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Center for Instructional Support


The 2019 Massachusetts Framework for the Arts establishes that all Massachusetts students will develop artistic literacy through active participation in the arts, expressing creative ideas with skill, confidence, and artistic intent.

A high-quality arts education empowers students to take artistic risks and supports the social emotional and learning needs of all students. Through practices related to creating, presenting/performing, responding, and connecting, students will understand the role of the arts in their individual lives and interests. While recognizing the intrinsic value of the arts, students will also discover the meaningful connections between the arts and other disciplines, and how the arts contribute to their communities and cultures around the world.

As art students respond to great artists and works of art, they develop the ability to analyze artworks in terms of their formal qualities, historic style, social context, and artistic intent. The practice of responding to works of art builds perceptive acuity and aesthetic sensitivity. A rigorous progression of learning and engagement with the arts throughout Pre-K–12 education is the foundation for a rich, lifelong relationship with the arts.

Information about the Arts & Cultural Vitality Index

Click here to find out more about how this voluntary resource can be used to support equity and culturally sustaining practices in Massachusetts' arts programs, including:

  • A description of the resource's contents
  • Funding and learning opportunities, when available
  • The downloadable Word document of the resource

Arts Learning Standards and Supporting Documents

PreK–12 Foundational Skills Progressions in the Arts

This resource provides schools and districts with additional guidance for unpacking the 2019 Arts Curriculum Framework by identifying how aligned foundational skills can be supported and developed in each arts discipline.

Media Arts Foundational Skills are anticipated for release in SY24-25.

PD Pack 1- Implementing the Arts Framework
Providing content-specific Professional Development (PD) is essential for teachers of the arts. This resource supports leaders and facilitators of PD in the arts by providing:

  • a pre-organized program for delivery
  • high-quality PD content developed by DESE

Contact for the Arts

Dawn BenskiArts Content Support Lead

Last Updated: May 23, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.