What's for breakfast? What's Breakfast for?

On a recent Thursday morning, a group of forty people gathered in San Francisco for a breakfast of grits, sausage and greens. It was a special occasion; it was a chance for parents, teachers, elected officials, school officials and artists to talk about how they could work together to support arts education in local public schools; it was also the launch of the thirtieth coalition in the Alliance’s Local Advocacy Network. 

For the last three years, the Alliance has been working to support local advocacy efforts in communities around the state. We always began with breakfast. In San Francisco, as in other places, there were three important ingredients of the gathering:
  1. Diversity: At the San Francisco meeting there were leaders from business, parent and cultural organizations, as well as school and elected officials. Although many are already working to advance arts education, the gathering helped people see their work in a larger context.
  2. Discussion: After a presentation on the status of arts education at the state and local levels, participants were asked, “Given what we’ve learned, what would be the recommended advocacy focus for San Francisco Alliance for Arts Education?” A lively conversation followed, with Board Members collaborating with parents, artists with Executive Directors, developing ideas to seed the work of the Alliance.
  3. They don’t leave hungry: We hope participants leave with full stomachs, but we also hope they come away full of ideas and a renewed sense of purpose that will help carry the work forward. Following the San Francisco breakfast, a fifteen-person leadership team stepped forward to move ideas into action.
For more information about our work with local districts, click on Local Advocacy Coaltions in the main menu above. You can find advocacy tips, success stories and ideas for starting a group in your community in the blogs below. When you're ready to get started, let’s have breakfast! 
Karin Demarest, Local Advocacy Project Manager
California Alliance for Arts Education