Members of the 2021 BYAAC Cohort with Sheena Morrison

In 2021, Arts Every Day established Bmore Youth Arts Advocacy Council(BYAAC). The Council provides a platform for  youth creatives in grades 10-12 to learn about and impact school policymaking.

Youth council members meet with local and state leaders to demystify what the school board does, who its members are and how as students they can be actively involved in the decision making processes that put arts education programs at risk. As council members,  they are poised to take the lead in a public awareness campaign that engages students and parents; all of the district’s schools teachers, and principals; in and out school partners; the broader community of stakeholders and legislators through messaging that amplifies arts equity goals.

Their work together centers on strategies to raise public awareness about the benefits of an arts education, identifying barriers to equitable access to the arts and the identification of potential allies who would be in support of policies that made the arts accessible to every student in every school. 

Youth council members employ  the use of the “Declaration of the Rights of all Students to Equity in Arts Learning,” authored by the Equity Committee of Create CA (2016) as a framework for shaping campaign efforts to encourage parents, teachers, principals, school board members, legislators and other decision makers to pledge to the realization of these ideals. 

“When we would have our interviews and when people from the school board were coming to visit us...it was just really interesting to get their take on things and see how it aligned or if it did align with us.”
Kolin
City Neighbors High School
“The thing about being a student is the overwhelmingness that comes with work and just living and being young. Sometimes acting for your own education isn't the first thought in your mind. I'm sure there are so many students who would love to but they don't know how to start. We need to advocate more and we need people to advocate more for us."
Senae
Baltimore School for the Arts
“What stood out for me, was how all of us could research and then come back and do the presentation… It felt like we all contributed to it and put in the work. And it was really good. I felt like we really got somewhere with the audience…. Yeah."
Keyona
Baltimore School for the Arts

Student Narratives

Student Myra Hicks on How Band Helped Make Them a Better Math Student

Youth Shares Own Experience Growing Up in the Arts

“Arts should not be a privilege”, Bmore Youth Arts Advocacy Council Member, Jennifer Zheng Explains

For more information, you may email Baltimore Arts Education Initiative Manager, Sheena Morrison at sheena@artseveryday.org