Why do children need arts programmes?

Involvement in the arts increases a person’s capacity to think critically and act independently – skills that are important to an individual’s ability to contribute to our community. A quality education in the arts is often expensive and therefore inaccessible to the children who may benefit the most.


Enhancing Life Skills


Children who develop communication, personal management and teamwork skills into natural behaviours at a young age are able to use these life skills to create a better future for themselves.

A collage of self portraits created by students in an artsREACH visual arts workshop.



Access to the arts

Through artsREACH, those children who are least likely to have access to an education in the arts are able to benefit from the critical life skills that are learned as part of the artsREACH workshops.

Through these workshops, children:

  • Develop artistic and creative skills in a positive learning environment
  • Gain an appreciation for the arts
  • Improve their self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Develop teamwork, communication and personal management skills

Supporting research

Artists ‘better protected’ against dementia, CBC News August 22, 2013
Study by neurologists at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto found that artists suffering from vascular dementia may still be able to draw spontaneously and from memory, despite being unable to complete simple, everyday tasks. Dr. Luis Fornazzari, a neurological consultant at St. Michael’s Hospital memory clinic and lead author of the paper, said “Art opens the mind. It should be taught to everyone. It’s better than many medications and is as important as mathematics or history.”

Arts Education Partnership, October 4, 2012 
Examines how education in the arts – in both discrete arts classes and integrated arts lessons – affects students’ cognitive, personal, social and civic development, and how the integration of the arts into the school curriculum affects student learning and educators’ instructional practice and engagement in the teaching profession.

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies, National Endowment for the Arts, March 2012
Examines the association between in-depth arts engagement and academic or civic outcomes for at-risk youth

Evaluation of Impact on Student Outcomes Arts Victoria, November 2011
Examines the impacts of artist-in-residence and exposure-to-arts programs in schools and arts venues in Victoria, Australia.

President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, May 2011
Examines the state of arts education, its benefits for students and classrooms, as well as potential improvements in arts education provision. 

Helping children cross cultural boundaries in the borderlands: Arts program at Freese Elementary in San Diego creates cultural bridge, Brouillette, L., & Jennings, L. (2010) 
In 2001-2002, Freese Elementary, an inner-city elementary program in the U.S.-Mexico Borderland comprised primarily of English Language Learners (ELL), began an arts magnet program in which students receive art instruction from local teaching artists in the areas of dance, music, theater/puppetry, and visual art, on a rotating basis.

Taking Part survey on how childhood involvement in the arts affects arts engagement in adulthood, Arts Council England, March 2009
Examines the relationship between childhood arts experiences and adult arts participation, based on a survey of 13,500 English adults who were asked to recall their childhood arts experiences. Overall, the report found that “being exposed to arts events and encouraged to participate in arts activities when growing up indeed makes a positive contribution to the chances of people developing a life-long interest in and active relationship with the arts.

Drama education: A touch of the creative mind and communicative-expressive ability of elementary school children in Hong Kong, Hui, A., & Lau, S. (2006)
Researchers used an experimental approach to examine the effect of drama education on creativity and storytelling abilities of first and fourth grade school children in Hong Kong.

© 2016 artsREACH


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