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Components of an Arts Education and Student Wellness Ecosystem

Considering education as an ecosystem — rather than a single, independent system or agency — recognizes the interconnections between environments within and outside of schools that impact student well-being. When included as a key part of the wellness ecosystem, the arts can provide opportunities for students to express themselves and their emotions, build relationships with peers and mentors, and process and heal from trauma.

This resource from the Arts Education Partnership provides an overview of policies and actions at the local, state and federal levels that impact the health of this ecosystem and collaboration across agencies. It is designed to be a conversation starter, and the 10 Questions for Reflection and Action can help you further explore this vision for your community.

For related resources, see:


Thank you to the following AEP and Education Commission of the States staff and AEP Advisory Council Members for their input on this resource:

  • Cassandra Quillen, project manager, Arts Education Partnership
  • Deborah Lugo, executive director, Arts Connect Houston
  • Jamie Kasper, director, Arts Education Partnership
  • Jordan LaSalle, vice president of education, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Katie Berglof, master’s student, University of Seattle
  • Krystal Johnson, project manager, Arts Education Partnership
  • Martha McKenna, university professor, director of creativity commons, director of the graduate school of education’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies at Lesley University
  • Meghan McCann, senior policy analyst, Education Commission of the States
  • Rose Chu, senior systems fellow, Minnesota Education Equity Partnership


Feb. 25, 2022

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