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VIDEO: Pingree Takes to House Floor to Recognize Arts in Education Week

Washington, DC, September 13, 2018

During Arts in Education Week, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) took to the House floor today to recognize the important impact arts education makes on student success and growth.

Pingree is co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus and is also an ex-officio member of the National Council on the Arts, which advises the National Endowment for the Arts. 

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, she has been a successful advocate for the Department of Education’s Arts in Education Program, which has helped communities in Maine and across the country bring arts into the classroom during an era of tight school budgets. The Trump Administration has twice proposed eliminating funding for the program, but it has been restored during the appropriations process. 

Text of Pingree’s speech as prepared for delivery

M. Speaker – 

I rise today to recognize Arts in Education week.

I believe strongly that arts in our schools – whether it’s visual art, music, drama, creative writing, or dance – are as much a component of a well-rounded education as STEM and humanities subjects.

The measurable benefits of a robust arts education are clear.

The US Department of Education has found that students in arts programming had better attendance and fewer disciplinary issues.

But anyone who has experienced arts education knows that its value lies well beyond what’s measurable.

It builds confidence – teaching students how to express themselves in front of their peers and larger community.

It promotes diversity and inclusion – encouraging kids to engage with and learn from creative traditions that they may not be familiar with.

And it can start important conversations – using fun and accessible mediums to get us thinking about hard topics.

I thank the educators and students in Maine and across the country who commit to bringing the power of the arts into our schools and homes every day. 

Thank you, I yield back.

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