Arts Education

Every child in Michigan should have equal access to a comprehensive, balanced and sequential in-school program of instruction in the arts, taught by highly qualified teachers, and designed to provide students of all ages with skills and knowledge in the arts in accordance with national and state standards.

A quality arts education curriculum combined with other core subject areas, increases graduation rates and will best prepare our children for the future. As we continue to take steps at every level to revitalize Michigan’s economy, it is crucial that we are able to prepare our youth with a broad knowledge base by equipping them with the creative thinking and problem-solving skills that will help fuel innovation in an ever competitive and evolving workforce.

Further, ensuring a high quality, consistent, sequential and standards-based arts education for all students in grades pre-K through 12 will bring Michigan in line with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which defines the arts as a core subject.

Our specific recommendations, detailed in the resources at the end of this page, are focused on three policy areas: providing equitable access to a comprehensive arts education to students of all ages; recognizing the academic importance and value of visual and performing arts in state and district academic accountability systems; and ensuring high-quality training in arts education for the professional preparation and development of elementary, secondary and specialist teachers.

Michigan Arts Education Roundtable

An Arts Roundtable has existed in Michigan for decades and been at the forefront of collaborative strategies to support arts education in Michigan. 

The Michigan Youth Arts Leadership Roundtable was first established in 2009 and included representatives from Michigan Youth Arts (MYA), Creative Many Michigan (formerly ArtServe Michigan), and Interlochen Center for the Arts in consultation with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Leadership change within several leading organizations of the Roundtable drew a period of inaction. 

In 2015, a new Arts Education Roundtable was reestablished by the Michigan State Policy Pilot Program (SP3). We meet quarterly to collaboratively advance access and support for quality arts education in our state.

2018-2019 Arts Education Roundtable Members



Creative Many Michigan Selected for National Arts Education Initiative

In August, Michigan was selected to join Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, as part of ten state teams administering a three-year pilot program to strengthen arts education by advancing state policy.

Click here to learn more about the program and find out how you can get involved.