Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date

5-2012

Department

Art

Abstract

PROJECT OVERVIEW: Create a professional marketing handbook for arts educators in Idaho to use as a tool to allow them to more effectively advocate for arts education in Idaho.

For the first time, in 1994, the Goals 2000: Education America Act identified the arts as part of the core curriculum in federal policy. Eighteen years later, available research shows that arts education contributes to critical thinking, creativity, social engagement, cultural awareness, and student achievement. However, despite this “convincing research and strong public support, the arts remain on the margin of education, often the last to be added and the first to be dropped in times of strained budget and shifting priorities” (“Critical Evidence,” 2006, p. 17). The great state of Idaho is a prime example of this discrepancy. According to A Report on the Status of Arts Education In Idaho (2010), arts education in Idaho reflects the national situation, continues to struggle for recognition at the district level, and the infrastructure to support arts education in Idaho is lacking (“A Report,” 2010, p. 2). To confirm this, the same article reports Idaho’s elementary school art specialist-to-student ratio for visual arts at 1 to 2,335. It is time for change–it is time for change in Idaho.

This advocacy resource handbook has been created specifically for arts educators in Idaho to provide materials and information needed to be effective advocates for the arts. The interests and long-term goals for this project in arts advocacy are in how we, arts educators, communicate the value of the arts here in Idaho. How do we promote the arts? How do we get people–– government officials, school board members, parents, communities, and students––to care about the arts? The very act of advocating requires knowledge, consistent information, and purpose. This handbook will provide Idaho’s arts educators with a comprehensive arts advocacy campaign that maintains the quality and thoughtfulness that the arts deserve.

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