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Advocacy for the Arts

Meet the IAEA’s Advocacy Task Force

IAEA members answered the call to participate in the Advocacy Task Force after the Board approved it in November of 2012. Members have already connected with over a dozen art and education organizations in Illinois to build an advocacy network. The group’s purpose is to assure all students of Illinois have access to an art education and that it is part of the whole Illinois student.


Currently, we are working on the following:


  • Working with our local lawmakers, representatives, and district school board members to help understand, equip, and empower them how the ARTS can help students be global citizens.



  • Celebrating and investigating how ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) can positivity reinforce the ARTS. The Illinois State Board of Education has given us the charge to show how the Arts (Visual Arts, Music, Theatre, Dance, & Media Arts) education can and will be offered to all students in the state of Illinois. We will be doing this by gathering data and learning how to assure all Illinois students have access to the ARTS.


Sign-up below to become an IAEA advocate for the Arts


5 Points for Advancing Art Education

Positive changes in art education require not merely advocacy, but leadership. Leadership inside classrooms, schools, and within the larger context of art education can forward the status of the field. Advancing the field requires an ongoing process of learning and renewal for the art educator.

  1. Every conversation counts: Whether your art program is robust or sparse, YOU are the sole representative of the entire field of art education. Always represent the depth, quality, and rigor of what you do every day. Ambassadorship is a full time job!
  2. Stay aware of the values of every audience: Communicate the importance of art education to in a way that appeals to the values of others.
  3. Develop parent and business community partners: Visibility and professional connections within the community can sustain your programming, lead to additional funding, and support local businesses. Parent involvement, properly organized, can also help elevate your status in the community.
  4. Remember your context: Leadership and advocacy should be sensitive to contextual factors. Challenging context norms without a track record of collaboration and success can be perceived as insensitive and out of touch.
  5. Be an exemplary teacher: Although the visual arts content is unique, good teaching and learning is easily recognized in any content area. There are many perceptions about art education classrooms, all of which you can challenge by demonstrating student learning, sharing well-articulated lesson plans, and structuring an enriching learning experience for students everyday. Involvement in your professional organization and pursuing advanced studies in the field of art education can afford you additional support.

This map includes a composite of data about art education in Illinois, by county. County and poverty information was generated from the Center for Education Statistics. Art Educator information came from the Illinois State Board of Education’s Teacher Service record.

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Interested in Arts Advocacy with the IAEA? Sign up below!