A photo of one of the members of Bridge and Wolak Duo, smiling while holding an accordion.

Arts on Tour Educational Outreach

About AOT’s Educational Outreach

Arts on Tour is passionate about the importance of arts in education and in the impact it makes in lives of our youth. We are grateful for opportunities that allow us to bring top-tier artists from around the world into our schools as well as help our community address the Idaho State Humanities Curriculum.

In addition to our public Arts on Tour performances, we offer three school outreach programs throughout the season, free of charge to various student age groups. These outreach opportunities include everything from master classes, workshops, or student performances. Since 1988, these outreach programs have influenced the lives of over 57,000 local children and youth!

Educators and Administrators: If you would like your students to be a part of the Arts on Tour student outreach programs, please contact the Magic Valley Arts Council at (208) 734-2787.

Theater etiquette

Coming to the theater to see a live performance is a special experience. To be a good audience member it's important to know how to act in the theater. Here are some tips explaining what is expected of audience members. Please feel free to go over this information with your children/students before coming to the show, so they know what is expected of them at a live performance.

Theater Etiqutte Guide

Student work

“The combination of hip hop and classical made it fun for kids. The differences added touches to each type of music like the classical adding flair to the hip hop and the hip hop made the classical fill the room.”

Kate, 5th grade

“Sometimes I’m very serious because it’s hard to communicate in a foreign language well. I learned from this performance we don’t need language to tell emotions. The most important thing to understand what we think each other is showing emotions such as joyful or sadness. Music has a power. One more thing I felt today’s performance was to respect their tradition. Every country around the world has peculiar songs, dance, or instruments. This is a good opportunity to know other cultures and to reconsider our own country.”

Emily Oi, 6th grade

“I learned a lot when we went to the Kahulanui performance. I had always wondered what made the sound the steel guitar makes. Learning about where all the instruments came from and how they got to Hawaii. I also learned about how they got the jazz sound into the traditional Hawaiian music. I loved all the songs they played. I had not been feeling very happy, but that music made me happy."

Sam, 5th grade

What teachers say about the Arts on Tour outreaches

“That was one of the greatest cultural experiences for any school. Bernard is a master teacher connecting with our pre-school children all the way up to our seniors. Thank you for bringing this group to our community.”

Kevin Newbry, Superintendent

“In 25 years of teaching, this was the best assembly I’ve ever attended. It engaged students from preschool to high school in an energizing way to develop an appreciation of another culture’s music, dance, and values.”

Bryan DeVore, Teacher

“My students came back to class very excited and interested in learning more.”

Julie Ransom, Teacher

“I thought that the assembly was the best one we have ever had! It was very interactive and kept the kids involved and paying attention the whole time. The leader of the group also did a great job helping our students connect to the cultural significance of the music and the dances. Bringing such important cultural lessons from around the world to our students here in Idaho is so important to help them develop a balanced worldview and a greater understanding of the beauty that exists in our world’s cultural differences.”

Tobie Helman, Teacher

Photos of student outreach

A performance by Black Violin.
A performance by Bria.
A performance by Kahulanui
A performance by LA Cello.
A performance by LA Theater Works.
A performance by Ole.
A performance by Peking Acrobatics.
A performance by Saakumu.

Videos of student outreach

A few facts about arts in the schools...

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

Pablo Picasso

Those of us who love the arts know that standing before a Van Gough can make your soul sing... that a heartbreakingly beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" can bring tears to your eyes... that watching two hours of Irish Step Dancing can keep you energized for weeks! That said, we are also finding that, increasingly, controlled studies reveal a powerful, positive relationship between study in the arts and other academic subjects, attitudes, and behaviors.

Did you know?

Young people who participate in the arts for at least three hours on three days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
  • 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
  • 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
  • 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
  • 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem

Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

  • Attend music, art, and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
  • Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
  • Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
  • Perform community service more than four times as often
    • (Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations, Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts Monograph, November 1998)

The facts are that arts education...

  • Makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the "learning field" across socio-economic boundaries.
    • (Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School, James S. Catterall, The UCLA Imagination Project, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, UCLA, Americans for the Arts Monograph, January 1998)
  • Has a measurable impact on youth at risk in deterring delinquent behavior and truancy problems while also increasing overall academic performance among those youth engaged in after school and summer arts programs targeted toward delinquency prevention.
    • (YouthARTS Development Project, 1996, U.S. Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts)

Businesses understand that arts education...

  • Builds a school climate of high expectation, discipline, and academic rigor that attracts businesses relocating to your community.
  • Strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
  • Helps students develop a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting skills needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond.
  • Can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to destructive behavior and another way for students to approach learning.
  • Provides another opportunity for parental, community, and business involvement with schools, including arts and humanities organizations.
  • Helps all students develop more appreciation and understanding of the world around them.
  • Helps students develop a positive work ethic and pride in a job well done.
    • (Business Circle for Arts Education in Oklahoma, "Arts at the Core of Learning 1999 Initiative")

For more information about Arts in Education, visit the Americans for the Arts website or the Idaho Commission on the Arts website.

2024-2025 Artist Lineup