Youth Art Month: Highlighting Student Voices

By Joni Starr, Liz Wylegala, and Clara Martinez

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

Of the eight overall goals of Youth Art Month, there is one in particular that teachers can easily get behind:

To direct attention to the value of art education which develops divergent and critical thinking skills; multicultural awareness; and technical, communication and expressive skills.

The goals, however, encompass more than learning inside of a school. Another goal that stirs the community is:

To increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.

Another of the eight goals in which MAEIA strongly leans into is:

To recognize art education as a viable component in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.

And when interviewing students about their artistry, although not directly using these words, it is obvious that they connect with this goal:

To recognize that art is a necessity for a better quality of life for all people.

We at MAEIA support Youth Art Month in highlighting student voices from multiple art disciplines. Below, students from St. Martha School in Okemos and Everett High School in Lansing tell us why the arts are important to them. Enjoy!


St. Martha’s Kindergartner Ari Dervishaj says, “Art is important because it helps me with math and I can help others with their drawings.”

St. Martha’s 3rd grader Alexander Williams says he loves art because “you don’t have to do one thing, you can be as creative as you want to be.”











St. Martha’s 2nd grader, Raphael Torres – double click image to play video.

St. Martha’s 2nd grader, Chloe Ingram – double click image to play video.










Dance students from Everett High School – double click image to play video.

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