Governor issues proclamation for Maryland YA Week


We are excited to announce that Governor Martin O’Malley has issued a proclamation declaring that next week, March 16 to 22, 2014, is Maryland Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week! This follows the U.S. House of Representatives Resolution, put forward by Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY 25th District), marking the same week as National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week.

We are so appreciative of the governor for this recognition of the contributions which Young Audiences/Arts for Learning programs make in transforming the lives and education of nearly 170,000 Maryland students and educators each year through the arts, as well as the role that the arts play in enriching the education of students and Maryland society as a whole. Governor O’Malley has held his office during a tumultuous economic climate but has nevertheless always protected public funding for the arts, ensuring opportunities for students throughout our state to experience the power of the arts inside and outside of the classroom. You can see the full proclamation below or read the full text as a PDF document here.

MD YA Week 2014 Proclamation

Click image above to enlarge!

It requires strong and united leadership across all levels–from school principals and administrators, to school district-level officers, to the governor of our state–to ensure that students have the chance to experience the arts, regardless of their socioeconomic background. Governor O’Malley’s commitment is important to raising the awareness of all Maryland citizens about the critical importance the arts play in a child’s academic achievement and personal development. The arts have the unique ability to engage students in the learning of all subjects, while opening up new horizons to students, helping them develop a broader worldview and a deeper understanding of themselves, their talents, and their abilities.

Thank you, Governor O’Malley, for your continued support of Young Audiences, and your belief in the importance of arts education!

We would like to use Maryland YA Week as an opportunity to ask those running for governor for their views on arts education. We’ve extended the invitation to answer two questions (below) to all the candidates and will be posting their responses here on the Young Audiences Blog next week.

  • Question 1: Maryland needs creative citizens who can imagine new possibilities for our society, think critically, solve complex problems, and collaborate effectively with others to turn these new possibilities into a reality. Young Audiences/Arts for Learning believes that the arts are an essential vehicle for building these 21st Century Skills. We are concerned both by the cuts in arts education and that our standardized testing model does not recognize the full set of capacities needed to ensure that Maryland has a thriving workforce and a civil society. As governor, how would you address our concerns?
  • Question 2: Young Audiences/Arts for Learning is a nonprofit that transforms the lives and education of youth by connecting professional artists with schools and communities. Last year, Young Audiences created more than 9,000 opportunities for nearly 170,000 students and educators in 23 out of the 24 school districts (also known as Local Education Agencies), to learn in, about, and through the arts. The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities made five recommendations to reinvest in arts education (included in the full report, “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools”). Two of them are expanding the in-school use of teaching artists and developing the field of arts integration, the practice of using the arts as a tool to teach other academic subjects. Do you agree? If so, how would you, as governor, move these recommendations forward?

Be sure to check in with the Young Audiences Blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter next week as we celebrate National and Maryland YA Week!