Why Art Boxes?
The Texas Cultural Trust’s research has illustrated the lack of equity in quality arts education access between school districts, campuses, and among various demographics. In Texas, rural schools offer 70% fewer arts courses than suburban schools, and teachers in high-poverty schools serve 32% more students than teachers at low-poverty schools. This means arts classrooms are overcrowded in high-poverty schools and in rural schools there are fewer arts opportunities.
The Trust’s research proves the arts support mental health and social and emotional learning while also increasing academic success and cultivating lifelong skills including collaboration, communication, critical thinking, innovation, creativity, and problem-solving. Additionally, In Texas, students who complete more arts courses are twice as likely to graduate high school, earn 15% higher pass rates on standardized tests, have higher attendance rates, and are 22% more likely to attend college.
Reinforced by these findings and the fact that many students in marginalized communities do not own or have these types of art supplies at home, the Trust launched the Art Box project within its Arts Access program to provide students in Title I communities basic art resources to encourage creativity, help them express their feelings, reflect on current events, and engage with others at home.