Equity, the Arts, and Urban Education: A Review

Amelia M. Kraehe, Joni B. Acuff, Sarah Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This review examines empirical studies of educational equity in and through the arts with broad implications for urban education. It extends the literature by (a) describing the interrelated spaces of urban education and the arts, (b) integrating knowledge of arts education across formal and informal learning environments, and (c) examining the arts as a proximal measure of justice in education. The review pursued two questions: What is known about equity in arts education in the United States? And what role does arts education play in maintaining and challenging educational disparities? Findings suggest widespread macro- and micro-inequities produced in and through the arts. Additionally, arts equity research is scattered into silos, disconnected by methodological camps and sites of inquiry. This review brings greater coherence and recognition to an emerging knowledge base and models a multidimensional framework for research and evaluation of arts education policies and programs, particularly those targeting underserved urban communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-244
Number of pages25
JournalUrban Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Arts education
  • Equity
  • Race
  • Social justice
  • Urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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