Arts Education for All: Lessons from the First Half of the Ford Foundation’s National Arts Education Initiative

Ford Foundation



Case Study Sector


In 2004, the Ford Foundation launched the National Arts Education Initiative—a bold and forward-looking effort to address issues of equity and access in arts education. The initiative advances a new and significant framework for achieving the goal of increasing access to quality integrated arts education for all children.

This monograph covers roughly the first half (2004–2007) of the Ford Foundation’s National Arts Education Initiative. The initiative is now in its final phases and is scheduled to conclude in 2011.

Directly and indirectly, the monograph examines such important questions as: In an initiative of this magnitude and scope, how can consensus be reached among diverse participants as to the identification and benchmarking of progress toward goals? What constitutes “readiness” to take on the challenges of partnership building, advocacy, and strategic communications to advance arts education for all? In the volatile and often politically charged context of local school systems, how do organizations respond to and ready themselves for inevitable leadership changes? What are the links between data collection, evaluation, and effective advocacy? What innovative strategies are emerging for investing parents in arts education advocacy? What issues and themes are proving to be especially effective and resonant in mobilizing community interest in arts education?



  • Evaluation
  • Field Building


  • Northern America

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