Senate Bill 66 defined a Comprehensive Arts Education as one that includes:

Arts Education

The first component, Arts Education, relates to the arts as core, academic subjects and the importance of school-based instruction to develop proficiency in the arts. Arts Education is a collective term referring to a comprehensive and sequential education in four separate and distinct disciplines: dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts. Arts Education is defined in North Carolina in the Basic Education Program (115-C-81), and the arts are also defined as core, academic subjects in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). K-12 Arts Education is delivered during the regular school day by licensed arts educators using the NC Standard Course of Study, as specified in the Arts Education Essential Standards. (Some arts educators teach in Pre-K settings.)

Arts Integration

The second component, Arts Integration, refers to using the arts as a catalyst for learning across the curriculum and in all areas of learning. In addition to offering a rigorous course of study in their distinct disciplines (dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts), the arts are a powerful tool for learning throughout the curriculum. When teachers
create curriculum that successfully integrates arts content and concepts with that from other subject areas, students are fully engaged in a multisensory learning experience through the application of multiple intelligences. North Carolina's A+ Schools Program is a nationally recognized, research-based, whole-school reform model that successfully utilizes arts education (instruction in all four arts disciplines) and arts integration to teach a balanced curriculum.

Arts Exposure

The third component relates to the importance of Arts Exposure in providing real world context to students. By experiencing the arts, either as a creator, participant, or audience member, students learn about themselves and the complex world around them. In-school programming by professional artists reinforces the arts curriculum, while showcasing career paths. Artists also provide an inspirational model of the discipline, skill, and perseverance required to achieve excellence. Off-site student visits to art museums, theatres, or other arts venues demonstrate that the world outside school provides countless opportunities for discovery and active learning, encouraging students to become life-long learners engaged in their communities. The interface between the arts sector and a school is an essential component of a comprehensive arts education and sustains a community culture of well-rounded citizens who value creativity.