Arts Now Communities

Arts Now Communities receive leadership development, strategic assistance and communications tools from the California Alliance to support coalition building, strategic planning and arts education advocacy. Now in over thirty California communities, these coalitions convene business partners, community, arts and parent organizations to stand together for quality, accessible arts education for all students. Below are the most recent blogs from Arts Now Communities. For more information contact Robin Hampton

  • Webinar: Introduction to Arts Now Communities (formerly the Local Advocacy Network). Slides.

 

Coalition Blog

 

How to use the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning in the Arts Planning Process

The Challenge: How to introduce the Declaration and Model Resolution as part of the arts planning process so that the ideas and principles of the Declarations can be fully embraced in the Arts Plan.

The Strategy: Bring the resolution into the planning process as a way to guide thinking and support adoption of the plan!

The Story: A number of districts have adopted the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning and/or a Resolution supporting the Declaration based on the model available on CREATE CA’s website.  In our blog post last month, we highlighted The Amador Alliance for Arts Education, a local advocacy coalition working to increase access to arts education, and their local success in adopting the Declaration.

Amador Adopts the Declaration of Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning

The Challenge: How to Energize Support for Arts Education among your School Board, School Administration, and district Parents

The Strategy: Ask the School Board to Adopt the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning

The Story: The Amador Alliance for Arts Education, a local advocacy coalition working to increase access to the arts education, was looking for a way to gain visibility and inspire district leaders to take action. Faced with this challenge, the group turned to the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning.

Orcutt Union School District Uses Schedule Rotation to Support Music Education

The Challenge: How to deploy limited resources to serve high needs students and establish a sustainable elementary music program that serves every student

The Strategy: Create a schedule rotation of P.E., music and intervention to achieve smaller class size and arts instruction for all students 

The Story: The Orcutt Union School District, located in Santa Barbara county, includes five elementary schools, two middle schools, one K-8 school and two K-8 and one high school charter schools. Faced with the challenge of a tight budget and looking for a way to address the needs of a student population with a high number of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, the district needed to use their existing funds in a creative way. 

Moreno Valley Unified School District Includes Students in Arts Planning Process

The Challenge: How to Get Student Input for District Arts Planning  

The Strategy: Invite Exceptional High School Seniors to Attend Arts Planning Meetings

The Story: Shania Carden, a high school senior in the Moreno Valley Unified School District, was never expecting to be invited to participate in the school district strategic arts planning process. “[It] was a surprise to me,” Shania explained, “but I was very eager to do so! I was very interested in being there to learn what was behind the scenes in the arts planning process.” 

Riverside Unified School District embraces Community Partnerships!

Guest author: Peggy Burt, Arts Now Program Director

The Challenge: How to engage and gather input from the community for school district arts planning

The Strategy: An invitation to a meeting at the Mayor’s office!

The Story: On a lovely day in Riverside, August 15, 2017, a passionate group of arts education providers and supporters gathered in the Mayor’s Ceremonial Chamber at Riverside City Hall. As soon as you stepped into the room, you could feel the buzz of excitement! This was a moment of collaborative opportunity and an invitation to contribute to the work of enhancing and strengthening the arts in the Riverside Unified School District. Holding it at the Mayor’s office underlined the value placed on the community’s input.

From 1 Art Teacher to 20

The Challenge: An Arts Plan Was Never Fully Implemented

The Strategy: Community Engagement

Implementing a Strategic Arts Plan in Napa

Guest author: Robin Hampton, Local Advocacy Field Manager

The Challenge: How to keep a strategic arts plan from ending up in a drawer

The Strategy: Engage community and stakeholders through events and updates

The Story: The Arts Council Napa Valley (ACNV) Education Alliance was launched in 2013 to assess the state of arts education in Napa County. A countywide assessment by this public-private alliance resulted in the drafting of an Arts Education Master Plan, which presents a comprehensive framework for the development of TK-12 sequential, standards-based arts education curriculum for Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD). The NVUSD Board unanimously voted to adopt the NVUSD Arts Education Master Plan in June 2016.

Strategic Communications with District Leadership: Creating Arts Champions!

Guest Author: Peggy Burt, Senior Advisor, Arts Planning Initiative

The Challenge: How to communicate strategically with district leadership to demonstrate progress in arts education.

The Strategy: Structured, reflective, brief monthly reports to leadership, turning district leaders into arts champions!

The Story: The coordinators of Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA coordinators) as well as other arts leaders and arts educators in school districts often find that their work is well known by some in the district, but almost “invisible” to others.

In an environment where information is often “information overload,” how can we be strategic about getting the facts and the stories to decision makers who have influence around arts education for all students in the district?

Building Relationships with School Leaders in San Benito County

Arts Now Community: San Benito County

Guest Author: Amanda Chiado, Program Manager, San Benito County Arts Council & San Benito County Arts Education Alliance

The Challenge: How to build on collaboration between a school district and community organization

The Strategy: Developing 1:1 relationships with key school leaders

The Story: The San Benito County Arts Council is a key community partner in providing arts education programming to their county’s largest and most underserved school district, Hollister Elementary School District (HESD). For the last four years, they have garnered district support and funding for their comprehensive Arts in Education Program, which they have translated into direct programming at each of the district’s 11 schools. 

In 2016-17, the Arts Council joined the Arts Now Communities program with the goal of sustaining and increasing district funding for arts education from HESD and to begin to build their local Arts Education Alliance. With a new superintendent, the San Benito County Arts Council was concerned about the security and continuity of their ongoing partnership. Not only did they want to maintain previous levels of funding and support, they were eager to garner active district participation in the newly founded Alliance. This is where the importance of developing 1:1 relationships with key individuals became a crucial factor in building the Alliance and sustaining arts education advocacy.

Murrieta Valley Unified Joins Arts Now Communities

Murrieta Valley Unified School District joins the Alliance's Arts Now Communities program, a statewide network of districts and counties working to increase access to arts education in local public schools. This month, Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington, Murrieta Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) Superintendent Patrick Kelley, and Miyamoto Music Studio Director Susan Miyamoto hosted a group of 50 parents, teachers, school leaders, arts organizations and local businesses to launch the new effort. Carol Hernandez, MVUSD's Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Coordinator, presented on the amazing arts programs currently underway and invited attendees to participate in the district's upcoming strategic arts planning process, which aims to ensure that all students in the district have access to the arts.

The Arts Now Communities program offers coaching and training, communications tools and field-tested strategies for advancing arts education in California schools. Start a coalition.

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