Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)




Audrey Falk

Second Advisor

Sean McCarthy


While facing inequitable and inconsistent levels of support, K-12 arts education in the United States shows great promise in its ability to strengthen community and build social capital. Deepseated ideals of rugged individualism and cultural elitism have complicated these potential rewards as is evident through a brief history of policies impacting arts education across various levels of government. Particular challenges related to access and funding have prevented all schools from offering a quality arts education that is able to incorporate students’ lived experience into the curriculum. Theories of democratic education, critical pedagogy, community cultural development, and creative placemaking are introduced in order to underpin arts education’s capacity toward increasing equity and encouraging revitalization in communities. A new definition of community-engaged arts education is suggested, which emphasizes equitable access and funding while enhancing the ways in which students participate in and connect to the curriculum. This definition further informs a set of recommendations toward future improvements in curriculum design and professional development, community partnerships and collaborative artist residencies, and policy and data reporting at the state and federal levels.

Included in

Art Education Commons