arts advocacy dayToday, Americans for the Arts is hosting Arts Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. to support issues like arts education policy, the charitable tax deduction, and funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

We have seen firsthand how important the arts have been in schools and strive to provide arts education for all students across the United States. Research shows the importance of arts in school achievement and in promoting overall positive life ideals. Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates—benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Students with 4 years of arts or music in high school average 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with just one-half year of arts or music.

Orchard Gardens K-8 School in MA is a great example of arts doing a wealth of good. With thoughtful use of expanded time, Orchard Gardens exemplifies that transformation is possible. The expanded schedule has not just made room for more math and reading; it has also created more time for art and music, physical education, and foreign languages. Students at Orchard Gardens have access to everything from Mandarin classes to theater and teachers have more time for collaboration.  Student performance on state reading and math exams jumped 10 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Advocate your voice for expanding learning time to increase arts education- we know it works.  Use #AAD14 and #ArtsEdChat at 3 pm EST today to discuss Arts Education and Policy.