A well-rounded education includes the arts (music, dance, theater, visual arts, literature, film). The arts encourage creativity, innovation, and self-confidence—essential skills for a 21st century workforce. The arts have been shown to reach students that don’t learn well through traditional methods, sparking an interest in learning and academic achievement. Increased school attendance, civic engagement, and decrease anti-social behaviors have all been linked to arts education. Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA ) can help schools include the arts in their curriculum in a variety of ways.

Performance Support

TCA offers a program to provide affordable ($150 on up) high-quality artists who are willing to travel to schools to do performances, workshops, residencies, and master classes. TCA maintains a searchable list of these artists called the Texas Touring Roster. Artists of all disciplines and genres compete for the chance to be part of the roster. Many of these artists offer programs specifically designed to work with the Texas curriculum on a variety of subjects. The roster has artists ready to work with students from pre-K through high school and beyond. Schools (public, private, homeschool) may apply to TCA for a portion of the cost of bringing these artists to their campus. It is a simple application process based on the dates of the performance. To apply, visit with TCA Program Staff.

This video demonstrates the program:

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national program created by the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. TCA provides Texas schools with Poetry Out Loud lesson plans, resources, and the opportunity to work with Texas poets. Students choose poems to memorize and recite from the Poetry Out Loud website. Schools hold competitions to determine the student who will go on to the statewide competition each February. The state winner competes in the national finals in April.  Visit the TCA Poetry Out Loud webpage for more information.

Young Masters

This program awards grants for summer study to the most talented and promising young artists in our state. This is a highly competitive program open to 8th to 11th graders of all artistic disciplines. The winners receive the title of Young Master and are awarded grants to help further their studies in their chosen arts discipline. Past Young Masters have used the grant to attend summer programs at Juilliard, Interlochen, Alvin Ailey, Joffrey School of Ballet, Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, Digital Media Academy, School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, and Maryland Institute College of Art among others.  Visit the Young Masters Program webpage for more information.

Community Connections

Our grants fund activities provided by arts organizations across the state. TCA can help connect you with arts organizations in your community that may be able to provide arts programming in your school. Contact TCA Program Staff or search our list of grantees by city online.

TCA Staff

Our staff has the expertise to help you develop a plan for incorporating the arts into your curriculum. We can point you to best practices and working models across the state. We can connect you to resources and experts.

Free or low-cost resources:

Art and Media Communications is a TEA approved curriculum developed by the Texas Cultural Trust focused on teaching 9th grade students 21st century workforce skills in the creative media arts. Specific emphasis is placed on media literacy and cultural studies on top of rigorous explorations into the contemporary visual art and media design fields.

The Art-To-Go lending library of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston features materials that may easily be integrated across the K–12 curriculum. Resources include DVDs, music CDs, children’s books, study guides, poster sets, and more.

North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts (NTIEVA)
has had more than fifteen years of experience in providing quality professional development experiences in comprehensive art education, museum education, technology training, arts advocacy, and leadership development for a wide variety of audiences. Their website offers a wide variety of curriculum materials, study prints, and other electronically-based materials.

Arts Education Service Organizations:

Center for Educator Development in the Fine Arts

National Art Education Association

North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts

Texas Art Education Association

Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance

Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education

Texas Education Agency

Texas Educational Theatre Association

Texas Music Educators Association

Young Audiences Arts for Learning