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Arts in Education

VSA Minnesota’s Arts in Education Programming

There is a mounting body of evidence1 that says learning in and through the arts improves academic learning, improves school culture, and improves student engagement. Students who participate in the arts are more likely to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in life and succeed in work. As instructional time and resources are shifting away from the arts across the nation, arts education in the State of Minnesota fares very well. However, access remains elusive to a tremendous number of students, including under-served populations. The goal of arts education for every student in the state has not yet been achieved1.

VSA Minnesota believes the benefits noted above apply to students with special education needs and therefore arts education should play a vital role in the education of all students. With the proper preparation and some perseverance, artists and educators can make as big a difference in the lives of students with disabilities as they do with other students—and maybe bigger.

  1. Americans for the Arts and Vans Custom Culture. (2013). Arts Education Navigator Facts & Figures. (e-book) Retrieved from Arts Education Navigator Facts & Figures.
  2. Perpich Center for Arts Education. (2012). Building a Legacy: Arts Education for All Minnesota Students. Golden Valley, Minnesota: The Minnesota Arts Education Research Project. Retrieved from The Minnesota Arts Education Research Project.

VSA Minnesota in Schools Across the State

Students at Cleveland Elementary in Fergus Falls, Minnesota during their final performance in May, 2013.

Students at Cleveland Elementary in Fergus Falls, Minnesota during their final performance in May, 2013.

Arts Ambassador Kaitlyn Mielke talks to students at Metro Deaf School in St. Paul about her life in theatre.

Arts Ambassador Kaitlyn Mielke talks to students at Metro Deaf School in St. Paul about her life in theatre.

A young man who is blind making a Saori weaving after being instructed by residency artist Chiaki O'Brien at South Education Center in Richfield.

A young man who is blind making a Saori weaving after being instructed by residency artist Chiaki O’Brien at South Education Center in Richfield.

Arts Ambassador Papa Diop during a presentation to transition-age students at Next Step in North St. Paul.

Arts Ambassador Papa Diop during a presentation to transition-age students at Next Step in North St. Paul.

Artist-in-Residence Program

Teaching artist and student learning a new dance with the word "educate" along bottom of photo.

VSA Minnesota believes that all Minnesota students should have access to high quality arts learning …

Professional Development

Two workshop participants doing a writing exercise at the VSA Institute held at the Perpich Center in February, 2011.

VSA Minnesota has been providing professional development training opportunities to Minnesota teaching artists, arts specialists …

Arts Ambassadors

Arts Ambassador Mark Erickson singing and playing drum for a classroom audience.

The Arts Ambassador Program is designed to bring professional artists with disabilities into classrooms to …

Resources for Education

Images of file folders and documents

Here are all the documents and forms links you may need to participate in VSA …

Teaching Artist Roster

Teaching artist Perrin Boyd assisting a student on a balance platform.

VSA Minnesota's Teaching Artist Roster is a work in progress but will soon allow …

Arts Ambassador Roster

Arts Ambassador Diedrich Weiss performing as part of a classroom presentation for transition-aged students.

VSA Minnesota is updating its current Arts Ambassador Roster information and transforming it to be …