by Bob Morrison, New Jersey Arts Education Partnership
For the past 18 months, a team led by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership has been developing the next multiyear statewide arts education advocacy campaign: Arts Ed Now.
The Arts Ed Now campaign officially launched yesterday as part of National Arts in Education Week, with advocates featuring the initiative at both the local and statewide levels all week long providing a springboard for the multi-year initiative. The goal of Arts Ed Now is to increase arts education participation in every school in the state.
Spurred by the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP), New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Americans for the Arts, Arts Ed Now is a multi-year campaign designed to increase participation in arts education in schools across the state.
While many studies show that students who participate in arts education do better in school and better after graduation, not all NJ students have the same access to arts education to be able to participate at high levels – or increase existing participation. Despite state education standards, many schools lag behind in offering all four disciplines of dance, music, theater, and visual arts.
We know there are thousands of people across N.J. who care deeply and passionately about arts education. Our goal is to help these people effectively act as strong local ambassadors with the help of the Arts Ed Now strategies and tools.
Arts Ed Now centers its strategy on helping arts education advocates become good ambassadors to advance the issue forward. Through a statewide network, Arts Ed Now brings people together to share information, stories, and best practices for increasing participation in arts education. Local communities provide opportunities to test ideas for advocacy, which then get added to the campaign tactics and shared statewide for more powerful results overall.
The Arts Ed Now website is designed as an activation hub for everyone involved in promoting the campaign. Visitors to the site can see how their school stacks up in providing arts education and can get active right away in the campaign. Practical tools on the site can help ambassadors raise awareness, change policy, or create their own local campaign to make change. The site will also provide resources, stories, and highlights of ongoing action by local ambassadors.
Materials are available now for anyone who wants to launch Arts Ed Now in their school, organization, or community. Campaign stickers, posters and fact sheets can be requested by e-mailing email@example.com
Arts Ed Now is a program of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership (NJAEP) in partnership with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Americans for the Arts. Additional leadership partners on the Arts Ed Now campaign include: Art Educators of New Jersey, ArtPride New Jersey, Dance New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Education, New Jersey Music Educators Association, New Jersey Principals & Supervisors Association/Foundation for Educational Administration, Speech & Theatre Association of New Jersey, and creative partner Social Impact Studios. Additional partners include the Education Law Center, New Jersey Education Association, New Jersey School Boards Association and the New Jersey PTA. NJTV is a campaign media partner.