Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas

Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas

While the arts have the potential to boost economic development in rural America, arts education in rural schools faces a number of challenges, including the difficulty of recruiting and retaining arts teachers, inadequate funding, and lack of supportive policies, a report from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts finds. Based on a literature review and interviews with arts education leaders in rural areas, the report, Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas (107 pages, PDF), found that promising practices and opportunities for expanding access to arts education included implementing placemaking strategies, creating collaborative rural networks, and using technology to span geographic divides. Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the report also highlights suggestions from a cross-sectoral convening focused on expanding access to arts education in rural Berkshire County, Massachusetts.