In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives designated the second week of September as “Arts in Education Week,” stating that “Arts education, comprising a rich array of disciplines including dance, music, theater, media arts, literature, design, and visual arts, is a core academic subject and an essential element of a complete and balanced education for all students.” From September 11 through September 17, we promote and showcase the immense role arts education has in producing engaged, successful, and college and career-ready students. At Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, The Arts has been a fundamental program area in our 50-year history, and we offer a wide variety of art programs in fine arts, creative writing, performing arts and crafts. Each year, Club members participate in art activities that include the Fine Arts Exhibit, the BGCA National Photography Contest, transforming the Clubs into Haunted Houses each Halloween, the Pinewood Derby race each summer, Easter Hat Parade, Youth of the Year Variety Show, International Day, dance programs and so much more! Take this week as an opportunity to Get Involved in Arts Education and show your support. Check out the following tips from the National Arts Education Association for ways to celebrate arts education in your community! Tell us how the arts are reigniting your community! We know that in these tough economic times the arts are often the first on the chopping block, but we also know there are bright spots across the country where the arts are thriving and students have access to a high quality arts education. How have the arts re-ignited your school or community? Talk about it! Support the arts in your community Show your support for arts, education, and the creative economy at work in your community. Participation in the arts, either by seeing a show or exhibit or by donating to your local arts organizations, is the easiest and most visible way to show your support for the arts and the importance of the arts in a child’s education. Donate to your local arts organization Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in support of arts education Participate in the arts in your community, see a show or student exhibit, visit a museum, or take an art class Take an arts educator out to coffee to thank them for their hard work Spread the word about National Arts in Education Week. Everyone can… Participate in the Americans for the Arts (www.artsusa.org) arts education blog during the week of Sept. 11, describing what you have done to celebrate Arts in Education Week in your state. Write to elected officials detailing the significance of arts education as a part of a complete education. Volunteer in arts education classrooms to better understand the academic content and support student learning.