U.S. Department of Education Awards $17 Million in Arts Education Projects

By Ruth Ryder, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Today, the U.S. Department of Education awarded $17 million to 27 grants representing 15 states through the Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) program. These grants were made to national nonprofit organizations, local school districts, colleges and universities, and other arts organizations to enrich the academic experience of and promote arts education for students, including disadvantaged students and students who are children with disabilities. The Arts play critical role in a child’s education. They allow students to become creative thinkers, to connect, design and apply their learnings which in turn prepares our children for the future workforce with the skills and capacity to think outside the box with creative solutions.  

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the arts and music have been added as subjects to the definition of a well-rounded education. There are national arts standards that have been established for the disciplines of Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts which include creating, observing, analyzing, presenting, interpreting, connecting all of which are seen every day in the classroom across subjects.   

Under the AAE program, projects must include professional development for arts educators, teachers, and principals; development and dissemination of accessible instructional materials and arts-based educational programming, including online resources, in multiple arts disciplines; and community and national outreach activities that strengthen and expand partnerships among schools, local educational agencies (LEAs), communities, or centers for the arts, including national centers for the arts. In addition to these required activities, 15 AAE projects will include arts therapy in their projects to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, and/or reduce and resolve conflicts and distress.

More information about this program can be found at: https://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/well-rounded-education-programs/assistance-for-arts-education/. Below is a list of the new AAE awards listed by state, name of grantee, and award amount for FY 2021. 

STATE  FY 21 Grantee  Award Amount 
Alaska  Hoonah City Schools  $500,812.00  
California  Dramatic Results  $1,580,125.00  
California  Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, Inc.  $364,193.00  
California  Humboldt County Office of Education  $432,153.00  
California  LA Promise Fund  $674,852.00  
California  Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma-Marin  $459,800.00  
California  Konocti Unified School District  $430,100.00  
California  Tulare County Office of Education  $279,915.00  
California  Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA)  $221,300.00  
Georgia  ArtsNow, Inc.  $429,886.00  
Kansas  Arts Partners, Inc  $199,211.00  
Kansas  University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.  $277,576.00  
Kentucky  Northern Kentucky Cooperative for Educational Services, Inc.  $1,370,748.00  
Kentucky  Kentucky Educational Development Corporation  $730,568.00  
Maryland  Arts Every Day, Inc.   $262,400.00  
Minnesota  Minnesota Department of Education  $570,101.00  
Nebraska  Board of Regents, Univ of Nebraska, Univ Nebraska-Lincoln  $279,331.00  
New York  Partnership with Children Inc.  $363,422.00  
New York  Patchogue Arts Council Inc.  $257,387.00  
New York  Young Audiences, Inc.  $888,941.00  
New York Center for Educational Innovation  $1,200,000.00  
Ohio  Cleveland Play House  $965,447.00  
South Carolina  Arts Schools Network  $1,436,519.00  
South Carolina  Winthrop University  $488,674.00  
Tennessee  The University of Tennessee  $253,159.00  
Texas  Texas A&M University-San Antonio  $767,159.00  
Virginia  National Art Education Association  $1,493,057.00  

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