Reclaiming Arts & Culture in Education: The Fundamental Importance of the Fine Arts

A new report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) focuses on the fundamental importance of the fine arts and provides policy recommendations for reclaiming the arts and culture in education.

Key points of this report include the following:

  • Despite overwhelming support for arts education, an increasing share of children is growing up without any exposure to the arts.
  • Empirical evidence demonstrates a causal effect associated with arts education on cognitive and noncognitive development for children, influencing their life outcomes well beyond their initial entry into the labor market.
  • Investing in the arts generates a wide array of societal benefits, including the promotion of social capital, the decline in politicization, and the influence of culture.

Policy recommendations include the following:

  • Governors should set aside part of the COVID-19 relief funding to sponsor arts competitions and provide grants to school districts that want to create or build out arts programming, especially for early childhood grades and high school.
  • States should offer vouchers that allow families to send their children to specialized arts lessons.
  • State leaders should not be shy about linking the arts to patriotic and virtuous themes that inspire children to strive toward higher ideals.

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