Eliza Tudor and Brian Buckley, of Nevada County Arts Council, knew that a sure-fire way to start a conversation was by introducing data from a high-quality assessment. That’s why they set about collecting baseline data about arts programming in Nevada County schools, highlighting their unique and creative “flagship” programs, and identifying gaps in addressing standards or issues of access. They gathered a team of retired educators, including two leading lights of the Council’s Education Committee, Liz McAteer and Stan Miller, and used those connections to interview principals in the TK-12 schools. They established a set series of questions to develop a comprehensive picture of every arts offering in the county. After amassing the data, they created a draft that was brought to county principals and open to public consultation. After finalizing their numbers, they presented their findings at their Arts Now Breakfast Launch event held by all the local partners. They then completed a successful application for Strategic Arts Planning Support via California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) in partnership with the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools, which they will implement with the help of the California Alliance's Arts Now Planning Initiative. In the context of planning, this survey will assist local school leaders in making decisions that will affect future generations of students, the quality of education they receive, the livability of their region, and the likelihood of investment in it in years to come. Check out the results of their State of the Arts survey here.