With increased emphasis on measuring student growth on test outcomes in content areas such as reading and mathematics, district report cards and accountability, there is a potential for lack of balance in the curriculum and a danger that arts education will lose its status as an equal component in the education of all students. In the spring of 2013, ArtsWave began discussions with the Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Arts Education and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to develop a process to review and assess the status of arts education programs and opportunities in the community and schools in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport utilizing the Kennedy Center’s Community Audit for Arts Education.  The ultimate goal was to provide objective data that could assist ArtsWave, school administrators and boards of education, and regional community arts organizations in making evidence-based decisions that reflect the best possible opportunities for students in Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport through arts education.

Among the findings of this recent Community Audit, the importance of involved parents, teachers, principals and superintendents in strong school programs was underscored:

  • In school districts with strong arts education programs, the community – parents, families, artists, arts organizations, businesses, local civic and cultural leaders – is actively engaged in the development of arts policies and instructional programs of the school district.
  • School principals who collectively support the policy of arts education for all students often are instrumental in the policy’s successful building level and district-wide implementation.
  • Superintendents who regularly articulate a vision for arts education are critically important to its successful implementation and stability. 
Leadership plays an irreplaceable role in leveraging the power of the arts to make students and schools more successful. Your leadership matters, as does your voice in speaking up for the continuation of arts programming. We thank all our partners in this journey to show the intersections between arts education and student success.