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Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools

Key Message

Low income youth engaged in arts programs are more likely to stay in school, earn higher grades, graduate high school and enroll in college. The benefits of involvement in the arts increase over time for low income students. They are more like than their peers to attend and do well in college, obtain employment with a future, volunteer in their communities and participate in the political process by voting.


President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. (2011). Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America's Future Through Creative Schools. Washington, District of Columbia: Author.


This study is the culmination of 18 months of research, meetings with stakeholders, and site visits all over the country, representing an in-depth review of the current condition of arts education. It includes an update of the current research base about arts education outcomes, and an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in the field that have emerged over the past decade. It also includes a set of recommendations to federal, state and local policymakers.


High quality arts education programs for low-income young people (both during and outside of school hours)  have been shown to improve:
•    Student achievement, typically as represented by reading and mathematics performance on high stakes tests, including transfer of skills learning from the arts to learning in other academic areas—for example, the spatial-temporal rea- soning skills developed by music instruction;
•    Student motivation and engagement, including improved attendance, persis- tence, focused attention, heightened educational aspirations, and intellectual risk taking;
•    Development of habits of mind including problem solving, critical and creative thinking, dealing with ambiguity and complexity, integration of multiple skill sets, and working with others; and
•    Development of social competencies, including collaboration and team work skills, social tolerance, and self-confidence.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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