ArtServe Michigan, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Michigan Department of Education Release Survey Report on State of Arts Education

Survey is first comprehensive study in 12 years

SOUTHFIELD, MI (January 13, 2003) – ArtServe Michigan (ASM), the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) have together released the results of a school year 2001-2002 survey on arts education.

The Survey Report, Arts Alive! The 2001 Survey Report on the State of Arts Education in Michigan Schools Grades K-12, suggests that Michigan still has work to do when it comes to providing a quality arts education to all students. It further suggests that while arts education has taken a back seat to testing and budget cuts in certain areas of the state, schools and districts continue to find ways to expose their students to the arts.

"This report gives us a new baseline to help us know what needs to be done throughout Michigan to expand arts education opportunities in the schools and what role our organizations must play in the coming decade," explained Barbara Kratchman, president of ArtServe Michigan. "In view of recent federal budget cuts in education and the arts, this information is especially critical to anyone involved in arts education including teachers, parents, artists, administrators, arts and cultural organizations and others."

The students highlighted by the results of this Survey represent approximately 44% of the 1.8 million students enrolled in public schools, public academies and non–public schools in Michigan. More than 300 public school districts/academies and non-public schools responded to the survey, with the most responses coming from elementary schools, followed by junior high/middle schools and senior high schools.

The Survey Report consisted of 36 questions about dance, drama, music and the visual arts in grades K-12 with reference to policy/administration, teachers, professional development, curriculum, budgets and best practices. As an example, the Survey revealed that specialists in the fields of Dance and Drama/Theatre are extremely scarce throughout the state; however, the report also shows a steady proliferation of involvement by the arts and cultural community in schools throughout Michigan.

"We know that arts education is a unique and integral part of a world-class education. The State Board of Education approved a new accreditation system titled Education YES!—A Yardstick for Excellent Schools, which looks at arts education and humanities as one of four indicators of instructional quality in schools," said Tom Watkins, Michigan’s Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Watkins continued "Education YES! Provides a new role for arts education in which incremental, but steady progress will be key. Arts Alive provides baseline data for where we are and where we need to improve."

"This report gives us concrete statistics from public and private schools throughout Michigan, which can better equip the entire state to improve arts education in our schools. The future for arts education in Michigan is encouraging, but there is always more work to be done," said MCACA’s Executive Director Betty Boone.

While thousands of studies have been published to address the impact of the arts on student participation and achievement, parental involvement, community cohesion, and other global issues, Arts Alive is the first report in 12 years about arts education in Michigan. Previously published was The State of Arts Education in Public Schools 1988-89 study funded by the Michigan Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Copies of the 2001 Survey Report are available for purchase from ArtServe Michigan. The survey report is also available in PDF form on the websites of ArtServe Michigan www.artservemichigan.org, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs www.cis.state.mi.us/arts/home.htm and the Michigan Department of Education www.michigan.gov/mde.

Funding for the survey was provided by General Motors, Hudson-Webber Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

ArtServe Michigan, an independent statewide not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with offices in Southfield and Lansing, builds support for the arts, artists and cultural activities throughout Michigan through advocacy, education and services.

The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs serves to encourage, develop and facilitate an enriched environment of artistic, creative, and cultural activity in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Education assists the State Board of Education in providing educational leadership, advising the State Legislature on the financial needs of schools; provides technical assistance to local Intermediate School Districts; and approves the certification of teachers.

For more information about ArtServe, its programs and services or to become a member, call (248) 557-8288 or visit www.artservemichigan.org.

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Media contacts:

Barbara Kratchman Margaret Knes

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