ArtsEd Resources

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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

Become an Arts Advocate!

PTA believes all students deserve the opportunity to take part in the arts, both in school and in the community. The arts can positively affect entire school culture—especially student motivation, attitudes, and attendance—which encourages students to stay in school, succeed in school, succeed in work and succeed in life!

Help PTA ensure that every child has access to-and takes part in-high quality arts learning experiences. Use the tools below to grow family and community engagement for arts education at your school.

PTA ArtsEd Toolkit

Whether you're new to PTA or an experienced leader, our new & improved ArtsEd Leader's Guide will help you establish an ArtsEd team, assess arts programs, practices and policies at your school and engage more families in school decision-making. By the end of the school year, your PTA will be able to accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Start a PTA ArtsEd Committee at your school
  • Engage more families and build stronger community partnerships
  • Lead improvements to ArtsEd programs, practices and policies
  • Base any arts programming in best practice. Ask yourself these critical questions to ensure that your arts programming is rooted in the Four 'I's for transformative family engagement.

Arts Ed Guide

Speak Up for Diversity in the Arts

National PTA believes that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) enhances and deepens the impact of the arts in our communities. By supporting diversity in the arts and diverse artists, your PTA can educate and connect your community members while showcasing your PTA’s commitment to representing everyone in the PTA family. 

Here are a few ways your PTA can begin furthering diversity in the arts in your community: 

  • Celebrate diversity in the arts.

    By celebrating diversity through the arts, your PTA offers students positive reinforcement for participation in arts programs, while also fostering inclusivity. Use our Diversity Arts Celebration Guide to enhance your efforts.

  • Take a diversity in the arts pledge.

    Use the National PTA arts pledge to highlight your PTA's commitment to expanding diversity in your arts programming. You can also customize this version (en español) for your PTA's arts programming and community needs.

  • Welcome diverse perspectives into your arts programming.

    To ensure your efforts are representative of everyone in your PTA, incorporate some or all of these best practices from PTAs around the country into your arts programming. 

  • Continue your learning around DEI.

    Just starting out in your arts DEI journey or looking to find new ideas? Learn more about DEI and how you can build a more diverse and inclusive PTA to enhance your arts programming. Check out National PTA's DEI resources.

Social Justice, Racial Equity and the Arts

National PTA has been listening and seeking input from our students and school communities on how to best take action in support of social justice and racial equity. We believe that the arts are a great platform for our children and youth to elevate their voice.

The 2020-2021 Reflections theme, I Matter Because… took on new meaning and allowed us to connect with what so many of our Black and Brown children may be feeling today. And so, we invited Reflections artists of color and their allies to share artwork that expresses and affirms their beliefs and identities—as well as the importance of Black lives. Check out some of these amazing pieces!

Stay connected with @NationalPTA and #PTAReflections as we continue to share and celebrate this artwork throughout the year!

What Can PTAs Do?


Use our ArtsEd Leader's Guide to develop arts programming and share resources with parents to support their child’s interest in the arts.

Create At Home

Check out these At Home activities you can do with the whole family. Share these with your school community to inspire them to create! Encourage families to share their creations with us using #PTAReflections.

Advocate for Arts Education

Using a powerful PTA Position Statement and Resolution, your PTA can show support for arts education in your community or state.

Host a Creative Career Fair for Families

Invite families to learn about how artistic literacy translates into college and career readiness. Learn how using the PTA Creative Career Fair Guide.

Host a Reflections Awards Program for Students

Spark creativity and celebrate participation and achievement in the arts. Learn more at Share your involvement with #PTAReflections.

Enroll in the National PTA's School of Excellence Program (May 1 - Oct. 1)

Strengthen family-school partnerships in support of arts education and gain national recognition with the School of Excellence program. Learn more and enroll at

Celebrate the Arts Throughout the Year

Commit to celebrating the arts all year round by participating in National Arts in Education Week and National Arts and Humanities Month!

Join our National Celebrations

Share your PTA's support for arts education. Use #PTAReflections on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share your #PTAProud story with us. Explore One Voice blogs and Our Children Magazine articles about arts education.

Partnership Resources

Arts Education Partnership  helps PTA to advance arts education and lead the way to student success with current research and policy insights. Use these COVID-19 Resources to learn strategies other arts education leaders used in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Make your case for arts education with the help of ArtsEdSearch, a research and policy database providing summaries on academic, cognitive, personal, social and civic outcomes for students of arts education.

Americans for the Arts envisions a country where everyone has access to-and takes part in-high quality and lifelong learning experiences in the arts, both in school and in the community. Learn about new ways to support the arts during National Arts in Education Week and National Arts and Humanities Month. Find connections and partnerships in the Arts Education Field Guide. Browse these Arts Matter: State Fact Sheets to learn more about art policy in your state and grow your confidence as a PTA ArtsEd Leader.

Our national program supporters offer access to regional and state level arts education experts.

ArtsEd Grant Opportunity

Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant - now closed

For over 50 years, the National PTA Reflections arts program has furthered the goals of the program founder, Mary Lou Anderson. Mary Lou Anderson believed in the power and importance of the arts and dreamed that Reflections would leave a lasting impact on children across the country – and it has! Reflections has helped millions of students explore their own thoughts, feelings and ideas, develop artistic literacy, increase confidence and find a love for learning that will help them become more successful in school and in life.

National PTA is happy to continue Mary Lou Anderson's legacy of Reflections through the Mary Lou Anderson Reflections Arts Enhancement Grant. This grant opportunity provides local PTAs the opportunity to accomplish innovative arts education projects. In line with Mary Lou Anderson’s vision, this grant opportunity places special emphasis on providing new pathways for students to participate in National PTA’s Reflections program and increasing arts access among at-risk and underserved students.

Encourage and celebrate student participation in arts education.

Learn about our winners, events and exhibits and see what you can win!

Learn about our winners, events and exhibits and see what you can win!