The College Board Awards for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts began in 2011 as a part of Arts at the Core - an initiative with the goal of empowering education leaders, particularly in underresourced districts, to implement rigorous arts programming in their schools.

Additional Arts at the Core projects have included:

Education Leaders and the Arts: a national survey of school superintendents and principals, which invited them to share their views on the value of the arts in education and offer insights on how arts decisions are made in their districts. A research brief and slides highlighting key findings are available for download.

The Arts and the Common Core: Two phases of research on the alignment between arts learning and the objectives of the Common Core State Standards, as part of our ongoing partnership with the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS). A full report is available for download from the NCCAS website.

Additional Research for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards: In addition to the Common Core work, College Board staff completed several other research projects related to contemporary arts education. These projects were initiated with the goal of informing the development of the National Core Arts Standards. These projects include:

Arts-Integrated AP Curriculum Modules: Two curriculum modules providing models for AP-level arts-integrated instruction were completed in partnership with teams of AP teachers. One of the modules is a AP Biology module titled Visualizing Information. The other module, The Rhetoric of Monuments and Memorials , links arts study to AP English Language and Composition. Both modules are available on their respective course home pages.

AP Vertical Teams® Guide for Studio Art:

A completely revised and updated version of the AP Vertical Teams® Guide for Studio Art is available for purchase in the AP Store.

Outreach and Advocacy:

Staff associated with Arts at the Core routinely present at national arts education conferences, including those hosted by the National Art Education Association, the National Association for Music Education, and the Arts Education Partnership, among others. In addition, Nancy Rubino, senior director, Office of Academic Initiatives, has spoken on behalf of the College Board at the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization meeting for arts stakeholders at the U.S. Department of Education.

Publications related to Arts at the Core include:

  • Arts at the Core (.pdf/4.78 MB)
    2011 brochure describing the initiative.
  • Voices in the Arts (.pdf/1.56MB)
    2010 publication bringing together voices from artists, arts educators, and students. Their work and stories illustrate the important role that the arts can play in preparing students for college and career success.
  • Arts at the Core (.pdf/2.81MB)
    2009 brochure providing an introduction to the voices and ideas that make up the National Task Force on the Arts in Education (NTFAE). Learn more about the importance of the arts in education through these essays from leading thinkers and policymakers in arts education.
  • Arts at the Core: Recommendations for Advancing the State of Arts Education in the 21st Century (.pdf/2.39MB)
    2009 report from the National Task Force on the Arts in Education (NTFAE), confronting challenges to the state of the arts in education. The report identifies the many benefits of arts learning and sets forth eight key recommendations for advancing the place of the arts in American education.
  • Arts at the Core: Summary of Recommendations (.pdf/517.86KB)
    2009 summary of recommendations from the National Task Force on the Arts in Education (NTFAE).