Arts integration means using the arts to access skill and content development and express learning in other content areas. Ideally, arts integration is simultaneously measuring a student’s growth in the content area and in the art area. Educational research supports arts integration. The arts reach students who are not otherwise being reached. The arts reach students in ways that they are not otherwise being reached. The arts connect students to themselves and each other. The arts transform the environment for learning. The arts provide learning opportunities for the adults in the lives of young people. The arts provide new challenges for those students already considered successful. The arts connect learning experiences to the world of real work.
Arts integration is not just teaching arts for their own sake. Arts integration is not about artist residencies or occasional arts projects that connect to other curricular subjects. Arts integration is about nurturing the development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies of each student and enriching and supporting their learning and growth in every area of their development.