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About ArtsBridge America


ArtsBridge America is a 10-state network of 19 public universities and their surrounding schools that confronts the problem of the elimination of the arts from K-12 schools. ArtsBridge works to create partnerships between universities and public school, using college students in the arts to keep arts education in K-12 education.

The ArtsBridge America model creates university and K-12 school partnerships that allow university students and K-12 school teachers the opportunity to create and implement lessons that integrate the arts into the traditional curricula in ways that address both specific classroom needs as well as state and national standards in visual and performing arts.

ArtsBridge programs at universities across the country create university and K-12 school collaborations by partnering university students (ArtsBridge Scholars) with K-12 supervising teachers (ArtsBridge Host Teachers) to introduce interdisciplinary arts instruction through hands-on projects. Over the course of a semester, ArtsBridge scholars spend 1-3 hours a week in the classroom integrating art, dance, drama, digital art, and music to create unique lessons in the arts linked to language arts, math, science, and social studies.  Under the guidance of a university faculty mentor, ArtsBridge scholars works collaboratively with K-12 teachers to create unique lessons in the arts that are linked to and enhance the core curriculum. For elementary teachers without specialization in the arts, this support can awaken teachers’ appreciation for the value of arts in education. And for arts specialists, these passionate young artists can supplement and expand existing arts instruction.

ArtsBridge America was founded 1996 at the University of California, Irvine by Jill Beck to bring the arts back into K-12 schools by engaging schoolchildren in the art making process through university-school collaborations. With national headquarters located on the University of California, Irvine, ArtsBridge America is a unique research-based arts education outreach program associated with the Center for Learning in the Arts, Sciences, and Sustainability. ArtsBridge America is a national network of arts education and outreach programs at 22 universities in 13 states dedicated to providing high-quality arts instruction to K-12 schoolchildren through hands-on experiences in the arts.


ArtsBridge and Arts Education


  • Pupils of ArtsBridge scholars benefit from positive interaction with postsecondary education at an early age. A recent survey revealed that over half of pupils expressed an interest in attending college because of the ArtsBridge experience and their interactions with ArtsBridge scholars.

  • Over 90 percent of ArtsBridge host teachers documented an improvement in the levels of arts appreciation among their students. Nearly 80 percent of teachers observed an improvement in students’ art skills. Over 80 percent of teachers reported that they gained disciplinary knowledge in the arts and/or technology through the one-on-one professional development offered in ArtsBridge.

  • Research suggests that arts learning and practice in programs like ArtsBridge has numerous positive impacts on students’ cognitive development. Over 65 percent of ArtsBridge host teachers reported increased verbal or language ability among their students. Nearly 60 percent of teachers attributed improved student concentration levels to ArtsBridge.

  • ArtsBridge has mutually beneficial impacts on teachers and scholars. A majority of ArtsBridge scholars have expressed an interest in public school teaching as a direct result of professional development provided by ArtsBridge. At the same time, 62 percent of host teachers reported that they felt more comfortable delivering instruction in the arts.