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2019

STUDENT ADVOCATE OPENS LINES OF COMMUNICATION
September 11, 2019

Iris Lin, 10th grade student at Silver Creek High School, tied for first place in the Student Voices Campaign last year with her video ‘the arts matter’. Her video was seen across her school district (and the state!) and was highlighted by her Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Jeannine Flores, at the Young Artist Showcase. Her principal recognized Iris from her video and engaged her in a conversation about arts education resources. Through their conversation, they came to realize that there was a disconnect between the values students placed on the arts and how administrators prioritized the school budget. It was clear that students and administrators needed to start a dialogue! The principal and vice-principal encouraged Iris to attend PTA meetings in order to continue communicating the needs of the student body. By attending the meetings, Iris will be able to continue the conversation about arts education with the school administration. Iris is taking the steps necessary to open clear lines of communication with her principal and PTA to support arts programs with school funding.

TURNING YOUR ARTS PLAN INTO A WORK OF ART
September 10, 2019

Michelle Holdt, Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for San Mateo County Office of Education is a collage and bookmaking artist who integrated her artistic practice into the creation of a county-wide arts plan. She assembled a leadership team that worked with Peggy Burt, of the California Alliance for Arts Education, to collaboratively create a Strategic Arts Plan for San Mateo County. After the plan was written, Michelle and the team realized that it would be fitting to create a Strategic Arts Plan that was in itself a piece of art!  They had used the arts as a critical component of their planning work - so why not allow it to culminate in a beautifully artistic plan?  Michelle decided to create an interactive and visually inspiring piece of artwork that viewers would invest in emotionally. This unique strategic plan is presented in the form of an accordion book that helps the viewer become a participant, therefore ensuring the plan will be a living, breathing document. Check out the plan here

BECOME A PARTNER ON THE JOURNEY TOWARDS EQUITABLE ARTS EDUCATION
September 9, 2019

Kristin Reese, Executive Director of the Mono Arts Council, understood that in order to get the Strategic Arts Plan adopted and implemented, she would need to create a strong relationship with Mono County Superintendent, Dr. Stacey Adler and take a deep dive into the education community in her county. The Arts Plan was created in partnership with the Alliance and coach Peggy Burt with Superintendent Adler, with partner funding support by Sarah Anderberg, Director CCSESA Arts Initiative.  Having grown up in Mono County, Kristin had a head start at the relationships necessary to make her plan a reality. Her existing relationships were strengthened and new ones were established by her persistent communication and passionate commitment to the arts. She set up monthly meetings with Superintendent Adler to discuss the progress of the arts plan and organize the arts integration training that Kristin’s organization, Mono Arts Council, is helping implement. The members of Kristin’s community are aware that she is a partner on the journey to equitable arts access and when she commits to a project, she will be there every step of the way. Kristin...

2018

Embracing Community Partnerships in Riverside
November 19, 2018

Annemarie Guzy, Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at Riverside Unified School District, brought together a group of diverse community arts leaders to help define goals for the district Arts Plan. With the expert facilitation of Annemarie, the group brainstormed fresh, creative ideas to coordinate community and city resources with the district, connect professional artists with students, and develop possible ways to weave RUSD students into the arts community of Riverside. The California Alliance for Arts Education believes that working in this collaborative way – bringing leadership together from all different sectors - is a key element for a successful Strategic Arts Plan. The Alliance has captured this and other important practices in the Insider’s Guide for Arts Education Planning, produced in partnership with the Arts Education Collective. Learn more about Annemarie’s strategy and the arts planning process in Riverside...

“We are here to help!”
November 19, 2018

Meghan O’Keefe, leader of the Amador Alliance for Arts Education, was looking for a way to gain visibility and inspire district leaders to take action in support of arts education, so she turned to the inspiring message of the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning. Meghan and her fellow advocates decided to use this document as a way to say, “We are here to help!” and provided the community with more information about the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), attended the LCAP meetings held by the district, and recommended the creation of a district strategic arts plan. Attending the school board meeting to offer support and resources, the Amador Alliance hoped to spark excitement and start conversations about how to bring arts to schools. The upbeat, collaborative and helpful approach of the Amador Alliance has proved to be highly successful and as a result of their work, the school board adopted the Declaration! Learn more about Meghan’s...

Sharing Information about Resources Opens the Door for Collaboration
November 9, 2018

Arts Now leader Susan Miyamoto alerted district leadership about an arts education grant opportunity and then served as a community representative in the proposal brainstorming process! Susan heard about the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program offered by the California Department of Education and hoped her district might apply for funding for the arts. Susan sent information about the grant opportunity to Jodi McClay, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Support Services, who she had met at the launch of the Temecula Arts Now Community. As a result of Susan’s outreach, Assistant Superintendent McClay invited her to join a meeting of VAPA teachers and school administrators who worked together to come up with ideas for possible projects to include in the grant proposal. She worked with the group to identify ways to connect project proposals to the district Arts Plan and LCAP. Susan was able to participate in this meeting because of the relationships she had built as an Arts Now leader and the coaching she received from the Alliance.

Student Speaks up for Arts Education
October 14, 2018

Lulu Briggs, senior at Amador High School, brings her student perspective to nonprofit board meetings, statewide advocacy summits and convenings, and her local school board meetings. By speaking about how the arts have impacted her life, Lulu effectively advocates for increased access to arts education for her fellow students. As a sophomore, Lulu became a student director at AmadorArts, where she represented a student perspective at board meetings. With the support and encouragement of Meghan O’Keefe, Executive Director of Amador Arts, Lulu also participated in competitions like the Student Voices Campaign and Poetry Out Loud. She wrote and directed the Amador High submission to the Student Voices Campaign, which placed third statewide and played a part in adopting The Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning in the Amador County Unified School District. Her role as an arts...

Donna Chinn Champions the Candidate Survey Project
September 24, 2018

As the leader of Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education, Donna is a veteran participant in the Alliance’s Candidate Survey Project, which invites local school board candidates across California to go on record with their views about the role of arts education in local schools. The arts are a dimension of local elections that voters may not have considered in their decision-making process. The Candidate Survey Project gives them a way to learn more about candidates’ views on arts education policy before they vote. Donna contacted candidates for school board in her district via email, letter, and even hand-delivered an invitation to participate! This targeted outreach not only helped build relationships with the school board candidates, but Donna’s formal requests for participation also lent legitimacy to her role as arts education advocate in the community. Once the candidates filled out the survey, Donna promoted their responses on the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education Facebook page. She recommends “building...

Arts Education Week 2018 featuring Arts Now Heroes
September 5, 2018

Pulling Together Outside Resources in Support of Equity

Miko is working to address issues of equity in arts education by utilizing outside resources and synergizing multiple initiatives happening all at once in her area. Marin county is home to 30,000 students in 18 school districts, with schools ranging from extremely wealthy to Title I funded schools with limited community resources. As a result, issues of equity are profound in the region. In order to help address this inequity, Miko has served as a connector, collaborator and leader in elementary data collection, the arts planning process, National Arts in Education Week event planning and the Alliance Arts Now Community program. Reaching well beyond her role as Executive Director of the nonprofit Youth in Arts, Miko has leveraged the collective power of multiple initiatives to address equity issues. 


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New VAPA Standards Available for Review
August 7, 2018

In November 2016, the California Department of Education, Instructional Quality Commission, and State Board of Education began the process of revising the California Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) content standards. On July 26, 2018, the Instructional Quality Commission opened the public review and comment period for the draft VAPA Standards. The public review and comment period is an important opportunity for stakeholders to provide comments and suggested edits. The feedback received from the public will be considered at a November 15-16, 2018 meeting of the Instructional Quality Commission. The drafts of the standards can be accessed here and the public is encouraged to fill out this survey. Keep up to date on the revision process with this timeline.

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