A recent post from the Creative Advocacy Network (CAN) highlights a new national study on arts education from the US Department of Education. The study found that art opportunities in schools are declining nationwide. While this study confirms what many of us already know, it does highlight the struggles schools in the City of Portland continue to face.
The graphic CAN provided illustrates just how desperately Portland schools need help from their communities and how valuable programs like CAN and Right Brain are. The impeding cuts to public schools in Portland that threaten the jobs of 110 teachers could make the future even bleaker.
Nearly 12,000 K-5 students in the six Portland public school districts attend schools with no arts education whatsoever. To those of us who have seen the benefits of arts education firsthand, this number is unacceptable. Students who receive arts instruction are more successful in math and science, have higher attendance, and achieve more academically than those who go without.
You can ask any student or teacher who has had a Right Brain artist at their school (or hear about the impact of a Right Brain residency for yourself): The arts are a fundamental part of all education. Thankfully, Portland is a city with amazing organizations that are committed to filling in the gaps.
The Right Brain Initiative is in it for the long haul, working to advance arts education in every school in the region. We have a special opportunity this fall in the City of Portland to support arts education through the Creative Advocacy Network, as they work to establish a dedicated fund for the arts and arts education.
Thank you for supporting the efforts of The Right Brain Initiative, CAN, and all members of our community who work tirelessly to put arts education back into the schools. Please continue to give your time, energy, and most importantly, your voice in support of providing all students with the tools to create, imagine, and learn.
Joel Holland is the new Communications Intern for The Right Brain Initiative. Welcome, Joel!