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 our local coalitions. For more information contact us here

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

Coalition Blog

 

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.

How a District’s Elementary Schools Went 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’s goal was to sustain and increase 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.

Bringing Arts into the Lives of All Students: Burton School District Strategic Planning Success Story

The Challenge: How to bring equitable access to arts education to a rural school district

The Strategy: Use a strategic arts plan to provide a framework for arts education throughout the district and community

The Story: Teacher Mentor Hector Marquez is highly motivated, and he has been promoting the arts within the Burton School District for some time.  But he realized that in order to provide equity and access to the arts for all students, he was going to need a team, and a plan!

With the support of the California Alliance for Arts Education’s Arts Planning Initiative, Hector gathered a team of district and community members in October of 2016 to make arts education history in a small school district in the Central Valley of California.

Bringing Arts Masterpieces to Life for All Students: A Pasadena Strategic Planning Success Story

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

The Challenge: How to create a greater impact in arts education by connecting to your local arts organizations and city 

The Strategy: Use a strategic arts plan to provide a framework for arts education throughout your district and city

The Story: How many times have you driven by a piece of public art or a local museum without taking the time to stop and really see the work? 

Pasadena is a special place - rich with arts and creativity. But we asked ourselves, “How do we share these riches with the school district? 

In 2003, the Pasadena Unified School District began a strategic planning process to strengthen arts education district-wide.  The team came together to create a comprehensive arts plan to provide dance, music, theatre and visual arts education to all students, K-12 within the school day.  In partnership with the Los Angeles County Arts Commission: Arts for All and the California Alliance for Arts Education, the district received a coach and planning assistance. As the comprehensive arts plan moved into implementation, the team asked “How can we create an authentic connection between the school district, our city, and our arts organizations in support of arts education?”

Expanding Arts Education Advocacy in Santa Barbara

 

The Challenge: How to expand arts education advocacy efforts in your district and beyond

 

The Strategy: Host a countywide event to build visibility and leverage new support

 

The Story: Established in May of 2014, the Santa Barbara County Alliance for Arts Education (SBCAAE) hit the ground running. Just days after launching, they went before the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) board to advocate for a Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Director position – and succeeded! Building on that accomplishment, SBCAAE wanted to increase their presence and continue the conversation of arts advocacy around their county. Their goals were to engage key community stakeholders countywide, recruit new members to their arts education advocacy efforts, and keep people engaged by participating in a subcommittee.

The Power of a Wish List

The Challenge: How to hold your district accountable for what's in the LCAP


The Strategy: Keep a wish list, and keep talking about it!


The Story: As a longtime PTA parent and local organizer for the California Alliance's Local Advocacy Network, Courtney Fielder was educated about California's new funding law and took an active role in her school district's Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) meetings. But she had something else too: a wish list.

 

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