//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=FontName' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'/> Mr. Davis' Art Room: Art Advocacy

Art Advocacy


Dear Arts Education Advocate:
U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider on Friday three dozen amendments to "The Student Success Act" (HR 5), a bill to reauthorize federal education programs. This is a legislative effort last completed 13 years ago through the No Child Left Behind Act. There is a great need to improve upon that outdated legislation.

Through Friday's floor consideration in the House, members of Congress will have an opportunity to vote on HR 5, and a Democratic alternative - but both bills are expected to receive partisan vote outcomes.

Americans for the Arts strongly prefers the Democratic legislative alternative, although there are a few elements of the GOP bill that would be advantageous for arts education, especially for teachers of music, dance, theater and the visual arts. In general, we are concerned that any reduction of federal leadership in supporting the arts as essential to a complete education is detrimental to addressing the equity gap that currently exists.   

We hope that you will contact your member of Congress about the provisions in both bills that would benefit the arts education community. As the House holds its vote on Friday, and Senate legislation is considered in a few months, it is valuable to convey to lawmakers now the provisions that should be supported in a final bipartisan approach.


Summary of Arts-Related Provisions

HR 5 Student Success Act
Democratic Substitute Bill
Arts Education Position
Core Academic Subjects
X Terminates 'core academic subject' definition, including the arts
Retains the arts in 'core academic subject' definition
There is a critical need for federal law to include the arts as a core academic subject. Without this leadership, states and school districts have less incentive to support the arts as part of a student's complete education.
Grant Program Support Proposes consolidation of 65 programs, but retains arts education as a priority, listed among others, for a new local competitive grant program.A new Well-Rounded Subjects grant program is proposed, that includes the arts.
The arts are included as an eligible grant activity in both legislative proposals, but neither are as dedicated as the current federal Arts In Education grant program
Professional Development Includes new specific language including arts educators as eligible for professional development support. Maintains pre-existing professional development eligibility that includes arts educators.
Supporting arts educators with professional development funding is a priority item.
Funding for Disadvantaged StudentsX Reallocates Title I  funding decisions to primarily state and local levels and reduces arts education eligibilty.⇒ Arts education remains as an eligible use of Title I funds to support academic success for disadvantaged students.
In terms of direct federal funding support, nothing is larger than Title I. In order to support equity for disadvantaged students explicit federal Title I eligibility is a priority need.
After-School Programs
X The 21st Century Community Learning Centers is consolidated with 64 other programs into a new funding initiative.
⇒ 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is retained.
The arts are a substantial activity in any after-school program. With 1.6 million young people impacted by this $1 billion program, we believe there is bipartisan support for a discrete after-school program.

Please visit Americans For The Arts' E-Advocacy Center to send a customizable message, including the points made above, to your member of Congress in advance of Friday's vote - and to let them know how you think these policies will impact arts education.
Want to take further action? Plan to join Arts Advocacy Day on March 23-24and bring your arts education advocacy directly to Capitol Hill! Learn more about this event here.

Help us also continue this important work by also becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today - it's free and easy to join.

Thank you for your support for arts education!

What is your definition for Art?  Below are responses to that question from some of our Denver teachers. 

Mr. Davis-- Art is a beautiful expression of a thought or an idea.

Mrs. Long--Art is sometimes beautiful but sometimes not. Art is sometimes easy to understand and sometimes not. Art is sometimes bright and colorful and sometimes not. Art is sometimes just for fun and sometimes not. 

Mrs. Martin--Art- Beautiful and versatile. It can be very technical (lots of rules and specifics) or very free-spirited and personal.
Side note- Some people make it look so easy, and no matter how hard I try, my hands never create what my mind imagines. I would love to become better at it!! 

Mrs. Black--Art is anything that sparks creativity within an artist. 
Mrs. Diana Camp--Art is the ability to express your inner feelings in a visual way that might otherwise be stuck inside.  

Mr. Osterbrock--I see art as a basic human desire to connect and communicate with others. The example that comes to mind is of some early human thousands of years ago huddled in a cave somewhere in France, just after a big hunt drawing pictures of deer on the walls by dim firelight. Maybe he doesn't even know why he is drawing the deer; there isn't necessarily a practical purpose to it.  He just has a basic desire to express the thrill of the hunt. This is before written language and even spoken language was probably limited. His drawings were his expression and communication of his experience, and those feelings he had about the excitement and thrill of the hunt are communicated to us still today when we look at his drawings. How else could we communicate with someone from that far in the past?

Mrs. CasteoArt is inspiration.
Ms. Gripenberg--Art...the production or expression of what you feel.

Student responses...
Kaitlynn Hickey-- Art is another way to express the way you feel in different ways that words can't. Like what you're thinking in your head. Like nature. You can't express what you see in your mind, but you can express that in art.

Baylee Deer-- Art is what can express your feeling. If you're feeling happy, it can be bright. I also see it in everything, everyday. We make art--you don't notice it though. Art is a way of life. Art tells us that the world is not "yellow" or "red." I find art very interesting. 

Zoey Moore--Art--beautiful paintings in your mind makes you wonder how you can make things. Art can be big, small, tiny, amazing, thoughts! And lots more. When people make art that inspires you beautiful, moving, 3D, staying still. Art is amazing!

Claire Burns--Art is anything you want it to be. It can be specific things or just random shapes or things. Art is anything!

Josh Holmes--Art is feeling something and drawing it. Art is expression of someone. It's beautiful. It's nature. You can draw anything in art. 

Gracie Rhodehamel--In my words, art is an object or just anything you imagine--sculptures, drawings that you can make with anything. It can be anything you express with your mind or just seeing anything. 

Coretta Merling-- Art is nature; pretty or not, it has a story. 

Peyton Hibbard-- Art is all about lines.

Makenna Kinsey-- Art is everything and anything man-made or not.

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