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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.
Iowa Arts Education Data Project
Explore fine arts education access and opportunities in Iowa by visiting the Iowa Arts Education Data Project webpage.
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.
- Guidance for the Implementation of Iowa’s Fine Arts Standards – Provides guidance on how to use Iowa's Fine Arts Standards.
- General Music Standards, K–8 (revised from National Coalition for Core Arts Standards)
Note: A small number of changes were made to the National Core Arts Standards to eliminate redundancies, provide clarification, and create developmentally appropriate expectations and continuity across grade levels. All changes are listed in blue. Blue font indicates minor changes to language, while blue highlighted areas indicate larger-scale changes to whole performance standards.
- Harmonizing Instruments Standards
- Music Composition and Theory Standards, 9–12
- Music Technology Standards, 9–12
- Traditional and Emerging Ensembles Standards
- Glossary for Music Standards
- Theatre Standards, K–12 (revised from National Coalition for Core Arts Standards)
Note: Minor changes were made to the National Core Arts Standards to provide clarification and create developmentally appropriate expectations and continuity across grade levels. All changes are listed in blue font.
- Glossary for Theatre Standards
Visual Arts Standards
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:
- Introducing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
- Understanding Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
- Applying and Connecting Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
- Assessing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
- Resources for Implementing Iowa's Fine Arts Standards
To enroll in the modules, go to https://training.aealearningonline.org
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 https://ihsma.org/.
For information about Iowa visual arts student exhibits and competition opportunities, contact the Art Educators of Iowa at http://www.artedia.org.
For information about Iowa theatre and drama competition opportunities, contact the Iowa High School Speech Association (http://www.ihssa.org/) and Iowa Thespians (http://www.iowathespians.org/).
The following arts education organizations are actively serving Iowa educators in areas of professional development, advocacy, and leadership opportunities: