419 schools in New York City (28 percent) lack a full-time, certified arts teacher.

That’s ‘22 percent of all middle schools (59), and 20 percent of all high schools (76), despite the fact that New York State law requires that students in grades 7-12 be taught by certified arts teachers.

Students who get a quality arts education are:

  • 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • Have lower rates of behavioral problems
  • Have higher attendance rates
  • Have higher graduation rates

Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than x2 as likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.

Students who are involved in the arts are:

  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office

72% of business leaders say that creativity is the number one skill they are seeking when hiring. Yet many of the courses that help develop the creative skills employers seek aren’t required in high school.

Two-thirds of public school teachers believe that the arts are getting crowded out of the school day.

93 percent of Americans believe that the arts are vital to providing a well- rounded education.

X3 biggest challenges school leaders cite to providing arts education is budgeting for the arts, scheduling arts instruction into the school day, and maintaining space for arts classes.

Approximately 23 percent of all New York City public schools had no full-time or part-time licensed arts teacher on staff.


For students living in a rapidly changing world, the arts teach vital modes of seeing, imagining, inventing, and thinking.

To succeed today and in the future, America’s children will need to be inventive, resourceful, and imaginative. The best way to foster that creativity is through arts education.


New York City is the cultural capital of the world, surrounded by a priceless array of arts and cultural institutions, talented artists and inventive thinkers, and a creative energy that has defined the city for generations. Unfortunately, too many of our schools are culturally isolated and devoid of the vibrancy and course diversity that one would expect, and should demand of our city schools.

‘The City is failing those students who need a stable and safe learning and community environment the most.” -Cynthia Williams of United Parents of Highbridge

One of the most disheartening statistics is the decline of arts education in underserved populations, where African-American and Hispanic students have significantly less access to arts education than their White peers.

It is widely agreed that the U.S. public education system is not adequately serving a significant portion of our nation’s children and that public K-12 schools must change dramatically…

In New York City, the cultural capital of the world, public school students do not enjoy equal access to an arts education. . . Where the arts could have the greatest impact, students have the least opportunity to participate in arts learning.

It is difficult to get an accurate current picture of arts offerings because there is no consistent required data collection about what schools offer or how students are achieving in the arts.


We strongly believe that working artists in this country represent an underutilized and underdeveloped re- source in increasing the quality and vitality of arts education in our public schools.

… visiting artists use the magic of the arts to illuminate literature, social studies, math, science, and other subjects.

Teaching artists introduce students to the life of a working artist, often serving as role models for aspiring young artists, and connect students and schools to community resources.