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"The arts aren't extraneous, extracurricular or expendable. They are essential."

– Governor Mike Huckabee,
ECS Chairman, 2004-06


Putting the Arts Front and Center on the Education Agenda
In July 2004, Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas became the 41st governor to assume the chairmanship of the Education Commission of the States. On July 15, 2004, at the ECS National Forum on Education Policy in Orlando, Florida, Governor Huckabee sat down with Richard (Dick) Deasy, director of the Arts Education Partnership, to talk about why he chose the arts in education as the focus of his Chairman's initiative and what he plans to accomplish during his two-year term.

Putting Arts Education Front and Center
Read the Education Week commentary by Governor Mike Huckabee and former Secretary of Education Rod Paige.

The Arts Are Important for Everyone
In his November 12, 2004 E-Newsletter, Governor Huckabee writes about the essential role of the arts in each person's life, from the impact of getting his first guitar to the boost the arts give to children's capacity to learn and succeed. "Inside every human being there are treasures to unlock. We owe it to each young Arkansan to ensure that whatever their talents are, the doors are open for them. After all, education is about opening doors ... An early introduction to the arts can start Arkansas children down that road to lifelong learning."

Letter from Governor Huckabee to ECS Commissioners
ECS Chairman and Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee writes abouton the essential role of the arts in every child's education.

The Arts – A Lifetime of Learning
In his July 15, 2004, speech accepting the ECS chairmanship, Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas outlined the initiative – The Arts: A Lifetime of Learning – that will be the centerpiece of his two-year term. Governor Huckabee explains the importance of the issue to him personally, as well as the three main components of his initiative. Read Governor Huckabee's views and personal experiences on the power of the arts in education.