How to Rebuild Arts Education in Public Schools: Understanding the Defunding Crisis in US Cities - How to Rebuild Arts Education in Public Schools: Understanding the Defunding Crisis in US Cities -
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How to Rebuild Arts Education in Public Schools: Understanding the Defunding Crisis in US Cities

How to Rebuild Arts Education in Public Schools: Understanding the Defunding Crisis in US Cities

Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
May 01, 2023

The arts are a fundamental part of any well-rounded education, yet they are often the first subject to be cut when schools face budget cuts. The defunding of arts education in public schools is a growing crisis in cities across the United States, with devastating consequences for students and educators alike.

In this blog post, we will take a look at the causes of this crisis and its impact on arts education programs. We will also discuss some strategies for rebuilding arts education in public schools, from establishing comprehensive curricula to gaining community support. 

Finally, we will explore some effective ways to implement arts education programs, from utilizing volunteer programs to leveraging technology.

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Overview of the Defunding Crisis in US Cities

The defunding crisis in US cities is caused by a variety of factors, including the economic recession, state and local budget cuts, and the shift in priorities of education reform. The recession has led to a decrease in tax revenue for many cities, which has resulted in cuts to city budgets. These budget cuts have disproportionately affected arts education, as it is often one of the first programs to be cut when budgets are tight. In addition, the shift in priorities of education reform has led to an increased focus on standardized testing and core academic subjects, which has left less room for arts education. But really, arts education funding is always the first thing to get cut – and that didn’t start with the most recent economic downturn.

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Impact of the Defunding Crisis in Education

The impact of the defunding crisis has been devastating for arts education programs across the country. Many programs have been completely eliminated, while others have been significantly reduced. This has led to larger class sizes, fewer art supplies and resources, and less access to quality arts instruction. The loss of arts education programs has also had a negative impact on students’ academic achievement, social-emotional development, and college and career readiness.

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Developing Strategies to Rebuild Arts Education

A first step in rebuilding arts education is to develop a comprehensive arts education curriculum. This curriculum should include the study of both the fine arts and the performing arts, as well as art history and appreciation. The curriculum should be designed to meet the needs of all students, regardless of their prior exposure to or experience with the arts.

Here at IPMM, we offer a comprehensive art curriculum called The IPaintMyMind Annual Art Lesson Plan Book, with which you can efficiently implement art lesson plans that are rooted in representation, while also having access to reliable resources you need to reclaim your evenings, weekends, and family time.

With our product, you can finally save yourself time while providing an arts education rooted in representation and accessibility!

In order to ensure that all students have access to a high-quality arts education, it is essential that the curriculum be designed and implemented by qualified teachers. That’s why we involve art teachers in the iteration and feedback process for our annual revision of our art lesson plan book.

Teachers who are trained in both the content and pedagogy of arts education are best equipped to provide an engaging and enriching experience for their students. 

This is why we also offer art teachers who buy The IPaintMyMind Annual Art Lesson Plan Book the chance to discuss the best ways to implement the tool with one of our arts education support staff! Finally, complete support!

Furthermore, these teachers can serve as leaders in their schools and communities, advocating for the importance of arts education.


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Gaining Support for Arts Education from Local Governments and Communities

In order to rebuild arts education programs in public schools, it is necessary to gain support from local governments and communities. Local government officials must be convinced of the value of investing in arts education, and community members must be engaged in promoting its importance.

There are a number of ways to gain support for arts education from local governments and communities. One way is to highlight the benefits of arts education, such as its ability to improve academic achievement, foster social-emotional learning, and promote creativity and innovation. 

Another way is to showcase successful models of arts education programs that have been implemented in other school districts or states. Finally, it is important to build relationships with key stakeholders, such as elected officials, business leaders, philanthropists, and parents. By doing so, you can create a coalition of supporters who will champion the cause of arts education.

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Creating Funding Opportunities or Seeking Nonprofit Partners 

In order to rebuild arts education programs in public schools, it is necessary to secure funding from a variety sources. Federal funding opportunities may be available through initiatives such as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) or Title I Grants for Disadvantaged Students. State funding can also be accessed through state departments of education or general fund appropriations. Local funding sources may include school district budgets or bonds, private foundations or donors, or corporate sponsorships.

It is important to note that arts education programs are often underfunded relative to other educational programs. As such, it may be necessary to seek alternative sources of funding, such as private grants or donations. One way to secure private funding is to create a partnership with a local business or foundation that has an interest in supporting arts education. Another way to raise funds is through community fundraisers or events. Finally, crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe can also be used to solicit donations from individuals interested in supporting arts education.

And perhaps most applicable, be sure to research nonprofits in your area that support schools with creative programming, whether in-school, professional development, summer camps, or after school programs.

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Integrating Arts Education into Existing Programs

Another way to rebuild arts education programs is to integrate them into existing programs. For example, many schools have after-school programs that could easily incorporate an arts component. By doing so, schools can provide students with additional exposure to the arts without having to create new programs from scratch.

Technology can also be leveraged to enhance arts education programs. There are a number of online resources that can supplement or replace traditional instruction methods. Additionally, technology can be used to connect students with artists and educators from around the world, providing them with a truly global learning experience. 

At IPaintMyMind, we provide our Artist Process Video Series completely FREE OF CHARGE, which is all about giving art teachers 20+ minute videos of artists in their studios, explaining their work, process, and perspective. 

Tools like these can be invaluable, and can give your students the experiences they deserve, even if the funding isn’t there.

The defunding crisis in US cities has had a devastating impact on arts education programs. In order to rebuild these programs, strategies must be developed to gain support from local governments and communities, establish a comprehensive arts education curriculum, and create new funding opportunities. 

Additionally, effective arts education programs must be implemented, partnering with local nonprofits, utilizing volunteer programs, existing program integration, and technology enhancements. 

With a concerted effort from all involved parties, it is possible to rebuild arts education in public schools and provide students with the opportunity to experience the benefits of an enriched learning environment.

And always feel free to contact us at IPaintMyMind if you’re looking for free, low-cost, or paid art program support for your school. 

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Written by:
Evan La Ruffa
May 01, 2023