Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Paul Sproll

Second Advisor

Nancy Friese


Creating Access and Equity in Art Education: Strategic Partnerships for Systemic Change examines the diminished state of art education in United States public schools, reveals how nonprofit arts organizations supplement what is lacking in the current educational system, and offers current examples, based on interviews, to place these issues in context. A history of the National Endowment for the Arts and an examination of arts funding, both public and private, provides a backdrop for the weakened state of the arts in schools. Exploring educational policies such as No Child Left Behind and the Every Student Succeeds Act reveals how federal and state mandates impact the availability of art education in local districts. The author examines the integrity of art education, including curriculum development, teaching, and assessment, as well as social justice— how access to the arts in schools varies based on socioeconomic status. Crucial methods for reversing the under-valuing of the arts in public school systems are put forth: partnership-building among arts education supporters, schools, and nonprofits; strategic planning and forging a common agenda; art education advocacy and policy initiatives. Finally, an examination of current organizations working for increased access to art education reveals how crucial nonprofits are to providing art education within public schools, as well as how these issues play out in the current landscape. The author concludes that increased access and equity in art education for all students might be achieved through partners working toward educational policy change.

Included in

Art Education Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.