Celebrating Youth Art Month with Student Voices

By Joni Starr, Liz Wylegala, and Cat Weaver

Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality school art programs. We at MAEIA thought the best way to discover the value of art education was to ask students. In this blog post we happily bring you students from St. Martha’s School in Okemos and from Dwight Rich School of the Arts in Lansing, alongside a listing of the goals of Youth Art Month. Enjoy!

Adaure is a St. Martha’s 4th grader.
“I feel happy when I make art!
I love all the supplies we get to use at school. It’s cool.”



Alex is a St. Martha’s 1st grader. “Art is so colorful. I like art because it seems like there is science in there too with the color mixing and figuring things out.”









Started in 1961 by the ACMI (Art and Craft Materials Institute) in cooperation with the NAEA (National Art Education Association), Youth Art Month is administered by the Council for Art Education (CAE) and focuses on eight goals.

  1. To direct attention to the value of art education which develops divergent and critical thinking skills; multicultural awareness; and technical, communication and expressive skills.
  2. To increase community, business and governmental support for art education.
  3. To recognize that art is a necessity for a better quality of life for all people.
  4. To expand art programs in schools and stimulate new ones.




Joey is a St. Martha’s 3rd grader. “Art is so fun. It helps if you want to be an artist, but anyway…you get to learn so many things. Zoom was annoying.”







Anthony is a St. Martha’s 4th grader. His artwork, The King of Knives, was just accepted into the Ingham Student Art Exhibit hosted by the Lansing Art Gallery! “You get to be with your friends and share ideas. I have learned all about materials like oil pastel, watercolor and sharpie. It’s so fun.”



  1. To increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.
  2. To provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.
  3. To encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
  4. To recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.

Observation of Youth Art Month is carried out by volunteers around the country including teachers, parents, leaders of youth and arts organizations, businesspeople and students. What are you doing to celebrate March as Youth Art Month?

Content made on Kapwing

Dwight Rich School of the Arts students speak about why the arts are important to them.

MAEIA is grateful to Liz Wylegala, art teacher at St. Martha’s School, and Cat Weaver of Dwight Rich School of the Arts, focus teacher, for capturing the student experience.

Joni Starr serves as the MAEIA Blog Editor and Researcher for assessment prompt material. She is also an Arts Integration Consultant for Ingham Intermediate School District and a Teaching Artist with Wharton Center for Performing Arts. Joni spent 10 years teaching at Michigan State University sharing time between the Theatre and Teacher Education departments. She has experience in theatre production, curriculum development, formative assessment, and teacher professional development in arts integration and creativity in the classroom.

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