The Creative Economy

How the Arts are Critical to your Child’s Future



Is there a relationship between arts education and our future economy?










According to Sir Ken Robinson, an author and international advisor to governments and organizations on education in the arts, economic progress requires “education that values different modes of intelligence and sees relationships between disciplines.” Like many others, Robinson understands that arts education provides your child with an opportunity to develop the skills they need to be successful in the evolving workforce. It is precisely high-quality arts education programs that promote skills like innovation, problem solving, and the ability to see both the big picture and to examine the details.




As legislators look for ways to improve the economy and stimulate job growth, you as parents can let them know the arts are part of the solution.  The Creative Industries annual report by Americans for the Arts describes that there are 668,267 businesses in the United States involved in the creation or distribution of the arts. Specifically, the arts provide skills, including time management and social interaction, which are necessary in any field your child may choose to enter.




Today, with industrial sectors waning and the economy evolving to place a higher value on knowledge-based work, new and innovative ideas are highly sought after in every industry. The inventive, complex skills learned through arts education equip a child to perform beyond rote activity and engage in a new, creative economy in which business, technology, and the arts converge.

Need facts? Want tools? In 2002 the Arts Education Partnership published Critical Links, a compilation of 62 scientific studies of the effects of the arts on learning in other academic areas and on emotional and social skills. The following list provided in the Research-Based Communication Toolkit provided by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies may help you in advocating for arts education with your legislator.

According to the Critical Links scientific studies, the arts

  • engage students in their learning;
  • increase comprehension through dramatizing reading material; 
  • help children break phonetic codes with music and dance instruction; 
  • develop expressive and reflective skills that enhance writing proficiency; 
  • create a school environment more conducive to learning;
  • develop spatial reasoning abilities, critical to math and language facility; 
  • nhance performance in other areas; 
  • increase attendance and reduce retention; 
  • allow children to address and express personal issues; and 
  • reach children often unreachable.

CEOs of businesses like Google and the Walt Disney Company have arts backgrounds, and many companies are increasingly seeking workers with varied experiences. Arts education gives students a diverse learning experience, one that they can carry into their careers and civic lives.



Donna Collins
Original Writer


Sources: Robinson, K. (2005). How creativity, education and the arts shape a modern economy. Denver, CO: Education Commission of the States.


Arts Education Partnership, (2006). Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development. Washington, D.C. Retrieved 2 March 2007 from www.aep-arts.org/resources/tool kits/criticallinks/index.htm

Americans for the Arts, Creative Industries Report 2010, http://www.americansforthearts.org/information_services/research/services/creative_industries/state_legislative_districts/default.asp

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