This year, the Aftab Committee is partnering up with Americans for the Arts for Arts in Education Week that takes place between 9-15th of September, 2018. National Arts in Education Week is a Congressionally designated celebration of the transformative power of the arts in education. Each year, the cultural and education communities come together to celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education to transform our communities, schools, teaching, and learning. As our young people and educators return to school, we take time to reflect on the role of arts education in our lives and how it has contributed to making us the people we are today.
The research is clear: youth who participate in the arts are more likely to be successful in school, college, and career than their peers who did not have arts education. However, the same research indicates a racial gap indicating that arts education is an equity issue and an issue of racial justice in America. In order to reap the benefits of arts-rich schools and arts-infused communities for all members, focus should be on increasing access, particularly for students who are typically disenfranchised. We must focus our efforts on broadening and diversifying the leadership pipeline, so that our arts educators, cultural program leaders, and our community’s artists reflect the communities in which they are working.
In support of Arts in Education Week, the Aftab Committee launched its own campaign with Iranian-American artists and friends advocating for an expansion of arts education nationwide and raising awareness in communities, especially the Iranian-American community, regarding the importance of arts education and its influence on artists’ lives.
I love art education because I grew up through art and I could find myself.
@Niloofar Asadi – San Francisco based writer and filmmaker.
I love arts education because its prompts exciting new ways to look at the world.
@Kathy Bruin– Program Assistant at the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies.
I love arts in education because it fosters civil engagement and critical thinking.
@Roshan Houshmand – artist and educator.
I Love arts education because it lets me discover what pleasure means.
@Payam Jafari – Payam Jafari is a San Francisco based filmmaker.
I love Arts ED because art is the global language!
@Parastoo Ahovan– Parastoo Ahovan Is a sculptor and a performance artist who lives and works in New York City.
I love Arts-ed because creativity is a superpower!
@Shabnam Jafari – Iranian-American pianist.
I love Arts Ed because it cultivates healing, cultural intervention, transformation.
@Ghazal Ghazi – Iranian-American muralist and terrestrial poet.
Cover photo: @Melissa Shoshai – stand-up comedian, writer and actress. “ I love arts & education because it allows you to learn & grow creatively.”