This week has been declared by the U.S. House of Representatives as Arts in Education week. This is the first time that Congress has officially recognized all arts- dance, music, theater and visual arts- as a cause for celebration. Schools all over the country are taking this opportunity to celebrate the arts and to remind their local communities just how influential the arts are in their students lives.
As an elementary art teacher I felt this was a great time to show off artwork by all students in our school. Arts in Education Week just happened to fall on the same week as our annual Back-to-School Night. I’ve noticed in the past that the art and music programs (and physical education) at our school are frequently left out of back-to-school events, and I wanted to step up and present the art department this week. With only one week to complete an art project and have it ready for display, we asked each student in the school to create a small self-portrait drawing that illustrated aspects of their personality. Each student had 30 minutes to create their self-portrait. These portraits will be displayed in the lobby of our school at the main entrance where all parents, students and staff will be able to view the work. I hope that this visual display will spark discussions about all that our art program has to offer. I will be posting photos and responses to the display at the end of this week.
Many art educators are discussing this great opportunity to have our programs recognized. Please take a moment to visit some of the following blogs and read more about other ways that we are drawing attention to the arts through National Arts in Education Week.
The Art Teacher’s Guide to the Internet
The Teaching Palette
Wonder Brooks Extraordinaire
Mrs. Gillespie’s Blog
The Carrot Revolution