Topic Area Resources

Teacher and student viewing a piece of artwork
Colorful dancer dresses
Marachi marching band carrying trumpets and guitars

The Topic Areas Resources portion of our website is designed to help users navigate both existing resources created by the file, as well as TA Center-generated resources and tools. Check back often. As new resources and topic areas are identified and/or produced, the available resources and tools will adjust.

This webpage may reference and contain links to external sources. The opinions expressed in these sources do not reflect the views, positions, or policies of the U.S. Department of Education, nor should their inclusion be considered an endorsement of any organization.

Arts Education

For the purposes of the AAE program, Arts includes music, dance, theater, media arts, and visual arts, including folk arts.1

U.S. Department of Education. (2022). Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) Notice Inviting Applications. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/05/31/2022-11634/applications-for-new-awards-assistance-for-arts-education-program

Arts educator includes teachers or other instructional staff who work in music, dance, theater, media arts, or visual arts, including folk arts.2

“Educators have acknowledged that the arts are basic to the acquisition of a well-rounded education. The arts provide meaning to learning. They serve as a vehicle for acquiring the skills to which educational reformers have said students should aspire: problem-solving, higher order thinking, flexibility, persistence, and cooperation.”

“…dance, music, theater, and the visual arts are important parts of a full education. When students engage in the arts, they use intellect, emotions, and physical skills to create meaning.”3

Resource Links:  

National Center for Education Statistics: Arts Measurements

Arts Integration

Arts integration includes strengthening the (1) use of high-quality arts instruction in other academic/content areas, and (2) place of the arts as a part of a well-rounded education.4

“…arts instruction encompasses the study of visual arts, music, dance, and drama/theatre. In addition, arts instruction includes not only teaching students about the tools and processes used to produce works of art but also educating them about how the arts relate to history and cultures, and connections among arts subjects and other academic disciplines.”5

Resource Links

National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). What Does the NAEP Arts Assessment Measure?https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/arts/whatmeasure.aspx

U.S. Department of Education. (2022). Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) Notice Inviting Applicationshttps://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/05/31/2022-11634/applications-for-new-awards-assistance-for-arts-education-program

National Center for Education Statistics. (2002). Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/frss/publications/2002131/index.asp?sectionid=2

National Center for Education Statistics: Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondar Schools 1999-2000 

Arts and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Arts educators value and address SEL in their everyday practice because they recognize the importance and value for students.

“…a safe, healthy, and equitable school climate that integrates the cultivation of students’ social and emotional development with academic teaching and learning correlates with higher student attendance and engagement, improved student connectedness, and better social and emotional health.” 6

Arts Therapy

Arts therapy as an approach to mental health “can be used to improve cognitive and sensory-motor functions, foster self-esteem and self-awareness, cultivate emotional resilience, promote insight, enhance social skills, or reduce and resolve conflicts and distress.”7

Federal Funding for the Arts Education

There are various federal entities that provide supplemental funding for arts education. While some funding sources may be directly linked to arts education supports (U.S. Department of Education Arts in Education programming (Title IV-F), National Endowment of the Arts (Grants for Arts Projects: Arts Education) ), most federal funding sources may be directed toward arts education supports based on grant recipient prioritization of funding, identified needs, and individual grant program allowability and general cost allowances (necessary, reasonable, allocable) . The following links provide an overview of possible arts education funding sources:

Resource Links:

Parent and Family Engagement

Arts Education can serve as a powerful tool to connect parents and family with their students’ learning and the larger school community. Parents and family can also serve a key role in advancing their child’s artistic learning through shared artistic experiences, supporting, participating, and/or providing direct arts instruction. The following resources are to provide support directly to parents and family members or those who wish to encourage parent and family engagement in and through the arts:

Resource Links:

Professional Development (PD)

The term ‘professional development’ means activities that— ‘‘(A) are an integral part of school and local educational agency strategies for providing educators (including teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, and, as applicable, early childhood educators) with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in a well-rounded education and to meet the challenging State academic standards; and ‘‘(B) are sustained (not stand-alone, 1-day, or short term workshops), intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused.8

Resource Links:

Well-Rounded Education

The term ‘well-rounded education’ includes courses, activities, and programming in subjects such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject, as determined by the State or local educational agency, with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.9


1U.S. Department of Education. (2022). Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) Notice Inviting Applicationshttps://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/05/31/2022-11634/applications-for-new-awards-assistance-for-arts-education-program

2Ibid

3National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). What Does the NAEP Arts Assessment Measure? https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/arts/whatmeasure.aspx

4 U.S. Department of Education. (2022). Assistance for Arts Education (AAE) Notice Inviting Applicationshttps://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/05/31/2022-11634/applications-for-new-awards-assistance-for-arts-education-program

5National Center for Education Statistics. (2002). Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/frss/publications/2002131/index.asp?sectionid=2National Center for Education Statistics: Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondar Schools 1999-2000 

 6WestEd. (2022). Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety (The SEL Center) https://www.wested.org/project/center-to-improve-social-and-emotional-learning-and-school-safety-the-sel-center/#

7U.S. Department of Education.(2021) Applications for New Awards; Assistance for Arts Education Program https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/15/2021-00705/applications-for-new-awards-assistance-for-arts-education-program

8U.S. Department of Education.(2023) ESSA: Title VIII General Provisions https://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-formula-grants/school-support-and-accountability/essa-legislation-table-contents/title-viii-general-provisions/

9ESSA, Title VIII, Section 8002