Talking Points: Arts Education in Oklahoma

Hundreds of arts and culture supporters will gather at the Oklahoma Capitol on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 to celebrate Oklahoma Arts Day.  Read our priorities for arts education below.

All are welcome at Oklahoma Arts Day. Sign up here.


We request your support of school-based art teachers, arts integration and community arts and culture programs.

We affirm funding for the Oklahoma Arts Council as important to a well-rounded education statewide. 

We seek improved funding for public education that allows well-rounded learning including arts education.

What do you mean by arts education?

Americans for the Arts: See diagram & explanation here.

Americans for the Arts: See diagram & explanation here.

For a child’s education to be complete, it must include the arts. Arts education---- music, dance, visual arts, drama/theatre and media arts-- prepares students for school, work and life. Students from early childhood to high school gain from arts education in multiple ways:

1.      Sequential arts education taught by certified teachers in the arts in classrooms supports state standards and goals for students to have a well-rounded and complete education.

2.      Creative youth development through artists-in-residence, after school programs, community arts enrichment and homeschool arts programs, such as those supported by the Oklahoma Arts Council and local arts agencies helps students build personal, social and intellectual capacities.

3.      Arts integration, such as how the Oklahoma A+ Schools helps students, brings the project-based, problem solving strengths of the arts to learning other subject areas.

Arts Education’s Benefits:
Students from all backgrounds benefit from arts education. Research repeatedly demonstrates that participation in the arts boosts learning and outcomes for children, including:

  • Improved student achievement.
  • Better attendance.
  • Lower misconduct rates.
  • Increased parental involvement
  • Problem solving skills.
  • State Level Decisions:

Many decisions and policies about arts education are made in the local school districts. But our State Legislators have influence over several important resources and structures:

FundingSchools need funding to have the teachers and resources for arts education.

The Legislature and Governor decide the State Department of Education’s budget.

o   The budget impacts district funding, teacher salaries and enrichment programs.

§  Including Competitive Grants to the Oklahoma Arts Council’s alternative education arts grants, the Oklahoma A+ Schools arts integration programs and the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, which were cut drastically this year.

o   Education funding per capita has been cut. See a perspective on reductions here and facts from the State Department of Education here.

o   We seek improved funding for public education that allows well-rounded learning including arts education.

The Oklahoma Art Council’s budget is decided by the State Senate, House and Governor.

o   That budget impacts teaching artists in schools, the performing artist roster, after school arts programs, community arts education and more.

o   The Oklahoma Arts Council’s budget has been already cut. See budget facts here.

o   We seek improved funding for the Oklahoma Arts Council so that students can benefit from community and school-based arts enrichment.

Policies- Oklahoma needs requirements and standards that encourage quality arts education for all students.

The Legislature defines the framework for education in Oklahoma, including the accountability measures that guide the State Department of Education’s work.

o   We encourage policies and accountability to support strong arts education statewide

Download a PDF of this information here

See more resources for arts education on the Oklahoma Arts Council's website.