National Guild For Community Arts Education

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Mission, Vision & Strategic Priorities

The National Guild for Community Arts Education supports and advances lifelong learning opportunities in the arts. We foster the creation and development of community arts education organizations by providing research and information resources, professional development, networking opportunities, funding, and advocacy on behalf of the field.


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Our more than 400 member institutions include community schools of the arts; arts centers; and arts education divisions of performing arts institutions, universities, museums, and other institutions. They are located in urban, suburban, and rural communities in 45 states.

Collectively, our members offer arts instruction to more than 2.5 million students each year, employ more than 20,000 teaching artists, and reach some 8 million more Americans through performances and exhibitions. In addition to providing instruction within their own facilities, most members collaborate with other organizations—including social services agencies, public schools, and healthcare providers—to provide arts education in their communities.

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Guild members have played a seminal role in ensuring community-wide access to quality arts instruction. The antecedents of the movement emerged in the late nineteenth century as arts programs provided by urban settlement houses and neighborhood centers. Over the past 100 years, sustainable business models and strong community connections make Guild members one of the most influential segments of the arts sector in terms of lifelong impact.

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This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.