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


U.S. Business Cannot Ignore the Importance of the New Economy

Last year, despite Europe's budget woes, the European Union announced that it was spending €1.8 billion ($2,423,520,000) for the period 2014-2020 (to) "boost their cultural and creative industries,' which, they said, "are a major source of jobs and growth in Europe."

The U.S. meanwhile is doing too little to prepare itself for the creative and innovative age: The U.S. education system isn't yet educating for the new economy; cities and town across America are not yet renewing their communities with the broadband infrastructures at affordable costs, or providing the public art and architecture of the creative economy; and business has not yet stepped up the plate either.

Some years ago Business Week Magazine (BW) the leading publication for business said: "The game is changing... It isn't just about math and science anymore (Although those are surely important disciplines). It's about creativity, imagination, and, above all, innovation."

No Child Left with Crayons: The Imperative of Arts-based Education and Research with Language “Minority” and Other Minoritized Communities -

By Sharon Verner Chappell of California State University Fullerton, and Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor of the University of Georgia and formerly the University of California, Santa Cruz


Woodworth and colleagues studied California’s arts programming, finding that 89% of K-12 schools failed to offer a standard course of study with consistent scope and sequence based on CA Standards in the four arts disciplines. Limited access to arts in schools tends to disproportionately impact minority youth…

We argue that we need to disallow statements such as “I don’t sing” and “I don’t dance,”(made by teachers)  just as we disallow any K-12 teacher to state “I don’t read” and “I don’t do math.”  We also need to question the assumption of only considering the experiences of minoritized youth if we have them in our classes or if they don’t bring a lunch to our school. The studies we reviewed demonstrate that being creative, critical and publicly engaged are skills we all share and experiences we all crave. We ask educational researchers, teacher educators, and education policy makers: what reforms are necessary so that all students and their teachers have opportunities to realize their creative, multilingual, and multicultural potential?

Math by Way of Art

As elementary schools across the state work to address lagging math proficiency, a school in Pasadena is having success using arts to teach third graders addition, subtraction and long division. Two advocacy organizations are working to ensure that all public schools, especially in economically disadvantaged communities, have access to effective arts education strategies. A new policy paper from the California Alliance for Arts Education and Arts for LA offers a road map for schools and districts across the state and across the country to use arts education strategies to improve literacy and math skills within the Title 1 program and improve educational outcomes for low-income students.

Applause, Applause for Los Al Performing Artists

April is a popular month for performing arts festivals and competitions.  LAUSD was well represented at the local, regional, state, and national levels.  Here are some of the top recognitions garnered by Los Al performing artists:

At the prestigious Reno Jazz Festival, McAuliffe Middle School received 2nd and 3rd place honors, and LAHS Jazz I placed 2nd in their respective divisions.  Oak Middle School was awarded outstanding rhythm section and a scholarship to drummer Liam Reece at the renowned Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival.  

The Los Al Dance Team placed 2nd and 3rd at Tremaine Convention & Competition in Los Angeles.

Four students from McAuliffe Choir were part of the Southern California Vocal Association Honor Choir, which performed in Los Angeles:  Duke Ketcham, Annie Wang, Alexis Luyben, and Gillian Kass.  Oak Choirs placed 1st & 3rd in Placentia.  LAHS Choirs received 1st and 2nd place awards in Burbank and at national show choir competitions in Orlando and Chicago.  They were crowned Grand Champions in Orlando.  Nicole Barker, Tailynn Carlton, and Chance Perez were recognized for their solos. 

Los Al Drama presented an original play, "A Chance of Color", which was well received.

McGaugh Elementary School presented its 31st annual Pageant of the Arts, adding a new work by Australian Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye.  

Each of these events is the culmination of countless hours of effort by students, parents, classroom teachers, private instructors, booster clubs, school administrators, school board, and others.  The experiences and lessons learned - including discipline, teamwork, perseverence, cooperation, time management and imagination - will likely last a lifetime.

Five Facebook Tips from an Arts Education Advocate and Social Media Whiz

The Challenge: How does a short on time local advocate keep her Facebook page current and dynamic? 

The Strategy: Use these five tips to increase the quality and number of your posts, while decreasing the amount of time you spend on Facebook! 

Student Voices Campaign Deadline Extended to April 30

The Student Voices campaign, launched by the California Alliance for Arts Education, provides students with a platform to share their creativity and passion for the arts with their elected representatives in Sacramento.

2013 OCMAA Outstanding Educators include LAHS Choir Director

LAUSD Superintendent Dr. Sherry Kropp has announced that LAHS choir director David Moellenkamp has been named as a 2013 Outstanding Arts Educator by the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators. OCMAA is a part of the Orange County Department of Education and is a network of district leaders, community arts educators, business, and parents.

Mr. Moellenkamp was awarded this prestigious honor for his ongoing efforts as an arts educator who makes a difference in the lives of students. He was specifically cited for his creative, innovative, and effective instructional strategies that have resulted in his choir groups winning numerous awards and national recognition, demonstrating his commitment to excellence in learning both in and through the arts.

Bring Art and Science Out of Academic Isolation

Full STEAM Ahead!

Adding A (Art)  to STEM (Science - Technology -Engineering - Math)   makes STEAM.

A new bipartisan Congressional STEAM Caucus has a mission to extend the integration of art and design with STEM education. “There were digital music devices before the iPod, but it took creative design and interface development from Apple to transform the way the world listens to music… That art and science go together seems as obvious as looking at the work of an iconic technical creative like Leonardo da Vinci, but visual arts, music, and other creative classes are often up for the budgeting axe at schools across the country.

To read more go to:

First Annual Escondido ART Festival - Saturday, April 13, 2013

In 2010 the California Alliance for Arts Education provided support to launch an Arts Coalition in Escondido.  As a result of three years of networking and collaboration we are proud to present a quality Art enhancement system for the youth of Escondido, designed by Cathy Hamilton, Mel Takahara and Lenka Juric.

Escondido Art Festival April 13, 2013