Why Arts Corps?

Creativity remains the most important skill of the 21st century and the most important leadership quality of the future.

Research demonstrates time and time again that arts learning is essential to human development—it fosters creativity, engages diverse learners and deepens connections between people and ideas.

In spite of this, arts programs in our public school systems remain uneven and sometimes nonexistent, especially those in low-income communities of color.

Our education system is in crisis. Decades-long educational reform efforts driven by an emphasis on high stakes tests and a narrow focus on math and reading has failed, and has in fact increased the racial and socioeconomic divide in academic opportunity and achievement. Access to strong arts learning opportunities has been a victim of budget cuts and this dominant reform framework, declining in low income schools dramatically since 1980.

Arts Corps challenges the crisis in education by addressing the disparity in access to high quality arts education. We believe equitable arts learning opportunities for all young people will strengthen our schools and communities, and unlock possibilities for our young people in school, college, career and life.

Arts Corps classes are proven to build creative habits of mind – higher order thinking skills that build a foundation for learning and thriving in the 21st century. These include:

  • imagining possibilities
  • persistence & discipline
  • critical thinking
  • courage & risk-taking
  • reflection

Through arts education and community collaboration, Arts Corps unlocks the creative power of youth so that all young people have the courage to imagine and freedom to create a just and vibrant future.