Advocacy Talking Points

NYSATA is the voice of over 6,000 art educators across New York State. We consult with and provide content area expertise for the State Education Department, collaborate on arts based initiatives, represent NY at the national level, monitor art education trends statewide and nationally, and provide a host of programs and opportunities to highlight student achievement in the visual arts. NYSATA advocacy efforts are most often aimed at the state level, monitoring and influencing arts legislation and policies that impact programs in the schools. It is also important that all art educators become advocates in their own school, district and community. Make sure your parents, administrators, community members and legislators are aware of the work you are doing in your classroom and the success your students are achieving.

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New York State Edcuation Department (NYSED)
Regulations and Guidance

  • The difference between digital art and media arts is that the media arts include a time-based component.
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  • High school students in New York State can take a 3 or 5 unit sequence in art and they can earn a Regent's Diploma with the 4 +1 Pathway? Approved by the Board of Regents, students can take 3 units of art and then complete an AP or IB portfolio (in place of taking another Regent's exam) to earn a Regent's Diploma.
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  • Uder No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Art was listed as a "core" subject? Now, under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Art is listed alongside Math, Reading, and other subjects as a part of a "Well Rounded Education."
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  • Students in poverty are less likely to have access to art education in their school. The same is true for students enrolled in charter schools.
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  • Even if Elementary Art is taught by the elementary classroom teacher rather than a certified art teacher, the curriculum must address ALL the Visual Art Learning Standards.
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  • The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector is a $804 billion industry, which represents 4.3% of the nation's GDP--a larger share of the economy than transportation and agriculture.
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  • 93% of all communication is visual. And, our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text!
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  • Students should have the opportunity to earn 1/2 unit of both art and music across grades 7 and 8. The art requirement cannot be replaced with technology and should meet all of the Visual Arts Standards for grades 7 and 8.
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  • Courses used to satisfy the required one unit of credit for graduation should be comprehensive and foundational (e.g. Studio in Art) rather than media specific (e.g. Ceramics)? Comprehensive Foundational Courses should meet ALL the Visual and/or Media Arts Standards for the grade level; advanced electives are not required to meet ALL the standards.
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  • Art is a required subject at the high school and middle school level, and for every grade at the elementary level.
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  • All students must have the opportunity to begin an art sequence in grade 9 and should have access to the courses they need to choose a 3- or 5-unit sequence in art.
    NYSED Regulation 100.2(h)

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More Facts and Research about the benefits of Art Education

  • Art students are, “Taught a remarkable array of mental habits not emphasized elsewhere in schools.” Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. (2007). Studio thinking: The real benefits of visual arts education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

  • “Art helps students build the recognition, perception, sensitivity, imagination, and integration skills needed to make sense of the world around them.” Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the creation of mind. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

  • “In the 21st century global economy, the arts equip students with a creative, competitive edge. The arts provide the skills and knowledge students need to develop the creativity and determination necessary for success.” Arts Education Unified Statement (2020), NAEA.

  • "... high school students from under-resourced environments who are highly involved in the arts have better grades, are less likely to drop out, and are more likely to go on to college." Catterall, J.S., Dumais, S.A., & Hampden-Thompson, G. (2012). The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies. Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts

  • "... study of the visual arts enables all learners to understand their world and the culture and history of others." #Visual Arts Matters. (2020, NAEA)

  • "...just 45 minutes of art making, at any skill level, significantly reduces stress hormones." Kaimal, G., Ray, K. & Muniz, J. (2016) Reduction of cortisol levels and participants' responses following art making. Art Therapy, 33(2), 74-80, DOI: 10.1080/07421656.2016.1166832 


More Resources

2021 Advocacy Brief

NYS Arts Education Associations
2021 New York State Arts Education Associations Unified Advocacy Brief

New York 2020 Fact Sheet

Americans for the Arts
Action Fund

Why the Arts Matter in New York: March 2020 Fact Sheet

NEAE Letter to School Leaders

National Art Education

An Open Letter to School Leaders: Visual Arts/Design Instruction for All Learners is More Essential Than Ever

ArtBeat Student Video
ArtSmart 2010 PowerPoint
Stand for the Arts Ovation 2014
Alexi's Story (2018)
Lessons the Arts Teach
Arts and Citizenship
A Child's Creativity
Why Art is Important

NAEA Tell Your Art Story

Americans for the Arts
American Alliance of Museums
Arts Edge
Arts Education Partnership
ArtsEd Washington
The Artful Advocate Blog
National Art Education Association
National Endowment for the Arts
U.S. Department of Education
National Assessment Board
New York State Education Department

Art Education Quick Facts
Advocacy vs. Lobbying
Arts Education Platform
Speak Up for the Arts 
Four Ways you can Advocate
Excerpts from National Publications

The Arts and Human Development
Arts and Social-Emotional Learning
Engaged and Empowered
US Leaders Support Art Education

Proven Benefits of Art Education
Studio Habits Harvard Project Zero
The Arts in Early Childhood
The Arts Leading to Success
American Alliance of Museums

"Quality" Arts Education
No Subject Left Behind 2001
Covid-19 Arts Advocacy Brief

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