It's always exciting for us to celebrate National Arts Education Week, since we fervently believe that all kids should have the chance to experience the tranformative power of the arts. This year is especially eventful, since the new federal education law includes an expanded focus on the arts as an integral part of a good education--a departure from the past 10+ years.
10 sometimes-surprising facts about learning and the arts:
1. The arts improve student learning and engagement.
2. Students who study art are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.
3. Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands.
4. The new federal Every Student Succeeds Act clearly mandates the arts as a core academic subject.
5. Federal funding for the arts and humanities is $250 million a year, while the National Science Foundation is funded around the $5 billion mark.
6. Arts education encourages the kind of creative and critical thinking necessary for our 21st century world.
7. Sustained learning in music and theater correlates strongly with higher achievement in both math and reading.
8. Arts in the schools help close the achievement gap: high-poverty schools in Chicago that participated in an arts education initiative made huge strides in closing the achievement gap between high and low-income students.
9. In-school and out of school art studies and activities help keep high-risk students in school.
10. New brain research shows that not only does music improve skills in math and reading, but it promotes creativity, social development, personality adjustment, and self-worth.
And one bonus fact: The arts make kids happy! We know that the more creative outlets kids have, the happier they are.
Read about the top 10 skills children learn from the arts, and about the growing trend in many states to encourage schools to use Title I funds earmarked for low-income students to support arts education (which has been shown to be incredibly effective at increasing engagement and student achievement).
We're fortunate to have many arts education resources in the Bay Area and happy to be part of the Arts Education Alliance of the Bay Area, a coalition of providers dedicated to increasing access to arts education in San Francisco.
Managing Editor Jessica Sevey, who oversaw the new design, is interviewed on the Two Lines Press blog about how it all came about:
What made Two Lines decide to redesign the journal?
We’ve wanted to add color to the journal for a while—to make the text stand out but also as another way to differentiate the languages. This specific design came from discussing how we could distinguish each poem and excerpt in a creative way. We started working with a talented designer, Isabel Urbina Peña, who specializes in typefaces (she has designed her own)—and so the titles of the pieces are one of the first things you notice, the unique design and layout of the type.
What are the specific challenges of redesigning a multilingual journal of translation?
We wanted to maintain the en face layout for the original language and English translation, and though some interesting ideas for layout came up in the redesign—one idea was to overlay the English translation over the original language, for instance—we knew that we wanted to be conscious of the readability of each piece. It was important to balance the new design with functionality, making sure each excerpt and poem was presented as it was originally meant to be read. We were conscious of preserving the original spacing, line breaks, and line lengths of poems, for instance, rather than trying to create a perfect alignment across the languages.