National YA Week
New York, NY (April 12, 2019) -- Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) has introduced a Resolution to the House of Representatives designating the weeks of April 14 through 27, 2019, as National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week (YA Week). The designation of YA Week will honor the contributions Young Audiences Arts for Learning (YA) has made to schools nationwide through arts-in-education programs.
The Resolution, introduced by Representative Pingree, who serves as co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus, and co-sponsored by Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), who serves as co-chair of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, highlights the work of the Young Audiences Arts for Learning network and encourages Americans to recognize the important contributions the arts make to society.
The Resolution emphasizes that arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines, "is an essential element of a complete and well-rounded education for all students," enabling them “to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, imagination and creativity, discipline, alternative ways to communicate and express feelings and ideas, and cross-cultural understanding, which supports academic success nationwide as well as personal growth outside the classroom."
“When we incorporate the arts into the classroom, we’re really investing in a well-rounded education,” said Pingree in a statement. “Even though the measurable benefits are clear, too few kids have access to these opportunities. Young Audiences Arts for Learning has built a strong national network of teaching artists who are committed to arts education and I’m proud to introduce a resolution recognizing Young Audiences Week in the House.”
An annual advocacy and awareness initiative first championed by conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1971, YA Week has grown into a national, two-week celebration of arts-in-education observed each spring. YA's entire network of affiliates will be observing YA Week with a variety of special events, school activities, residencies, and performances promoting awareness of YA's arts-in-education programs and their role in enriching the lives of young people.
As David A. Dik, YA's National Executive Director, states, "Young Audiences sees the arts as languages of interpretation and understanding. We realize that in the 21st century, written, oral, and numerical literacies are just as important as our understanding and application of design, shape, and presentation. The arts offer unique solutions to both simple and complex problems, and they are essential to the cognitive and non-cognitive success of young people across our nation today."