Arts education programs (dance, media arts, music, theater and visual arts) are increasingly vital to the success of American schools. Our students are living in a world where creativity and innovation drive the economic advancement of countries and where our collective humanity is challenged in the context of complex issues. Contrary to the belief of some that arts education is a luxury in difficult times, research has repeatedly proven that it significantly contributes to the academic and social success of children during their education and beyond. Neuroscience research was presented here in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins Learning, Arts, and the Brain Summit in 2009 showing ways that the arts are linked to brain function. Not surprisingly, schools with strong arts programs are schools of choice for families in a position to choose. Year after year, Baltimore City School parents have cited "creativity and the arts" as a top priority for their students and schools, second only to "learning climate," in school climate surveys.