We did a demo at the Jerry's Artarama store on South Broadway in Denver (Englewood, to be precise) a few weeks ago. They're thinking of offering classes in their large basement area. One of their employees actually used to be an art teacher in the public schools, and when she said that no one visited her classroom on parent's night, it reminded me of the movie Freedom Writers. I don't mean to make a comparison, but it does seem like art classes have been separated from the mainstream.
In their newsletter that day at Jerry's, I read about a recent experiment in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Students who participated in art activities at the museum performed better in all their other classes as well.
Maybe we need to create "stealth" art classes, to get past the idea that it's just a frill... call it visual development, creative skills, effective perception, observation resources, cognitive rebalancing...
Whatever it takes to regain its rightful place in the schools.