Thesis Title

Community Support for Visual Arts Programs: Artist-in-Residence in a K-6 Elementary School

Graduation Date

Summer 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


A sustainable plan for arts education is not allocated in the operating costs of many elementary school districts. Arts education is becoming expendable, as budgets become tighter and emphasis is placed on test scores in accountable subject areas. High stakes testing, pre-identified supposed outcomes, and public concern about school productivity has resulted in a focus on the student s ability to test rather than the child’s relationship with learning. Arts education has been linked with critical thinking skills, higher student engagement, positive self-esteem, conceptual and perceptual thinking and creative cognition. Studying the arts contributes to differentiated thinking, concept formation and imagination. As public schools are cutting funding for arts education, local communities are finding themselves responsible for providing the resources to fund school arts programs. Assets are found in the private sector, through parent organization fund raising, grants, community arts education advocate associations and museum outreach. This paper examines a community effort to support the arts in a local public school with the combined effort of a pilot outreach program and a parent run foundation.

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