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Fine Arts


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The information on this page is intended to be used by educators, administrators, area education agencies, students, parents and other individuals who have an interest in fine arts education in Iowa. Fine arts education includes the disciplines of Dance, General Music, Instrumental Music, Media Arts, Theatre, Visual Art and Vocal Music.

Coming Soon: Iowa Arts Education Data Project, Early Viewing Window for Schools Now Open and Extended

The Iowa Arts Education Data Project will showcase Iowa’s arts education data through a user-friendly, interactive dashboard. The dashboard is intended to promote meaningful dialogue around arts education across the state; and to encourage equitable and data-driven decisions by schools, districts, educators, community members, and policymakers that support a well-rounded education for all Iowa students.

The Iowa Arts Education Data Project will display high school course and enrollment data by fine arts discipline - dance, music, theatre, visual arts, and media arts/other - as well as by grade level, gender, and school demographics. Stakeholders can use the data to determine areas of strength as well as areas of need. By providing a variety of demographic lenses as well as various grain sizes by which to view the data - state, AEA region, district, and school - the dashboard provides compelling snapshots of fine arts education access and opportunities across Iowa.

The dashboard will be accessible through this page and will go live later this year. Districts and schools will have a password protected early viewing window beginning March 16th. The viewing window has been extended to accommodate spring school closures and the needs of the field given the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about our partners, visit the the national Arts Educations Data Project website.

Need early access or have further questions? Contact Angela Matsuoka at 515-782-7296 or

Fine Arts Standards

Iowa's Fine Arts Standards were approved and adopted by the Iowa State Board of Education on November 15, 2017, based on an Iowa team's recommendation. Learn about the adoption process and access the final report on the Fine Arts Standards Adoption Team webpage.


Dance Standards

Media Standards

Music Standards

Theatre Standards

Visual Arts Standards

Early Childhood

Fine arts standards for early childhood are included in the Iowa Early Learning Standards - 3rd Edition - Area 5, Creative Arts, pages 166-181.


Looking for more resources to support implementation of Iowa's Fine Arts Standards? Check out our repository of templates, tools, lesson plans, and assessments available on AEA Learning Online. Log in, then search Module 5: Resources For Implementing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards. More information about the Online PD Modules. 

Online PD Modules

The Iowa Department of Education will partner with AEA Learning Online to offer five free online professional learning modules around Iowa's Fine Arts Standards. Designed to be flexible to district and educator needs, they can be taken individually or bundled together for one license renewal credit.

The modules are:

  1. Introducing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
  2. Understanding Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
  3. Applying and Connecting Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
  4. Assessing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
  5. Resources for Implementing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards

To enroll in the modules, go to:


The following laws reference arts education:

Good Conduct-GPA Policies and Curricular and Co-Curricular Activities - The attached guidance document explains the restrictions on imposing grade penalties for imposing academic penalties in curricular activities (such as vocal music and instrumental music competitions) based on application of a school's Good Conduct rule or minimum GPA standards for participation in activities.

Festivals, Contests, Exhibits & Competitions

For information about Iowa high school music festivals/contests, contact the Iowa High School Music Association at 515-432-2013 or

Visual Arts
For information about Iowa visual arts student exhibits and competition opportunities, contact the Art Educators of Iowa,

For information about Iowa theatre and drama competition opportunities,contact the Iowa High School Speech Association ( and Iowa Thespians (

Professional Organizations

The following arts education organizations are actively serving Iowa educators in areas of professional development, advocacy, and leadership opportunities:

Art Educators of Iowa

First Iowa Orff Chapter 28 - Cedar Falls

Greater Des Moines Orff Chapter 48

Iowa Alliance for Arts Education

Iowa Arts Council

Iowa Bandmasters Association

Iowa Communication Association

Iowa Choral Directors Association

Iowa High School Speech Association

Iowa Music Educators Association

Iowa Music Teachers Association

Iowa String Teachers Association

Iowa Thespians

Jazz Educators of Iowa

KEI - Kodaly Educators of Iowa

Sioux Valley Orff - Sioux City

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 23, 2020 at 4:40pm.