Guest Editorial: MACC endorses college credit for arts curriculum

MEEKER I The Meeker Arts and Cultural Council has endorsed and encouraged the new National Core Arts Standards as provided by the Educational Theatre Association (EDTA), which sponsors the International Thespian Society, recognizing outstanding high school and middle school students in the performing arts), and has provided information on the National Core Arts Theatre Standards.

The purpose and goal of such standards, as stated by the EDTA include: “The National Core Arts Standards articulate the knowledge and skills that all students should know, and know how to do, and ensure that arts education is recognized as an essential academic subject that helps prepare students for college and career readiness. The standards are intended to serve a broad constituency of individuals and organizations with an interest and need for arts education: students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community at large.”
Colorado law HB 10-1273 was enacted in 2010. It directs the Colorado Department of Education to enhance and encourage availability of performing arts programs in school academic curriculums and strongly encourages inclusion of performing arts as graduation requirements in the Colorado school districts.
To that end, the DOE has substantially improved performing arts academic core curriculum for K-12 students, which aligns with the National Core Curriculum.
U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Arne Duncan has endorsed performing arts as having a proven impact on academic achievement by students in all core curriculum subjects such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as well as improving leadership, poise, self-confidence and social development.
Students applying for higher education find that involvement in performing arts curriculum and productions are often selected for admission in preference to those who do not have such training and experiences.
Creative industries, which includes performing arts, are the fifth largest economic engine in Colorado as a part of the No. 1 tourism industry, which generates $4 billion per year for Colorado. Students with performing arts degrees and experience are often well prepared to pursue careers and avocations in such fields that hold new promise for economic development.
It may also be possible to provide concurrent higher education credit for students taking performing arts curricula while in high school, and that gives them advanced placement and credits on their college transcripts requiring less time to graduate or more opportunities to take other courses of interest to their major fields.
A new program being proposed would include providing accredited courses in performing arts, such as introduction to acting, history of theater, directing, choreography and dance, technical theater (stage and lighting design, scenery and costuming, sound systems and design, film and videography production) and much more.