Policy Council

The Alliance’s Policy Council is composed of allied partners from education, business, arts and parent organizations. Working in conjunction with the Board of Directors, it is charged with authoring the Vision Framework and recommending annual Strategic Priorities, which guide the work of the California Alliance. By engaging a broad cross section of stakeholders, this enables the Alliance to focus on the most pressing issues and concerns facing arts education at the state and local levels.

Membership in the Policy Council is open to all organizations that have an ability to mobilize people and advocate on behalf of arts education. The goal is to build a Policy Council that has a balanced representation among education, business, arts and parent organizations.  There is an annual fee for participation on the Policy Council. The fee covers the cost of participation and provides general operating support for the Alliance’s programs and services. The Policy Council meets twice annually, rotating between Northern and Southern California. For more information, email caae@artsed411.org.

Policy Council

Organization Representative Title
  PAUL RICHMAN* Education Policy Consultant
Alameda County Office of Education DEREK FENNER Arts Learning Program Manager
Arts Council Santa Cruz County SARAH BROTHERS Arts Education Manager
Arts for LA GUSTAVO HERRERA Executive Director
California Art Education Association (CAEA) LI EZZELL President
California Arts Council JOSY MILLER** Arts Education Programs Specialist
California Association of Museums MALLORIE MARSH Associate Director of Education
California Dance Education Association (CDEA)



California Department of Education    
California Educational Theatre Association (CETA)



California Federation of Teachers GINGER FOX LAUSD Itinerant Performing Arts Teacher, Dance
California Labor Management Initiative, CDE Foundation ED HONOWITZ* Project Director
California Latino School Boards Association JESUS HOLGUIN Treasurer
California Music Educators Association (CMEA) ARMALYN DE LA O President
California School Boards Association XILONIN CRUZ-GONZALEZ Immediate Past President
California State PTA DONNA ARTUKOVIC Legislative Advocate, Education
California State Summer School for the Arts Foundation    
California Teachers Association ROBERT BASSETT Liaison
Californians for the Arts/California Arts Advocates JULIE BAKER Representative
California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Arts Initiative SARAH ANDERBERG Director
Cayton Children's Museum LEONARDO BRAVO* Chief Program Officer
Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation EMILY GARVIE Program Officer
Community Arts Partnership, California Institute of the Arts VERONICA ALVAREZ Director
Create CA PATRICIA WAYNE Program Director
CSU East Bay Arts Education Initiative ERIC ENGDAHL Assistant Professor, Department of Teacher Education
Inner-City Arts    
LA Phil LENI BOORSTIN Advisor, Civic Engagement
Latino Arts Network REBECCA NEVAREZ Executive Director
Little Kids Rock TONY SAUZA Southern California Regional Program Director
Los Angeles County Arts Ed Collective DENISE GRANDE Director of Arts Education
National Guild for Community Arts Education ADAM JOHNSTON Chief Operating Officer
P.S. ARTS KRISTEN PAGLIA Executive Director
Performing Arts Workshop NEELA BENJAMIN GENTILE Interim Executive Director
San Francisco Arts Commision CANDACE EROS DÍAZ Program Officer, Community Investments
Santa Clara County Office of Education SOFIA FOJAS Arts Coordinator
Teaching Artists Guild MIKO LEE  Interim Executive Director
Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts MARK SLAVKIN* Director of Education
Walter and Elise Haas Fund FRANCES PHILLIPS Program Director
Young Storytellers BILL THOMPSON Executive Director

* California Alliance Board    ** Government Agency Liaison

Revised 9/24/20

2020-2021 Strategic Priorities Recommended by the Policy Council

Each year, the Policy Council identifies the most pressing issues and concerns facing arts education at the state and local levels and recommends a list of Strategic Priorities. These priorities are approved by the Board and guide the Alliance’s work for the year.

The Alliance’s strategic priorities for the coming year reflect our commitment to advancing racial equity and prioritizing underserved communities in all the work we do, while responding and adapting to the radically-shifting educational, civic and economic environments in innovative ways. Our priorities will address increasing equitable participation in quality arts education through the following means:

  • Advocating to federal, state and local policy makers to ensure arts education is appropriately funded and sustained as part of the state-mandated core curriculum;

  • Deepening our collective commitment to racial equity and anti-racism work through the implementation of a new arts education racial equity action plan; 

  • Highlighting evidence of the value of arts education in improving social emotional learning and responding to trauma; and

  • Demanding equitable student access, teacher support, and professional development in relation to distance learning and ensuring high-quality arts instruction in all disciplines is represented in distance learning curricula.

Ongoing Priorities of the Alliance

Increase Access to Quality Arts Education

  • Increase statewide network of local advocates.
  • Implement models of local advocacy.
  • Provide training and assistance to local advocates.
  • Implement local advocacy work including the Student Voices Campaign, Arts Now Campaign, Arts Now Planning Initiative, LCFF advocacy, and Arts Now Communities.
  • Activate stakeholders to influence key local and state level policy decisions (e.g. administrators, school board members, decision-makers, advocates).
  • In addition to our core focus on the regular school day, explore ways to help youth access arts education outside the public school system. This may include connections and collaborations with organizations serving incarcerated youth, after school sphere, summer learning and non-traditional educational settings.
  • Determine and implement appropriate measures to evaluate success.
  • Use Arts Education Data Project to identify and target areas with low arts education participation rates.
  • Promote adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning.

Improve the Quality of Arts Education

  • Work with the Policy Council to identify trends in arts education.
  • Engage the Policy Council in quality action plan to:
    • Promote sequential, standards-based, high-quality arts education;
    • Pursue policies to integrate arts education.
  • Explore ways to include the arts in the California School Dashboard.
  • Promote legislation to increase compliance with education code language that requires instruction in arts education from pre-K through grade 12.
  • As a founding member of CreateCA, support the Arts Education Data Project to promote increased awareness and accountability related to arts education.