New Study Reports Quality Arts Programs Attract Tweens

Several basic principles of quality in an arts education can attract tweens, says a new report by McClanahan Associates and Research for Action. The report documents the efforts of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) as it establishes arts programs for the young people.

These principles, including the establishment of high expectations, employment of professional teaching artists and the creation of well-equipped spaces, were described in a 2013 Wallace Foundation commissioned a study that surveyed small, arts-focused organizations. BGCA is working with Wallace to determine whether they can work in a large, multi-faceted national organization.

The new study suggests the principles didn’t just help teach artistic skills but instilled a passion for the arts that kept tween interested long enough to learn and appreciate the skills.

The study, Designing for Engagement: The Experiences of Tweens in the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Youth Arts Initiative, can be downloaded at

Citizens’ Board Member is Incoming President of Cultural Alliance of York County

The Board of Directors of the Cultural Alliance of York County have announced the retirement of their President Mary Anne Winkelman and the succession of Kelley Gibson, Citizens for the Arts Board Member, to the position of President. Ms. Gibson will start in her new role on January 1, 2019. Ms. Gibson previously served for five years as the Director of Communications and Engagement at the Cultural Alliance.

Prior to joining the Cultural Alliance, Ms. Gibson work in the field of online marketing. She started her career in the arts by becoming the Director of Marketing & Development for YorkArts, a partner agency of the Cultural Alliance. She is a 1996 graduate of York College of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in English.


British Doctors May Prescribe the Arts to Treat Ailments

The Smithsonian Magazine is reporting on a new initiative unveiled recently by British Health Secretary Matt Hancock that will allow doctors to prescribe therapeutic art lessons to treat ailments ranging from dementia to lung conditions. This approach, called Social Prescribing, demonstrates there are medical benefits to the therapeutic arts as a way to improve “concentration and communication skills” of dementia patients and singing lessons have been shown to increase the lung capacity of patients with lung diseases. You can access the article at

Similar studies have been conducted in Canada and the U.S. The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) recently supported a study, done by Dr. Catherine Richmond Cullen from the University of Scranton, on how the arts help Seniors combat loneliness. You can download a PowerPoint about this study here.

Shop Amazon Smile and Support Citizens for the Arts

Just in time for your holiday shopping, Citizens for the Arts in PA has registered with Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Citizens for the Arts every time you shop, at no cost to you.

  • You get the same prices and selection as you would normally receive

  • There is no cost to you

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  • Amazon Smile eligible purchases will be noted on the product detail page

Every eligible purchase you make on Amazon Smile will result in a 0.5% donation to Citizens for the Arts in PA. It’s just that simple. Click on Amazon Smile to begin shopping today!

Getting Federal Funding for Arts Education in Your School

A new report identifies 88 studies that make dozens of arts education activities eligible for funding under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Researchers at the American Institutes for Research poured over hundreds of reports to identify activities that meet the standards of evidence ESSA requires and found some programs could be eligible for federal funding, including offerings in the visual arts, dance, drama, and music.

Click here to read the list of the arts education activities that meet the standards to qualify for ESSA funding