“The arts – be it music, theater, dance, graphic or visual – bolsters the social, academic and emotional development in a child in a way nothing else can. It’s vital, not just as a subject matter, but for the overall development of a child to realize their full potential. There is no greater gift we can give to our students.”

– Sonia Tolbert, COO of Festival Napa Valley


6 Important Things to Know About Arts Education in California


  1. California is falling behind. The state is rated 42nd in the nation for public K-12 education.  
    For the past 40 years, arts education in California’s schools has disappeared at an alarming rate. Only 11% of public schools meet state goals for arts instruction. The Recession caused more dramatic cuts to visual and performing arts education programs.  
  2. Extensive research demonstrates Arts Education vitally engages students in learning, contributes to higher test scores and reduces both truancy and dropout rates.   
  3. Arts Education is an essential component of a strong academic foundation and is mandated in our State Education Code for student in grades 1-12, in the disciplines of dance, music, theater and visual arts. The code leaves implementation of arts education to the discretion of each school district, however. 
  4. Arts Education prepares students for the expectations of the 21st century workforce including the ability to innovate, communicate and collaborate. 1 in 6 jobs in Southern California is in creative industries, including entertainment and communication arts, digital design, product and industrial design. The arts give students flexibility for whatever path they choose, in the workforce or a community or 4-year college. 
  5. As schools are pressured to standardized testing and increase time on reading and math, a 22% reduction in the amount of time spent on arts and music instruction has occurred. 
  6. A Harris Poll shows 93% of Americans consider the arts to be vital to providing a well-rounded education for children and a critical link to learning and success. Over 1/2 rated the importance of arts education a “10” on a scale of 1/10.  Still, privately funded high quality arts programs have been maintained in wealthier school districts. A child’s access to arts education should not be predicated by where they happen to live. 
    Your commitment to supporting arts education in our schools will make a difference. We ask your support in helping to ensure that arts education becomes part of a more balanced and creative curriculum that every child receives as part of a quality education! 
    Provided by the California Alliance for Arts Education www.artsed411.org 2/11


Learn More About Arts Education:

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Why I Support Arts Education

The arts are the best way to develop and channel the natural creativity of our children and creativity is one of the key skills needed in many of the career opportunities that will be out there for these kids.

- Chuck McMinn, Founder & Board President, Napa Valley Vine Trail & Vineyard 29

An arts education helps build academic skills and increase academic performance, while also providing alternative opportunities to reward the skills of children who learn differently.

- Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California

"Supporting arts education is a priority for the City of Napa. Instilling a love for art, music, and theater in children gives them a solid foundation for their future and can open doors of endless opportunity."

- Mayor Jill Techel