Numerous national studies show that consistent participation in the arts is key to successful educational outcomes. Students with consistent arts education are 5 times more likely to graduate, 3.5 times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree, end up a full year ahead of their peers in math, and are more civically engaged. Arts participation also has a strong impact on processing and healing trauma. In fact, arts education has such a powerful impact on social, emotional, and intellectual development that it has been shown to significantly narrow or eliminate the achievement gap. While arts participation is important for all students, the outcomes are especially powerful for students from marginalized and/or oppressed communities. This is true for all art forms: dance, music, media, visual arts, theater, industrial arts, etc.
This is the Arts Advantage, the backbone of AOK’s Arts Justice Initiative, and every student — regardless of race, zip code, or wealth — deserves this advantage as a regular part of their school day.