Young Audiences Arts for Learning Joins 52 Other National Organizations to Support Arts Education as Essential for Students During COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW YORK, NY—(May 27, 2020)—As policymakers plan for school reopening in the fall, Young Audiences Arts for Learning joined 52 other national organizations in a statement that supports an arts education for all students.

In the statement, “Arts Education Is Essential,” the signing organizations convey that the arts have already played a pivotal and uplifting role during the COVID-19 health crisis, and that arts education can help all students, including those who are in traditionally underrepresented groups, as they return to school next year.

“Arts Education Is Essential” speaks to arts education’s role in supporting the social and emotional well-being of students, an area that administrators, educators, and parents have highlighted as essential to student safety and success, both during the pandemic and as students return to school, whether in-person, online, or in a blended fashion, this fall. Arts education also creates a welcoming school environment and a healthy and inclusive school community, helping students, educators, parents, and the community at large build and strengthen their connectedness during this time of social isolation and social distancing.

The statement also reminds the public that arts education is a part of a well-rounded education as defined by the federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and supported in state laws throughout the country. Forty-six states require an arts credit to receive a high school diploma, and 43 states have instructional requirements in the arts in elementary and secondary schools.

 “The arts have a healing power that cannot be replaced. For many school communities whose students are very worried about their safety and future, we have an opportunity and obligation to navigate those communities to new realizations that the arts in education can uniquely provide,” said David A. Dik, National Executive Director of Young Audiences Arts for Learning. “The arts, as part of a complete and well-rounded education, are vital to the educational and social emotional wellbeing of every student, especially in these challenging times.”

While navigating the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Network, comprised of 30 diverse affiliates serving communities across the country, has been working to support educational partners and teaching artists, while forging new and innovative ways to expand student learning through the arts. The efforts of the Network to sustain and uplift arts education throughout the crisis are chronicled in Young Audiences Arts for Learning’s Resilience Through The Arts blog series, available here.

The music and arts education community has been active during this pandemic in providing administrators, educators, and other stakeholders guidance and support, as well as forward-thinking planning for music educators and district arts supervisors to take a lead as school districts make plans for the next school year. In any decision about how school districts will operate in the next and future school years, music and arts education will be essential in providing all students equitable educational opportunities that also continue to prepare them for an ever-changing world.

To add your voice to this statement, your organization can sign on to the statement by emailing

Signing organizations as of May 26, 2020. Click here to view updates to this list. 

American Composers Forum
Afterschool Alliance
American Choral Directors Association

American Composers Forum
American Orff-Schulwerk Association
American String Teachers Association
Americans for the Arts
Barbershop Harmony Society
Carnegie Hall
Casio America Inc
Chorus America
CMA Foundation
College Band Directors National Association
Conn-Selmer, Inc.
D’Addario Foundation
Eastman Music Company
Education Through Music
Educational Theatre Association
Give a Note Foundation
Hal Leonard
Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Band Directors’ Consortium
Jazz at Lincoln Center
Jazz Education Network
KHS America
League of American Orchestras
Little Kids Rock
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation Music for All
Music Teachers National Association
NAMM Foundation
National Art Education Association
National Association for Music Education
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Coalition for Core Arts Standards
National Dance Education Organization
National Education Association
National Federation of State High School Associations
National YoungArts Foundation
Organization of American Kodály Educators
Quadrant Research
Recording Academy
Save The Music Foundation
State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education
The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation
United Sound, Inc.
Varsity Performing Arts
West Music Company
Yamaha Corporation of America
Young Audiences Arts for Learning



About Young Audiences Arts for Learning
Founded in 1952, Young Audiences Arts for Learning is the nation’s largest art-in-education network, serving more than 5 million young people each year. Young Audiences works to support its diverse network of affiliated organizations that are each dedicated to playing a decisive role in young people’s personal, artistic, and educational development. Learn more about Young Audiences and its mission to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts at

Emily House  


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