Teaching artist and boy

It starts with a work of art.

With the ArtSmart program, students and teachers become active explorers of a great performance or a piece of visual art. They practice how to think like an artist, generate ideas, and apply the creative process.

Students become motivated and inspired.

Preparing to see a performance with ArtSmart involves students in artistic problem-solving that values individual choices and opinions. Experiencing a work of art provides connections from a student’s own feelings and perceptions to the understanding of another point of view and a different way to communicate.

Encounters with the arts relate to the larger world.

Within the ArtSmart process, students and teachers make discoveries that stimulate imagination, encourage critical thinking, and strengthen learning in other subjects. The methods and meanings of the arts become a springboard for developing engagement, self-confidence, collaboration, empathy, and creativity in students.

ArtSmart offers two tiers of participation which are often combined:

  1. ArtSmart Study Units – led by a teaching artist, three sessions in the classroom prepare students to get the most out of a specially chosen performance from our HOT Season for Young People, an ArtSmart Focuswork.
  2. Arts Integration Projects – created by teachers during our Arts Integration Institutes, these projects connect a chosen work of art with specific curriculum topics, exponentially enriching the student learning experience with both elements.

Learn more about aesthetic education, the philosophy behind the ArtSmart program.

Learn more about the benefits of all kinds of arts experiences for students at Americans for the Arts.

Boy dancing
Photo by Mimosa Arts
Woman gesturing
Photo by Mimosa Arts
Children behind shadow puppet screen