What makes the month of March so special to us, as art educators? Simple, Youth Art Month! March is the month to celebrate Youth Art and promote art and art education in the United States with thousands of American School participating in art shows and other events. In Wisconsin, there are regional student shows throughout the state and a culminating state show at the Madison Capital to exhibit artwork from talented artists throughout Wisconsin. Now, you might wonder, what else can I do to bring attention to the importance of art and art education?
Art educators are naturally creative so there are always a million ideas buzzing around in our heads. Here is one of my favorites. During the month of March, have a daily Art Trivia question on the morning announcements so that students start each day in March with Art! The questions can range from, “What two colors mixed together can make brown?” to “How long did Leonardo da Vinci spend painting the Mona Lisa’s lips?” The variety of questions allows for different grade levels to participate and guess the answer. You can put a box outside your classroom door and randomly choose one of the correct answers to give a prize. I also like to throw in a couple cheesy art jokes, such as, “What did the artist say to the dentist?” Of course, the answer, “Matisse Hurt!” Either way, you will get a good chuckle in the morning reading the punch lines from your inventive students. Then, on the last day of March, make the trivia question, “Why is art important?” and see what your students can come up with. Choosing a few answers to be read over the announcements will remind students and staff why we do what we do.
Youth Art Month is a perfect time to advocate for art because it is already brought to national attention. Why not try a couple engaging tricks within your school and community to remind everyone that art is a different, special, and necessary? Perhaps you can have a local business donate a billboard to display student artwork. Maybe you want to have students create beautiful knee bowls to donate to the local senior citizen home. You might even organize a flash mob for your school assembly to remind people that art is all around us and it deserves to be recognized and celebrated! Whatever you choose to do, just remember to do something to celebration Youth Art Month throughout March.