An Interview with Congresswoman Bonamici about the Arts Education for All Act

Last week we were fortunate to catch up with Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) on Zoom to talk about the exciting new legislation she has introduced ensuring equitable arts education for students. Watch the video of our conversation with Rep. Bonamici, Chair of the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services and Co-Chair of the STEAM Caucus, and read on to learn more about the Arts Education for All Act she introduced on Oct. 15, 2021.

Congresswoman Bonamici is a passionate advocate for the importance of a well-rounded education that includes arts integration and instruction as a part of every child’s school experience. Her mother was a painter and piano teacher and she knows first-hand the value of creative expression. As she explained on our call, “I know what a difference it makes for students to have arts education and arts in their lives, and that’s true regardless of what path they take in life. It helps students learn and grow in important ways.”

As of today, the Arts Education for All Act (H.R.5581)  is being co-sponsored by 25 Congressional Representatives and has been endorsed by more than 350 national, state, and local organizations. This includes the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Americans for the Arts, National Association of Music Merchants, Grantmakers for the Arts, and hundreds more regional and statewide arts organizations and schools. The Arts Education for All Act will support and encourage arts education and programming for young children, K-12 students, and youth and adults involved in the justice system. It will help close existing gaps in access to arts education, which has the potential to improve the lifelong health and success of both children and adults.

We hope you will join us in supporting arts education in our schools. With our focus on social justice and equity in all aspects of arts and culture, we know it is critical that this bill includes programs that benefit our at-risk youth, provide opportunities and professional development for our arts educators and arts specialists, and solidify a STEAM education in the Every Child Succeeds Act. We know that the arts create a pathway forward, provide hope, stimulate our creative economy and give us a voice. The Arts Education for All Act will only enhance these endeavors.

Support the Arts Education for All Act by signing up and showing your individual and/or organizational support today!

Find a one-page summary of the Arts Education for All Act here. Full text of the legislation can be found here.

For more information please contact Chanda Evans & Mario Mesquita