Lawmakers, students and arts groups gathered at Legislative Hall in Dover for Arts Advocacy Day.
The theme of this year’s advocacy day is education. According to the Delaware Arts Alliance, there's a direct link between arts education and business in the First State.
"It is understood that when kids are educated more fully with the inclusion of the arts they have a competitive edge at the end of the day," DAA Executive Director Dr. Guillermina Gonzalez said. That means better test scores and the increased likelihood of finishing college, according to the national nonprofit Americans for the Arts.
Gonzalez said in order to build on Delaware’s annual $142 million dollar arts industry, education needs to be a top priority.
Americans for the Arts Education Program Manager Jeff Poulin said traditional education models are shifting to include the arts.
"So we’ve seen a transition from STEM to STEAM, science, technology, engineering, the arts and math to bring about innovation, collaboration and new types of skill sets in the workplace," he said.
The event featured student artwork, performances from the Music School of Delaware, and readings from the winners of the Delaware Poetry Out Loud competition
Arts Advocacy Day is sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts, State Rep. Deborah Heffernan (D-Brandywne Hundred) and State Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover).