Arts Now Planning Initiative

The Arts Planning Initiative offers an opportunity for California districts and counties to complete a planning process using the best tools available: The Insiders Guide to Arts Education Planning, high caliber facilitation and strategic coaching assistance.

Based on the needs of your district or county, the Alliance will guide your team through a strategic planning process to create a visionary, sustainable arts education plan to increase the quality, quantity and equity of arts education in your schools. Plans generally encompass a 3-5 year time period with strategic directions and a clear implementation process.

The Planning Team will consist of district leadership, teachers, parents, student/alumni and key community members/arts organizations.

Together we will:

1. Articulate a vision for the arts;

2. Identify Strengths and challenges;

3. Determine Strategic Directions to achieve the Vision;

4. Develop a budgeted and calendared implementation plan.

Contact for more information.

The Insider's Guide to Arts Education Planning is funded in part by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, and the California Arts Council.

For more information about the Coaches, click below:

Peggy Burt is a longtime member of the arts education community in California, and brings a wealth of experience to the Arts Now Planning Initiative. In her former position as Executive Director of the CSSSA Foundation, she created the signature program, CSSSA Bridge to College, which supports college preparation for young artists, providing access to scholarship opportunities and a variety of career pathways. Peggy has been affiliated with LA County Arts Ed Collective since 2003, and has served as Arts for All coach mentor, and an Arts for All strategic planning coach for districts such as Burbank Unified School District, Pasadena Unified School District, Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District and ICEF Public Schools. Peggy served as the VAPA Coordinator for the Wiseburn School District for two years, and she is the co-author of the Insider's Guide to Arts Education Planning: 3rd Edition. Peggy enjoyed a long and rewarding career in dance and holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Utah and a Master's degree in Information Science from the University of Michigan.

Jim Thomas is a master facilitator and coach who works with school districts teachers, and community members in the areas of strategic planning, growing Professional Learning Communities, and leadership development. He is former Coordinator for Visual and Performing Arts at the Orange County Department of Education and creator of the Arts Advantage Initiative. Jim has facilitated strategic arts plans in twenty-one school districts. Each tailored plan includes a set of district goals, action steps, outcomes, fiscal implications, and timeline for implementation. Jim has a K-8 teaching background including self-contained classroom, performing arts specialist, and program manager for a K-8 magnet arts school. He is also a former director of The California Arts Project. Jim was a co-author of the California Visual and Performing Arts Framework and Content Standards.

Kimberleigh Aarn is an arts education consultant that has served the field for over 20 years. With the LA County Arts Ed Collective she supports school districts with strategic planning and has coached districts like Walnut Valley USD, Saugus Union, Lancaster and El Monte City with the development of an arts education plan. She has been a guest lecturer for the UCLA Visual and Performing Arts Education Program (VAPAE); consulted with the Center for Research on Creativity (CRoC) to support observations in administering the Next Generation Creativity Survey; and served as a discipline specialist with PS Arts and Crossroads Arts & Science. She worked nationally as a Senior Arts Educator at the Galef Institute with its professional development program/model curriculum, Different Ways of Knowing delivering coaching services throughout California, Arizona and New York. Kimberleigh is also a performing artist, potter and had the pleasure of co-authoring the Insider's Guide to Arts Education Planning: 3rd Edition. She received her MFA from the Yale School of Drama, and her BFA in Dramatic Arts from Emerson College.

Sandy Seufert works in the Los Angeles Area and beyond as a consultant conducting strategic planning and group facilitation. Her work with the LA County Arts Ed Collective has included working with the ICEF Public Schools and the Whittier Union High School District. The skills and knowledge applied to her coaching role are the culmination of over 25 years of work that includes special education teaching/support, teaching artist training, curriculum development, program management, teaching artist residencies, and professional development for both classroom teachers and teaching artists. In the past, she has worked for a wide variety of arts and education organizations including P.S. ARTS, Dramatic Results, Turnaround Arts: California, The Armory Center for the Arts, The Music Center, Los Angeles Opera, The Da Camera Society, and Los Angeles Unified School District. Sandy has also served on multiple grant panels, arts non-profit boards and committees, and holds a genuine commitment to add value to the field. Sandy also doubles as a professional cellist, playing with the Culver City Symphony for 20 years, and as a fiddler and composer performing Scandinavian folk music for cultural events and dances.

Celena Turney has consulted since 2005 for the California Alliance for Arts Education, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, non-profit arts organizations, as well as for school districts in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. She assists organizations in building capacity via strategic planning, project design, curriculum services, professional development, and program evaluation. Before becoming a consultant, Ms. Turney served as a classroom teacher, elementary arts specialist, and Literacy Coach for Los Angeles Unified School District. In 2017, she joined the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula as Curriculum Specialist. There, she is working on developing an intensive academic afterschool program, designed to boost literacy skills for elementary students falling below the proficiency benchmark. The new curricula will meaningfully integrate the arts, STEM, health and fitness with English language arts.

The California Alliance for Arts Education gratefully acknowledges support for this program from the Stuart Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The Music Man Foundation