Why the Arts?

When young people explore their creative potential, they build the belief, bravery, and motivation they need to dream big and explore new paths. They also gain essential skills that support them throughout their lives: collaboration, trust, empathy, resilience, and accountability. 

Student focuses on artwork
Children having fun sticking out their tongues and laughing

The need for arts education

Engaging with art encourages social awareness and civic participation

Participation in the arts at an early age is proven to have a positive impact on the social, emotional, and academic lives of young people. Artistic expression helps equip them with empathy, empowerment, and critical thinking—supporting them as they connect deeply with others, strive for academic greatness, and imagine new possibilities. Communities rich in the arts naturally engender healthy civil societies.

We’ve witnessed a steady decline in U.S. K-12 arts education

With an increased emphasis on standardized testing, public schools have faced dramatic funding cuts in arts education. However, studies prove that arts education closes achievement gaps and advances academic success—which is exactly what Arts Ignite aims to do. In 2019, 242 Arts Ignite teaching artists inspired 3,298 students to learn and explore through creative expression, and our impact continues to grow!

The benefits of arts education

How Arts Ignite sparks key outcomes for youth

Research shows that the benefits of an arts education are directly connected to the Arts Ignite classroom values

Building Creative Capacity

We teach critical thinking, creative problem solving, and collaboration to our students—encouraging them to wonder, imagine, and strengthen their essential soft-skills.


Our teachers and partners build strong, vibrant communities that help students cultivate deep connections and healthy relationships with one another.


We use artistic expression to awaken innate potential within our students. From there, they build the belief, bravery, and motivation they need to dream big and explore new paths.

The impact of arts education—by the numbers

of Americans believe that the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education.
of Americans believe that the arts unify their communities.
of the top skills employers value most are related to creativity.
Child with vibrant paint on hands making finger eye-goggles
Student smiles while twirling in dance class

The arts challenge us with different points of view, compel us to empathize with others, and give us the opportunity to reflect on the human condition.

Brian Kisida and Daniel H. Bowen,
“New evidence of the benefits of arts education,” The Brookings Institution

Students on stage with guitars

What we do

We’re a community of artists and educators, committed to a better life for all

We believe that the arts are a powerful force for sparking imagination, cultivating a sense of self, and breaking cycles of poverty. Arts education can create a ripple effect of hope and positive change within ourselves, our communities, and society.

Support our work

Become a vital part of expanding access to arts education.

Young person reaches up to put a paper star on the wall
Two young people leap across the room with their arms up

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