The academic and social value of the arts is well-documented, and researchers now recognize an economic value. Leaders and employees of successful businesses and organizations in today’s creative economy utilize creativity, think critically, respect diverse viewpoints, and collaborate effectively. These are skills developed through arts education. California’s creative industry—one of the largest in the world—can certainly benefit from effective arts education programs in California schools.
A new research study asserts that even in the midst of educational and financial struggles, it is essential for California to invest in the arts in order to flourish within a culturally diverse, economically successful, and highly competitive global community. Investing in Arts Education to Advance California’s Creative Industry
, a study by Kurt Whitman, analyzes the current role of arts education in the context of law and policy and includes a proposed course of action to more effectively fund and instruct the arts in California. Read the study.
This paper analyzes both the current and ideal role of arts education in California within the context of law and policy. Part II discusses the funding, history, and legal framework of arts education in California. Part III outlines the numerous benefits arts education provides in the areas of student achievement, cognitive and social skills, and economic growth. Part IV analyzes federal and state laws surrounding arts funding and instruction, including their underlying policy rationales. Part V proposes a course of action to more effectively fund and instruct the arts in California modeled on policy and practice. Part VI concludes that arts education is essential to California's continued recovery and growth.