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Arts Advocacy at NIU

Welcome to the Arts Advocacy page of the Northern Illinois University College of Visual and Performing Arts. It is our hope that you will find the available documents useful in your teaching and advocacy efforts.

As we suspect is the case at many colleges and universities, each year our faculty and administration receive phone calls and emails from alumni, all crying “HELP!” – their district’s school board is meeting in a few days, and on the agenda is a cut to the arts budget. These teachers want to know what they can do. In a rush, we all pull together the results of some studies from which they can quote to their school board members, in the hopes that it will have a positive impact on their decision making.

In 2011, Dean Richard Holly engaged Professor Kerry Freedman of the NIU School of Art and Art Education Ph.D. candidate Liz Rex to begin collecting reports of studies and putting them into a format that is readily available to anyone who finds themselves in this position. Along the way, we discovered that these materials make for some meaningful classroom assignments as well.

Feel free to download either or both of these packets so that you can become a stronger advocate for arts education in our schools. We expect to continue to produce advocacy packets as time permits and topics present themselves. If you have ideas for packets, please email us at rholly@niu.edu.

Thank you for your interest in arts advocacy and if you need to use these, we wish you all the best.

We also recommend you download the excellent report "The Right Brain Initiative" (.pdf)