Most of us recognize March as Women’s History Month, but did you know it is also Arts in Education Month and Youth Art Month? There are hundreds of ways to celebrate including designation of a special week during the month with a congressional resolution, as Young Audiences did this year. The US Senate and House of Representatives have issued resolutions designating the week beginning March 12, 2012 as “National Young Audiences Week” to honor the contributions Young Audiences has made to schools nationwide through its arts-in-education programs and to encourage Americans to recognize the importance of the arts to society. The congressional declarations coincide with the national organization’s 60th anniversary celebration this year. National Young Audiences Week will be observed around the country by Young Audiences affiliates in 20 states with events, school activities, and speakers to promote awareness for its arts-in-education programs.
Youth Art Month is a national annual observance each March to emphasize the value of K-12 art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. Each county in the state is asked to submit 6 pieces of artwork to represent the county. Sponsored by Art Educators of New Jersey, the artwork is selected by a panel of art teachers in each county and must be created by students of Art Educators of NJ members. This year, the theme is The Power of Art, and the 2012 Youth Art Month Exhibit will take place from March 23-30 at Elevator Lobby of the State House Annex. Over 100 pieces of art work will be exhibited by children from Pre K-12th grade, and an awards ceremony for the artists will take place at Committee Room 4 of the State House Annex on March 30. This is a perfect opportunity to invite your State legislator to join you in saluting students and educators who recognize the Power of Art, and go hyperlocal with an article in your local newspaper or Patch!
Art Educators of New Jersey has been in existence since 1939, and was conceived by art educators interested in the promotion of visual arts education in the state. AENJ has over 1,000 members who promote and maintain the highest possible degree of quality instruction in visual arts programs throughout New Jersey. AENJ provides leadership, professional development and advocacy tools to art educators throughout the State.
New Jersey is fortunate to have extraordinary arts advocates who make a real difference by assuring that the arts remain a part of the core curriculum standards and connect to other content areas. The NJ Arts Education Partnership provides leadership and information to keep advocates well informed. The Art Pride NJ Foundation is proud to join the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation on the Arts Education Partnership’s Governance Committee.
Ann Marie Miller is the Executive Director of Art Pride, the premier arts advocacy organization in New Jersey, and a regular contributor to the Dodge blog