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Executive Director’s Letter July 16, 2019 

If you are looking for tools that demonstrate the impact of the arts on other disciplines or practices, the Arts + Social Impact Explorer is a substantive and extremely helpful tool. Created by Americans for the Arts, The Arts + Social Impact Explorer breaks down major topics like health, faith, environment, economy, and diplomacy into a vibrant interactive wheel which allows you to see the intersections between arts and the rest of the world. For example, to greater degrees every day, the health industries and practitioners are adopting proven artistic methodologies that measurably decrease pain, reduce stress, and foster healing.

Those of us working in the arts have long understood the far-reaching impact of the arts, but now have tools to quantify them. This is particularly important to arts educators in Maryland as work continues to secure full funding for the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission from the legislature and Governor Hogan. (Click here to find the Commission’s 2019 Interim report) Here is some additional food for thought and action:

The Arts + Youth Development & Education Fact Sheet states, “The rich and well-documented links between the arts and education, both formal and informal, create a robust case for supporting pro-arts education funding and pro-arts education policy in every community.” Examples cited include the following well-researched facts:

  • 2X As Likely to Graduate College: The arts help people succeed. Low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate college than their peers with no arts education.
  • 100 Points Higher on their SAT: Students who take four years of arts and music classes average almost 100 points better on their SAT scores than students with only a half-year or less.
  • 5X Less Likely to Drop Out: Students excited by school stay in school. Low-income students who participate in the arts, both in school and after school, have a dropout rate of just 4 percent—five times lower than their peers.

Each of the Arts + Social Impact Explorer Fact Sheets includes sections with examples of practice, a reading list, and a list of national organizations focused on the issue. In addition to arts education, I will highlight more of these in the coming weeks.

Happy Artscape weekend! Be sure to wear your sunscreen and stay hydrated. It is going to be HOT out there and you want to be sure you can enjoy all the wonderful sights, sounds, and experiences the festival has to offer.

Stay cool,


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