Students build artistic literacy in an art form by applying foundational knowledge and skills while working in four processes fundamental to the arts: Creating, Responding, Performing/Presenting, and Connecting. The Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in the Arts include five arts areas: dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts.

Distance Learning Resources

Please visit the Student Instruction COVID-19 Resources webpage to find resources for providing student instruction via distance learning. You can also subscribe to email alerts to receive notifications when the resources on the Student Instruction page are updated.

Standards, Assessment and Graduation Requirements 

The 2008 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in the Arts were revised during the 2017-18 school year. The rulemaking process is complete, and the date by which schools must implement the 2018 arts standards is the 2021-22 school year. Relevant rulemaking documents are available on the Minnesota Department of Education's Arts Rulemaking webpage. The next arts standards review will happen during the 2027-28 school year.
Arts standards are assessed at the classroom level through teacher- and district-developed assessments. Districts must have a process to assess and evaluate each student's progress toward meeting standards.
Graduation requirements in the arts include credit requirements and standards requirements. All students are required to satisfactorily complete one arts credit encompassing the high school academic standards in the relevant arts area. View an overview of these requirements. Find additional information on the Graduation Requirements webpage.

Professional Learning and Upcoming Events

For curriculum leaders: MDE hosts several meetings for curriculum leaders focused on implementing the arts standards each school year. Contact Alina Campana, Arts Specialist, for more information. Note: These meetings are targeted for district-level curriculum and instructional leaders. That can include teachers in some cases when they in leadership roles for the district. If you are also looking for teacher professional learning opportunities, the Perpich Center for Arts Education and professional arts education organizations offer professional learning for teachers.
For teachers: The Perpich Center for Arts Education is a state agency dedicated to supporting arts education across Minnesota. Professional development staff provide district, school, and one-on-one support statewide in the arts including: arts instruction and assessment, curriculum development, district arts programming, standards implementation, and other professional development opportunities.

Legislative Initiatives and Special Projects

Turnaround Arts
Turnaround Arts, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is based on the premise that high-quality learning in and through the arts can strengthen school transformation efforts, boost academic achievement, and increase student engagement in schools facing some of the toughest educational challenges. Turnaround Arts: Minnesota began working with schools across Minnesota in 2014, and became an MDE program in 2018. Participating schools have demonstrated increased student achievement, increased student and family engagement, decreased suspensions and behavior increased teacher instructional capacity, and improved school culture and climate. Read more on Turnaround Arts in Minnesota.
Arts Education Data Project 
The Arts Education Data Project is a partnership between Creative Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Perpich Center for Arts Education. Its aim is to understand what student access to arts education looks like across the state. This tool helps schools, principals, superintendents, families and community members learn what arts courses are offered in public Minnesota schools. As reporting improves, the project will also examine whether access to and participation in arts education is equitable across Minnesota and for different groups of students. 

Recognition and Awards Programs 

The Minnesota Scholars of Distinction program nurtures and recognizes distinguished achievement by highly motivated, self-directed students. In the arts, Scholars of Distinction awards may be earned in Theater Arts. Learn more about this opportunity, in general, by visiting the Scholars of Distinction webpage, or for information specific to the Theater Arts award, visit the Perpich Center for the Arts website.

Content Specialist Contact Information

For more information, contact Alina Campana, Arts Specialist, at 651-582-8706 or

Resources for Instruction and Learning

Many resources to support curriculum and instruction aligned to the 2018 Arts Standards are outlined below.

MDE and the Perpich Center for Arts Education are partnering to develop supports and materials to aid local education agencies and arts educators in the transition to the 2018 arts standards.

2018 Arts Strands and Anchor Standards is a quick view of the 2018 anchor standards and strands that unite all five arts areas.

Glossary for the 2018 Arts Standards provides definitions of terms found in the 2018 Arts Standards by arts area.
Foundations Overview summarizes the shift in the way foundational knowledge and skills are present in the 2018 arts standards, and provides recommendations for how to address foundations in curriculum development.

Recommended Transition Timeline can be used to assist educators and local educational agencies in the transition to the 2018 arts standards. This timeline identifies phases between now and full implementation that could be followed during the district or school review process. Note: this timeline could change as a result of the formal rulemaking process. 

Note about February 2020 updates to 2018 draft standards

As of February 2020, the draft 2018 Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards in the Arts are still proceeding through the rulemaking process. Some updates have been made to the official draft of the standards and were posted here in early February 2020. Those updates are:

  • No wording was changed.

  • A key and introductory language have been added.

  • Italicized terms are aligned with the arts standards glossary.

  • Bolding for foundations has been refined.

  • The computer science-related benchmarks have been accurately marked with **.

  • A few typos have been corrected.

  • Additional columns for tracking lesson/unit and assessment of each benchmark.Standards and Related Information

Standards and Related Information