Why Art Matters

Why Should Educators Care?

When engaged in the arts, participants become more self-aware, learn how to express emotions in a safe manner, build self-esteem and identity, along with learning skills to develop healthy social relationships and coping techniques.  Art is empowering, and even more so for those society often overlooks. More art leads to more therapeutic benefit.

Research on elementary and secondary education shows consistently more favorable outcomes for students involved in the arts including higher academic achievement, fewer dropouts, and better attitudes about school and community. Arts-involved youngsters also tend to watch less television.

Learning in and through the arts develops essential skills and abilities, such as:

  • Creativity, imagination and innovation
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Academic achievement
  • School, social and civic engagement

The benefits are greatest for low-income and at-­risk students. Yet, students who stand to benefit the most are least likely to have access to a high quality arts education.1 This is where The Art Experience and programs like CAL come into play, providing arts educations to those who need it most.

Studies find that arts education develops students’ critical thinking skills—skills such as comparison, hypothesizing, and critiquing– that are essential to a student’s ability to apply knowledge and visualize solutions. Beginning at the elementary level, research suggests that arts education develops awareness and exploration of multiple viewpoints. Arts integration, dance, drama, and visual art are shown to develop critical thinking skills at all age levels—from early childhood through adulthood.2

Students who participate in arts learning experiences often improve their achievement in other realms of learning and life. In a well-documented national study using a federal database of over 25,000 middle and high school students, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles found students with high arts involvement performed better on standardized achievement tests than students with low arts involvement. Moreover, the high arts-involved students also watched fewer hours of TV, participated in more community service and reported less boredom in school.3

Albert Einstein said:

“… Science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.”



1. “Mission/Overview.” AEPARTS. Arts Education Sponsorship, Washington DC, 2014.
Web. 21 Aug. 2014.

2. Noice, H. & Noice T. (2006). What studies of actors and acting can tell us about memory and cognitive functioning. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(1), 14-­‐‑18.

3. Catterall, James S. (2002), “Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School.” In R. Deasy (Ed.), Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, Washington, DC: AEP.


Why Should Corporations Care?

The educational benefits reaped by those with arts exposure, extends to benefit the broader community. Strong academic performance leads to a more educated, capable workforce. This leads to stronger businesses and more jobs. More jobs and stronger businesses strengthen the economy. When students get exposure to the arts, everyone wins.


Why Should Healthcare Providers Care?

Art Therapy offers unique & innovative treatment for a range of needs. The impact of this treatment carries beyond the classroom- our artists have unique leisure activities that they can try on their own, at home. 

Studies show that art can greatly benefit one’s health. Benefits include shorter hospital stays, improved pain management, and a need for less medication.


Still Curious?

Here are some great resources which discuss the ways in which the arts benefit us all.