreciates a piece of artwork implies that it has captured their interest or attention in some way. Artwork can be created using a wide range of different materials and techniques, each of which generates a different response from the audience.
Art provides a connection to cultural heritage; it can also enable people to experience other cultures through their thoughts, emotions and senses. While experiencing art, one may feel stimulated, inspired, moved or perplexed. Art has an important role in society and plays a major part in our visual culture. It gives us the opportunity to experience emotions such as sorrow or pleasure which we would not otherwise be able to due to our state of mind.
Art helps people create something new by applying old ideas and can provide a way for people to choose their own thoughts and emotions while experiencing the artwork.
Today, when the US is seeing a rise in crimes and dissatisfaction, promoting arts can be a much-needed move. The government hopes that this move will help in improving the quality of education and helping American children to lead a healthy lifestyle and blossom into good citizens ready for a bright future