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March is Arts Education Month!
February 21, 2013

The California Alliance for Arts Education and the California State PTA are sponsoring ACR 12, a concurrent resolution honoring March as Arts Education Month. The resolution will be heard in the  coming weeks in the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism & Internet Media Committee before passing on to the Assembly floor. Read the resolution here.   
If you would like to write a letter on behalf of your organization in support of the resolution, please use your organization's stationery and fax a letter to:

The Honorable Ian Calderon

California State Assembly

State Capitol Building

Sacramento, CA 95814

Re:ACR 12 (Calderon) Arts Education Month: March 2013 

Letters should be faxed to Asm. Calderon at 916-319-2157 and also to our lobbyist, Kathy Lynch, at 916-443-7353.
The letters should have a cc as follows:

cc: Ms. Jeanette Barnard, Consultant, Assembly Arts,...
Alliance Invites Title 1 Schools to Pilot Arts Ed Strategies
January 31, 2013

As part of our ongoing work to support schools who use arts education strategies to achieve Title 1 goals, the California Alliance for Arts Education is seeking schools and districts throughout California interested in exploring the option of using Title I funds to support arts education strategies. The Alliance will provide both the support and guidance to schools and districts to help assure that they are in compliance with the expectations of the Department of Education.

Based on the example of these schools, we hope to send the message to other schools and districts throughout the state that schools can use Title I funds to support using arts education strategies to increase student academic achievement, parental involvement, and student engagement. Click here for more details. Contact us to get involved



Big Shoes to Fill: Taking Over for Ron Bolles
January 14, 2013


Leadership transitions can be hard on grassroots volunteer efforts, and for Keith Davis, who recently assumed the role of lead organizer for the South Bay Alliance for Arts Education, there was the added challenge of having some very big shoes to fill when Ron Bolles stepped down. 

“Ron had worked as a highly respected VAPA teacher and Facilitator in our  district for thirty- seven years. He’s known as a passionate and credible advocate for the arts in the community,” according to Keith.

Keith himself is a longtime supporter of the arts in South Bay, serving as the marketing director and then Executive Administrator of the San Repertory theater for a decade, then as the manager and go-to guy for  [name] both Eastlake and San Ysidro High schools' state of the art theaters. He joined the South Bay Alliance for Arts Education in 2011.

Located in southern San Diego County, the South Bay group is one of thirty coalitions spread across California that, with resources from the California Alliance, builds support for arts education in local schools. In their first year, the group...

Impact of Governor's Proposed Budget on Arts Education
January 14, 2013

Governor’s Budget Favors Local Autonomy and Eliminates Most Categorical Funding

The Governor’s budget proposal, released last week, includes major changes to K-12 education finance. The proposal gives local districts greater flexibility and autonomy in how they use state funds, putting more decisions in the hands of local school boards, with fewer state restrictions and requirements. According to an analysis of the proposed budget by Alliance Lobbyist Kathy Lynch, the Governor’s proposal,

“Provides $1.6 billion for the "Local Control Funding Formula". The proposal is largely the same as Weighted Student Formula proposed last year in that the Administration proposes to eliminate the majority of categorical programs, consolidate funding with revenue limit apportionments, and provide funding through a new formula that will be phased in over a period of seven years. The proposal will be coupled with a system of accountability measures both at the state and local level.”

The elimination of categoricals may further distance school districts from a...


Proposition 30 Passed. What's Next?
November 13, 2012


We did it! Californians voted to pass Proposition 30 (53.9% to 46.1%) and reinvest in our schools. Thank you for joining our efforts and ensuring that this essential funding for education passed.

Proposition 30 will raise the state sales tax a quarter-cent for four years and increase the income tax of the state's highest earners for seven years. The 2012-2013 California budget depends on that revenue.  

In a letter sent to the Governor this week,  Joe Landon acknowleged the importance of this victory as well as the work that still lies ahead:


"Our hope is that we can begin build upon this moment, as we look ahead with a renewed sense of the learning opportunities the arts offer across the curriculum, both through instruction in the discreet subjects of dance, music, theater and visual arts, as well as through arts integration, career technical education, and other aspects of a comprehensive educational system."

Landon pointed to two critical questions that lie ahead: 


How can we modify the...

Amador County Arts Council Launches Advocacy Effort
November 13, 2012
Amador County is one of five local arts councils to join the Alliance’s Local Advocacy Network this fall. The program offers empowers local communities to keep arts programs in schools by providing the strategic assistance, leadership development and communication tools. The five local councils support from bring a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to this work. Each one hosts a breakfast event for community leaders to gather and unify local support for arts education. 
Jack Mitchell, Publisher of the Amador Ledger Dispatch was one of the hosts for launch event in Amador. His inspired remarks are included here. Thank you and welcome to all of our new allies! 

"I am supposed to discuss why arts in the schools are important and why I
support arts in the schools. And since, those of you that know me realize
that everything is always about me I thought I'd share a few personal
When I was in high school, arts in the schools profoundly...
November State Legislative Elections
November 13, 2012
Alliance Lobbyist Kathy Lynch provides an analysis of the preliminary results of November 6 election. 
On November 6, 2012, Californians went to the poll to elect representatives from all 80 assembly districts and 21 of the 40 senate districts (odd-numbered plus one even-numbered special election).  Debra Bowen, Secretary of State, had reported a record number of voter registrations for this election (18,245,970 people or 76.7 percent of those eligible to vote.  This is an increase of 2.1 percent over the 17,304,091 registered in 2008.  Among those registered for the 2012 general election,43.7% registered as Democrats, 29.4% registered as Republicans, 20.9% expressed no party preference, and 6.0% registered as American Independent, Americans Elect, Green, Libertarian, or Peace and Freedom Party).
Results of the election will be certified on December 7, 2012.  As of Tuesday morning, November 13, 2012, many votes by mail and provisional ballots have not been counted.  Before the election the Assembly was composed of 52 Democrats, 27 Republicans, and 1 Independent. As of this morning, Democrats were leading in 54 districts and Republicans were leading in 26.  The Senate was composed of 25 Democrats and 15 Republicans before the election.  ...
Alliance Launches 5 Local Coalitions through Arts Council Partnership
November 13, 2012


As a result of a new partnership with the California Arts Council, this fall local arts councils in Amador, Fresno, Mendocino, Placer and Santa Cruz joined the Alliance’s Local Advocacy Network.

The program offers empowers local communities to keep arts programs in schools by providing the strategic assistance, leadership development and communication tools. Since its launch four years ago, the network has helped local advocates build strong relationships with their local school boards, participate in the creation of a district arts plan and earn media coverage and broad support for arts education.

The five local councils support from bring a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to this work. Each one hosts a breakfast event for community leaders to gather and unify local support for arts education. Read about the recent launch in Amador County. 

(Pictured above are members of the Local Advoacy Network, inlcuding new leaders from Amador, Frenso, Mendocino, Placer, Santa Cruz,  at a fall retreat)

Guest Blog: Surveying Candidates for State Legislature
November 5, 2012
Guest Blog By: Jackie Koppell, Director of Programs, California Arts Advocates
California Arts Advocates (CAA), in partnership with Californians for the Arts (CFTA), is thrilled to announce its first candidate survey.  Thank you to the California Alliance for working with us to help spread the word! 
CAA/CFTA has sent surveys to all of the state Assembly and Senate candidates in an effort learn about their understanding of and position on the arts.  The four questions (see below) cover the economy, tourism, education, and community development. 
As statewide advocacy organizations, we decided to focus on the Assembly and Senate candidates because the work that CAA/CFTA does tends to focus on issues within our state, and often overlaps with issues that these legislators work on.  If successful with this survey, we may reach out to federal candidates in the future as well.

It is our hope that this survey is a great step toward more dialogue about the arts between our communities...
Electing Strong Arts Education Leaders
October 25, 2012






How do you find strong arts education leaders? Ask the right questions.

Where there’s a strong arts education advocate, chances are there is also a person who may love to draw or play the guitar or who knows the joys of running cues for a play. It doesn’t take much to awaken that passion -- you just have to ask.

For the upcoming election on November 6th, the California Alliance asked candidates about the role of the arts education in addressing critical issues like closing the achievement gap, reducing the dropout rate and preparing students for college eligibility and the 21st century workforce. But we also asked them about their personal connection to the arts because we’ve found that that very often that experience instills a strong commitment to this issue in people.

With the help of committed advocates at the Alameda County Arts Commission, Art is Education, Arts for LA, Arts Orange County, Burbank Arts for All, California Arts Advocates, California Arts Council...