Americans for the Arts dedicates National Arts in Education Week in his honor

Friday, August 25, 2017

Dr. James Catterall, Professor Emeritus and past Chair of the Faculty at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), founder of the Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC), and author of Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art: The Effects of Education in the Visual and Performing Arts on the Achievements and Values of Young Adults passed away on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

Professor Catterall built his career on the inquiry of creativity and produced pervasive works that fueled the advancement of arts and arts education friendly policies in the United States and around the world. His seminal piece of work, Doing Well and Doing Good by Doing Art was published in 2009 and has been used by advocates in their efforts to ensure equitable access to arts education for every student. The research conducted a longitudinal study of middle schoolers who were exposed to quality arts education and tracked them into early adulthood, strongly connecting arts learning with both general academic success and prosocial outcomes.

Professor Catterall regularly engaged with members of the field of arts education to pursue important research questions about the impact of arts education, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Education Partnership, members of Americans for the Arts such as Inner City Arts, Get Lit, and the Educational Theatre Association, and authored a piece with Americans for the Arts in 1999: “Involvement in the Arts and Success in Secondary School.” He has also been a speaker at many of Americans for the Arts’ events.

“The passing of James Catterall is a tremendous loss for the field of arts education. His dedicated work on behalf of the creativity in our children, society, and nation has built his legacy to be carried forward by arts education professionals and advocates around the world,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “James was an influential researcher, prolific writer, painter, and tireless advocate for the role of the arts and creativity to transform our world for the better.”

The field will celebrate the transformative power of the arts in education during National Arts in Education Week September 10-16, 2017, and Americans for the Arts wishes to dedicate this celebration in honor of the life of Dr. James Catterall. The field of arts education, its members, and supporters can continue his legacy by celebrating his work and sharing it with others to realize the vision of more creative children, more creative communities, and a more creative world.