BUILDING A COMPREHENSIVE ARTS EDUCATION

The arts can benefit a child in many ways, both inside and outside of school. In North Carolina, we are striving to make dynamic, engaging, broad-based arts opportunities available to all of our students. We call this vision Comprehensive Arts Education (CAE).

Our Three-Part Plan

In today’s globally competitive world, innovative thinking and creativity are essential for all schoolchildren. Our three-pronged Comprehensive Arts Education (CAE) approach helps students develop these skills as well as effectively engage, retain, and prepare them for graduation and success in tomorrow’s global economy.
These three components of CAE are interdependent and are all necessary.

Arts Education Arts Integration Arts Exposure

Arts Education

The arts as core academic subjects, taught by licensed arts educators. This includes dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts.

 

Arts Integration

The arts as a catalyst for learning across the curriculum such as the development of critical and creative thinking skills, problem-solving skills, collaboration, and team building skills. Specific examples might include math taught through movement or science taught with the visual arts.

 

Arts Exposure

Exposure to quality arts experience offered during and outside of school such as artists-in-residence, Traditional Arts Programs for Students (TAPS) artists/programs, cARTwheels residencies, visits to galleries, concerts, and performances.

 

The responsibility to provide a comprehensive arts education is shared by many partners. It requires a collaboration of administrators, educators, artists and community organizations to bring a full complement of CAE opportunities to our children. CAE, when implemented in all districts of North Carolina, will provide access and equity for all children to be successful in work and life.

CAE In Action

Children drawing and playing rhythm instruments

“It is clear that learning in and through the arts is a powerful tool for engaging all types of learners. What people aren’t talking much about though, and is also extremely important, is the positive effect it can have on teachers. Teachers at our school are excited about the autonomy and creativity they are allowed and expected to use when planning arts-integrated learning experiences for their classrooms. They are trusted to take creative risks, encouraged to work collaboratively, and supported as they grow in their abilities to integrate the arts. I have no doubt this has helped us attract and retain top-notch teachers. Over the years, I have witnessed our arts-integrated school transform the lives of many students, some of whom came to us with significant cognitive challenges. I have seen completely withdrawn students come alive on stage through dance and students who are several grade levels below their peers master Shakespearean monologues. The arts have proven to be an accessible and positive force in the lives of all types of learners in our school.”

Lori Cozzi, Executive Director, ArtSpace Charter School,
a public A+ School in Buncombe County

Young children working with art teacher and dancing

“At Wendell Creative Arts and Science Magnet Elementary School, we believe in a comprehensive arts education program. We have embraced arts education, arts integration, and arts exposure. We are able to provide our students with exciting learning opportunities through our comprehensive arts education program. All of our teachers are teachers of the arts. Our teachers educate our students on the value of the arts in their lives. They integrate the arts into reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. Our students take trips to the NC Museum of Art, visit the NC Symphony performances, go to plays, and participate in valuable experiences with artists in residence through arts exposure. Many of our students would never get these types of experiences if we did not embrace a comprehensive arts education program. Throughout the school year, our students showcase what they are learning through Informances. These Informances allow students to show their parents and guests how they are learning, what they are learning, and why they are learning it. Having a comprehensive arts education program at our school has changed the mindsets of our teachers. It has provided our students with rich learning experiences. It has also helped our parents and community value the arts more too.”

Shane Barham, Principal, Wendell Creative Arts and Science magnet elementary, an A+ School in Wake County and the 2015 Top Elementary Magnet School in America

Young children painting and High School students playing in a jazz ensemble

What You Can Do

1

Do Your Homework

What is CAE and why is it important?


  • Reflect and assess CAE
    in our community
  • Gauge local interest
  • Articulate what CAE is and
    why it is important
  • Identify challenges
2

Build Support

Gather your partners! What are your goals?


  • Determine new partners
    as you go
  • Determine local goals
3

Implement a Plan

Collaborate and participate!


  • Create a message
  • Draft action plan
    (short-and long-term goals)
  • Gather and convene regularly
  • Reassess goals and find
    solutions to new challenges
  • Celebrate successes!
  •  

Here Are the Organizations That Can Help You

The North Carolina Arts Council, part of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, understands that the arts create opportunities for success for all students in many areas of learning and life.

Arts NC is a private, nonprofit organization that advocates for all the arts in North Carolina. Arts NC's vision is a vibrant North Carolina where the arts are embraced by all as indispensable and believe that arts education policy is essential in obtaining our vision. It is a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a statewide board of directors.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is charged with implementing the state's public school laws and the State Board of Education's policies and procedures governing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education.

The North Carolina Arts Council, part of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, understands that the arts create opportunities for success for all students in many areas of learning and life.

Arts NC is a private, nonprofit organization that advocates for all the arts in North Carolina. Arts NC's vision is a vibrant North Carolina where the arts are embraced by all as indispensable and believe that arts education policy is essential in obtaining our vision. It is a 501(c)(3) organization governed by a statewide board of directors.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is charged with implementing the state's public school laws and the State Board of Education's policies and procedures governing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education.