“The arts are an integral part of what makes our public school system one of the strongest in the nation,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “We’re seeing how the extent of arts education in New Jersey schools over the past few years has reflected the commitment of our educators and the resilience of our students.”
“I applaud New Jersey schools for keeping a focus on the arts, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles posed by the pandemic,” said Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillian, Acting Commissioner of Education. “For years we have known the powerful connection between arts education and the academic growth of children. But for many students, the arts have been crucial in helping them cope with the personal obstacles faced over the past two years.”
Acting Secretary of State Tahesha Way: “The arts are needed now more than ever, especially for young people, as they navigate the uniquely complex challenges and emotions brought on over the last two years. Arts education gives students the tools they need to connect, empathize, and innovate. I am proud to work closely with the State Arts Council and their partners to support increased opportunities for meaningful arts learning.”
Allison Tratner, Executive Director of the NJ State Council on the Arts: “The findings of the latest Art Ed NJ census are a testament to the dedication and commitment of our state’s arts educators. These teachers quickly adjusted out of necessity and prioritized meaningful engagement for their students during a time of crisis, which we know was both not easy and incredibly important. We look forward to working with the Department of Education, Arts Ed NJ, and our partners in the field to build on all the innovation and lessons learned.”
“We are encouraged that the Arts Education Census has measured progress in access to arts education in many New Jersey communities, even during the pandemic, said Tanuja Dehne, president and CEO, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. “However, as the Census data shows, there is still work to ensure that all students benefit from state-required arts instruction regardless of socioeconomic status. Highlighting these disparities is an important step toward a just and equitable New Jersey, where people of all races and communities can thrive.”