The Arts Education Partnership

  • DC


1 Massachusetts Avenue NW
United States

About Us

Every child deserves a complete and competitive education that includes the arts.


The Arts Education Partnership is dedicated to securing a high-quality arts education for every young person in America.

Our Belief

In-school and out-of-school—each and every day—all children need the opportunity …to create …to perform …to learn about and …to experience the arts in all forms, including dance, music, theatre, and visual arts.

Why the Arts?

Decades of research show the arts help all students to learn, achieve and succeed.

Learning in and through the arts develops essential skills and abilities:

  • Creativity, imagination and innovation
  • Problem solving and critical thinking
  • Communication and collaboration
  • Academic achievement
  • School, social and civic engagement

Benefits are greatest for low-income and at-risk students.

Yet, students who stand to benefit the most are least likely to have access to a high quality arts education.

Who We Are

AEP is a national coalition of more than 100 education, arts, business, cultural, government, and philanthropic organizations. AEP was established in 1995 through a unique interagency agreement between the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) serves as AEP’s fiscal agent and administers the Partnership with the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA). (Learn more about our Governing Council and structure)

What We Do

AEP serves as the nation’s hub for individuals and organizations committed to making high-quality arts education accessible to all U.S. students, improving arts education practice, and researching how art influences and strengthens American education. We serve our Partner Organizations by providing priority access to research and information, and creating opportunities for communication and collaboration between arts disciplines and across sectors on key education issues, which benefits their work with their constituents in schools and communities nationwide.

Research and policy: AEP is widely recognized as the leading source of objective and nonpartisan information about current and emerging arts education research, policies, issues, and activities of national significance. In collaboration with key Partners, AEP gathers, analyzes and disseminates evidence on how the arts contribute to student success. (Learn more about our research)

Advance critical dialogue: AEP serves as the nation’s hub for communicating and promoting reliable arts-based best practices that improve teaching and learning in and out of school. AEP’s twice-yearly National Forums convene over 500 leaders from around the country. National Forums foster collaboration and action that helps secure the role of arts education in the curriculum (Learn more about AEP National Forums)

Improve policy and practice: AEP Partners and their constituents do the on-the-ground work every day of making the case for arts education as a critical component of a complete education. AEP strives to make that job easier by providing accessible, easy-to-read language that is supported by evidence from the latest research. (Access the ArtsEdSearch database here)