This advocacy website is intended as a space for international dialogue about the value of art education in schools and the rights of children across the Americas to high-quality art education. Globalization is a double edge phenomenon. While it might threaten the preservation of national and local cultural values, it also provides opportunities to expand, enrich, and promote the local beyond its conventional boundaries. International art education is a mosaic where no single country or classroom have all the answers/questions for art education practice, and where each country adds something others might benefit from; exchange among arts education advocates provides opportunities to venture beyond our own paradigms. The challenges to keep art education in schools extend beyond national boundaries.[2,3] Creating a space of exchange for advocacy discourses and initiatives across the Americas promotes broader understanding and more tools to articulate the value of the art education.
In the region of the Americas there are more than seven official languages. Due, in part, to this linguistic diversity, scholarship in arts education advocacy has remained within the boundaries of nations or linguistic regions. One of the motivations for building this advocacy website is dealing with the hurdles that language poses on flow and accessibility of ideas in art education advocacy across the continent. Thus, the content of the website is available in the four main languages of the Americas: Spanish, English, Portuguese and French.
The title of this transnational initiative, the Art-E, emerged from the interest of a name that would make sense, both in English and Spanish (the two main languages of the Americas), without the need of translation. The “E”, in Art- E, refers to the use of electronic media as the canvas where dialogue about advocacy strategies across the Americas happens. Also, when spoken in English or Spanish, Art-E evokes the idea of tea sharing. The concept of a casual conversation over tea (or coffee) stand as a metaphor for this website, since it is intended to be a site of exchange of ideas and collaboration.