FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Portland, OR –
As our school districts across the state look to their budgets, reorganize, and prioritize in the coming months, we know that teachers’ jobs are in danger once again. When public education loses teachers, we lose educational opportunities for all of our students. This in turn affects our entire region. Arts education funding in particular is once again at risk.
We urge school districts to maintain your support for arts education programs in our K-12 schools. We are not asking for more funding, even though we know this is necessary to ensure equitable access to arts and culture programing in our schools. We ask you to not decrease funding. We know that art engagement provides a skill set that is critical in our creative economy, and also helps us heal, connect, and build relationships. Art has the power to help move us forward out of trauma. We know that having a robust well-rounded education that includes the arts keeps kids in school, exposes us to diverse cultures, teaches empathy and compassion, encourages us to think critically, to be civically engaged, and, most importantly, brings us joy. We know that the arts create a pathway forward, providing hope and giving voice to the community.
We envision an arts education that is rooted in equity, access, and inclusion. A new bipartisan group of 2023 Oregon legislators have formed an Arts and Culture Caucus. Many leaders in arts and culture in Oregon, including the Oregon Arts Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust, advocate for increased funding for arts education in our schools, and provide grant opportunities to arts organizations that have arts education programming. RACC is such a leader and, through our grant programs, support organizations who include arts education programming. RACC understands the importance of civic engagement and we encourage you to reach out to your elected officials to share with them your concerns.
Please support arts and culture educational programming in your local schools. Join us in supporting arts education for all.
Chanda Evans, Arts Education Program Manager