New Research Report Reflects Importance of Arts Education

(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) released today its newest report on the Partnering Arts, Communities, and Education (PACE) program written by Dr. F. Robert Sabol of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

The 2018-2019 PACE Project Report reflects a collection of data on student growth and shows that, through arts integration, students are gaining knowledge, skills, and understanding in the arts and in literacy skills. This research demonstrates that the arts create important pathways to learning for students and that learning through the arts produces long-lasting, positive impacts. The data shows, when there is a highly qualified teaching artist embedded in the school’s learning, students benefit.

Students increased all areas of knowledge and skills an average of 16%. Specifically:

  • Students writing skills increased an average of 18%
  • Student art skills increased an average of 28%
  • Student engagement in school increased an average of 15%
  • Student communication skills increased an average of 14%

“The PACE program holds significant potential for making positive impacts on the educational foundations of citizens in Indiana, and for making long-term contributions to the health, growth, and vitality of the state of Indiana,” said Dr. Sabol. 

The PACE program model introduces local arts professionals into the classroom once a week for the entire school year connecting art with language arts lessons. Teachers who have been involved for several years find benefit in the arts activities as well as the social-emotional development for their students.

“The students were engaged with the artist the entire time the artist was in the classroom. The artist gave the students unique experiences that they would not have received if we would not have had this opportunity,” said one PACE school teacher.

The PACE program has supported 1,635 students in their learning since 2015, serving schools in Michigan City, Indianapolis, Nashville, New Albany, Fort Wayne, Kokomo, Terre Haute, Marion, and South Bend, Indiana. All schools participating in the PACE program meet eligibility criteria of high percentages of free and reduced lunches and below state average of the percentage of students passing state testing.

For more information about the PACE program, contact Stephanie Haines at 317 232-1274 or email

Read the 2020 PACE summary here.
Read the full 2018-2019 PACE assessment report here.