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Georgia Turns Its Attention to Arts Education This Month

March 21, 2017

Governor Deal has proclaimed this March as Youth Art Month in Georgia, in honor of arts education. As stated in the official proclamation, “Art is a valuable education tool that benefits overall academic experience for Georgia’s children.” A report from the National Endowment for the Arts shows ties between arts involvement and better academic and civic outcomes. In Georgia, our educators recognize the value of art.

Superintendent Woods Awarded for Art Focus

At the beginning of the month, the National Art Education Association awarded Georgia Superintendent Richards Woods for his contributions to arts education. Since becoming superintendent in 2015, Woods has set arts education as a top priority. Sondra Palmer, a teacher at Harris County High School, said, “His passion for art education is so contagious.”

Arts Education in Georgia

Georgia education values the arts. We’re not just talking about paintings and drawings (though they are part of it). The Georgia Department of Education (DOE) defines “dance, music, theatre, visual and media arts” all as art.

Even still, arts education doesn’t stop with those 5 subjects. Georgia’s teachers use arts education to teach students important transferable skills. Even if a student never becomes an artist, the skills learned in Georgia’s arts classrooms will build into their future careers.

Arts Programs

What about students who are interested in pursuing the arts after graduating? DOE hasn’t forgotten about them!

Qualifying students receive a Fine Arts Diploma Seal, as long as their school participates in the program. The seal shows schools and employers that the student is ready to study and work in fine arts-related industries.

Students can also explore options for their future careers in Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) courses. As of Fall 2016, 180 out of 198 Georgia school districts offered CTAE programs. Middle school and high school students with an interest in the arts can look into the Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications program. About 95% of CTAE concentrators — students who complete at least 3 classes in a program — graduate from high school.

Visit DOE’s Fine Arts page for more on how students can build lifelong skills and take part in the arts both in the classroom and beyond.

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Rachel Hart

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Experience Designer for Digital Services Georgia. On Georgia.gov, she makes government material approachable with writing, infographics, videos, and other imagery.

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