NYSATA Works for Art Education

Part of NYSATA's mission is to be the voice of over 6,000 art educators across New York State. We consult with and provide content area expertise for the State Education Department; collaborate on arts based initiatives; represent NY at the national level; monitor art education trends statewide and nationally; and provide a host of programs and opportunities to highlight student achievement in the visual arts.

NYSATA advocacy efforts are most often aimed at the state level, monitoring and influencing arts legislation and policies that impact programs in the schools. It is also important that all art educators become advocates in their own school, district and community. Make sure your parents, administrators, community members and legislators are aware of the work you are doing in your classroom and the success your students are achieving.

Be an Arts Advocate!


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1. Did you know that the difference between digital art and media arts
is that the media arts include a time-based component?


2. You probably already know that high school students in New York State can take a 3 or 5 unit sequence in art, but did you know that they can earn a Regent's Diploma with the 4 +1 Pathway?

Approved by the Board of Regents, students can take 3 units of art and then complete an AP or IB portfolio (in place of taking another Regent's exam) to earn a Regent's Diploma.


3. Did you know that under No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Art was listed as a "core" subject? Now, under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Art is listed alongside Math, Reading, and other subjects as a part of a "Well Rounded Education".


4. Did you know that students in poverty are less likely to have access to art education in their school? The same is true for students enrolled in charter schools.


5. Did you know that even if Elementary Art is taught by the elementary classroom teacher rather than a certified art teacher, the curriculum must still address ALL the Visual Art Learning Standards?


6.  Did you know that the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the arts and culture sector is a $804 billion industry, which represents 4.3% of the nation's GDP--a larger share of the economy than transportation and agriculture.


 7. Did you know that 93% of all communication is visual? And, our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text!


 8. Did you know that students should have the opportunity to earn 1/2 unit of both art and music across grades 7 and 8? The art requirement cannot be replaced with technology and should meet all of the Visual Arts Standards for grades 7 and 8. 


 9. Did you know that courses used to satisfy the required one unit of credit for graduation should be comprehensive and foundational (e.g. Studio in Art) rather than media specific (e.g. Ceramics)? Comprehensive Foundational Courses should meet ALL the Visual and/or Media Arts Standards for the grade level; advanced electives are not required to meet ALL the standards.


10. Did you know that art is a required subject at the high school and middle school level, and for every grade at the elementary level?


11. Did you know that high school Courses offered for art credit should meet the arts standards for the grade level being taught and must be taught by a certified art teacher, with only two exceptions - DDP (if it meets the Visual Arts Standards) and a combination of Urban Housing and Fashion Design (1/2 unit of each)?


 Be an Arts Advocate!

You are just the person to give arts education a voice! Click on the links below to get tools, tips, and resources that will help you become an arts activist! 

For more advocacy tips, visit these arts organizations.

 Advocacy Videos

ArtBeat. Student-Produced Video Supports Keeping Arts in Schools
A group of students produced a video supporting arts in their school. View this video by going to

Stand for the Arts - Arts Advocacy Video - Ovation (2014)

Arts Advocacy - Alexi's Story (2018)

Lessons the Arts Teach

Arts and Citizenship

A Child's Creativity

Why art is important | Katerina Gregos | TEDxGhent

NAEA's Tell Your Art Story Collection of Videos


 In the News

If He Loses His Joy, Nothing Else will Matter."

by Susan Kruger, M.Ed., January 27, 2020. 

Frustrated from students being pulled out for services? Read about what Nick’s parents did to bring his back his feelings of joy.

 New Evidence of the Benefits of Arts Education

Brian Kisida and Daniel H. Bowen, February 12, 2019

"a substantial increase in arts educational experiences has remarkable impacts on students’ academic, social, and emotional outcomes. Relative to students assigned to the control group, treatment school students experienced a 3.6 percentage point reduction in disciplinary infractions, an improvement of 13 percent of a standard deviation in standardized writing scores, and an increase of 8 percent of a standard deviation in their compassion for others (¶8)."

 Latest Data Shows Increase to U.S. Economy from Arts and Cultural Sector

National Endowment for the Arts, March 19, 2019

Sector Contributed $804.2 Billion or 4.3 Percent of Nation’s GDP in 2016

  Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Hear Ken Robinson's thoughts at the TED conference.  To view the video, go to

What Does "Quality" look like in Arts Education?
In The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education, Harvard researchers at Project Zero explore what first-rate arts education entails and offer tools to help educators and others make smart choices about arts education in schools and communities. To read the report, go to 




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