Our Approach

We believe:

All human beings possess creative talents and passion. All students deserve a space in traditional schools to realize those talents and passions.

Activating artistic interest and passion is an emergent process: there is no prescription for igniting artistry.

Teaching Artists create the conditions for artistry to flourish while honoring students’ agency and the reality that learning and engagement can never be forced upon a human being.

To ignite the artistry of our students, our vision is to nurture and empower communities of belonging, allowing curiosity and creativity to emerge. We serve primarily as connectors; we connect students to the arts, to us, to each other, to themselves and to their communities more deeply. Because our purpose is to engage creatively, we embrace the power of the word “and,” acknowledging that creative spaces balance structure and autonomy, planning and spontaneity. In doing so, we collaboratively build learning environments that cultivate the inherent vulnerability and excitement of artistic creation and striving. 

Why The Arts?

Research shows that when children are involved in the arts, they reap substantial social, academic, and personal benefits. For low-income student populations, the positive effects of arts-rich experiences are especially promising.

Arts in school keeps kids in school

  • Low-income students with arts education credits are five-times more likely to graduate high school.
  • Low-income students deeply engaged in school arts demonstrate better academic outcomes than students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds who have less arts involvements.
  • English Language Learners with arts education experience accelerated language development.

Arts education gets kids to graduate, supports healthy social and emotional development, and values youth voice and vision.

Bringing students and school communities together through the arts

Why Title I Funded Schools?

Schools that receive Title I funding serve high percentages of children from low-income families. Economically disadvantaged students are far less likely to access quality arts instruction when compared to their more affluent peers (National Center for Education Statistics). Inequities in arts education disproportionately affects students of color and English Language Learners who are far more likely to attend mid-high to high-poverty public schools (National Endowment for the Arts, NCES and National Equity Atlas).

ArtistYear believes arts education and its many academic and social-emotional benefits, is a fundamental right of all children in America, regardless of economic status or zip code.

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Program Refinement

As students and schools recover from multiple years of uncertainty and disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more pressing than ever that students feel a sense of safety, belonging, and connection at school in order to have strong academic and social-emotional outcomes. Guided by a pivotal 2012 study by the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research (CCSR), ArtistYear aligns all facets of our program to support the development of three key mindsets for students: Social Belonging, Self-Efficacy, and Motivation. In order to support RTAs in developing these key mindsets within their students, ArtistYear:

  • Utilizes the well-established educational approaches of Trauma-Informed Teaching and Restorative Practices to center the concept of social belonging in our trainings. We support RTAs to learn and practice the skills of creating classroom communities and arts learning experiences that emphasize emotional safety and connectedness for all students.
  • Weaves Culturally Responsive Teaching into our approach to support RTAs in learning to connect with students and educate themselves about their students’ abilities, backgrounds, and identities. By doing so, RTAs are able to design approachable and relevant learning experiences that affirm and encourage learners of all levels so that engaging in the arts is a joyful, empowering experience.
Learn more about ArtistYear's Impact!