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2014

Award for Local Advocacy Work in Orange County
May 27, 2014

Each year, the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators (OCMAA) present awards to honor the accomplishments of teachers who make a difference in the lives of students through arts education. In May over two hundred people filled the Samueli Theatre at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to celebrate the exemplary work being done by teachers in schools throughout the county.

This year, the California Alliance for Arts Education received the Chairman’s Award in recognition of our arts education advocacy work through the Local Advocacy Network program. Launched in 2010 the program provides local groups the leadership development, strategic assistance and online resources and communication tools they need to make effective school board presentations, earn media coverage of their issue and build partnerships with business, arts, education, parent and social justice groups in their community.

In Orange County, working with county-level partners at Arts Orange County and the County Office of Education, the program has fostered the formation of twenty-two district-based local advocacy coalitions and the adoption of arts plans in the majority of these districts.

This OCMAA...

Student Videos Envision "A world of possibility and hope"
May 16, 2014

(pictured on left) Josey McCall, senior at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, CA.

As local districts set priorities and funding allocations to comply with California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), young advocates can offer powerful evidence of the ways arts education empowers young people to be creative problem-solvers, effective communicators and critical thinkers. The Student Voices Campaign gives students a platform to demonstrate their creative power and passion for the arts with their elected officials.

Eric Nilsson, a principal at the Inspire School of Arts and Sciences in Chico, California, whose students are participating in the campaign, says: “Arts in education is absolutely critical to all of us.  It nurtures the imagination, ignites creativity, and fosters curiosity and innovation. These things – imagination, creativity, curiosity and innovation – bring our young people alive and help them to see a world of possibility and hope.”

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U.S. Dept of Ed Supports Arts Education in Title 1 Program
April 18, 2014

At the 2014 National Title I Conference, Dr. Monique Chism, Director of Student Achievement and School Accountability Programs at the Department of Education, took a stand for arts education within the Title I program. Not only did she share her conviction that “arts education ensures that underserved students in public schools, particularly low income students and English-learners do better in school and [...] have the greatest relative improvements in academic achievement when participating in arts programs,” but she also shared a personal story of how the arts impacted her as a young person. (See video below).

This clear support from the highest levels of Title I leadership has helped to shift understanding among local, state and national school leaders about the appropriate role for arts education strategies within the Title I program. 
 
"It's not Title I funds supporting arts education – arts education can support Title I goals,” says Joe Landon, Executive Director of the California Alliance for Arts Education who spearheaded a...
Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title 1 Goals
March 6, 2014
This week in Washington DC, at the Arts Education Partnership’s National Forum Spotlight: Educating the Next America, we will release a new white paper, A Policy Pathway: Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title I Goals.

Co-authored with Danielle Brazell of Arts for LA and Dr. Lauren Stevenson of Junction Box Consulting, the paper documents the journey we’ve been traveling for the past eighteen months to make it possible for schools and districts to embrace arts strategies for achieving the goals of Title I and improving educational outcomes for low-income students who are often underserved in public schools. 
 
Our interest in this issue was spurred by the substantial body of research demonstrating that certain forms of arts education can be an asset to schools and districts in achieving Title I goals. Despite that research evidence and...
Securing local business partners for arts education advocacy
March 1, 2014

The Challenge: How can I get local businesses to support arts education advocacy efforts?

The Strategy: 1. Ask  2. Ask smart.

The Story: Business support for the arts is a long standing tradition, but asking a local business to get involved in your arts advocacy effort may seem like a more difficult sell.

Yet for Nick Rail Music, spreading the word about the opportunity presented by the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) just made good business sense. With six music stores in Southern California, specializing in selling, renting and repairing band and orchestral instruments mainly to schools, they understood the impact LCFF could have on music programs in local schools and, in turn on their business. At the same time, they were finding that many of their customers were simply not aware of what was at stake. 

“...

2014 Student Voices Campaign Launches!
February 28, 2014

The Student Voices Campaign launching on March 1. 2014, gives students a platform to demonstrate their creative power and passion for the arts with their elected officials. Students are invited to upload original videos of two minutes or less that respond to the question ‘What Does Your Creativity Look Like?’ at http://studentvoicescampaign.org/ between March 1 May 31, 2014. Students can sing, speak, dance, animate, act, speak or paint their answers.

As local districts set priorities and funding allocations to comply with California’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), young advocates can offer powerful evidence of the ways that arts education empower and equip young people for a successful future.

For the second year of the campaign the California Alliance for Arts Education is pleased to partner with some of the state’s leading arts leaders, including the CalArts Community Arts Partnership, the California State Summer School for the Arts, Center Theatre Group, Inner City Arts, Inocente, Shine Global’s Academy Award-winning...

Help District Leaders Understand How the Arts Can Contribute to LCFF Goals
February 11, 2014

The Challenge: How can I ensure that my district leaders understand the valuable role arts education can play in reaching Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Common Core goals?

The Strategy: Present evidence to your local school board that connects the stated goals of LCFF and Common Core with the benefits of arts education.

The Story: On January 14, five members of the Santa Cruz Alliance for Arts Education (SCAAE) spoke at a local school board meeting.

Each spoke about the different benefits of arts education and the group as a whole represented a variety of backgrounds – parent, teacher, university professor and district arts coordinator – but all of them grounded their presentations in specific aspects of the Local Control Funding Formula and/or Common Core.

 “LCFF and Common Core represent a huge shift in education policy for California, so there’s a big learning curve for all of us. We wanted to make sure that our presentations met school board members...

Dreams of Education
January 13, 2014

Merryl Goldberg, Chair, Visual and Performing Arts Department, California State University San Marcos, and author of Arts Integration: Teaching Subject Matter Through the Arts in Multicultural Settings (Pearson, 2012, 4th edition)

I love being with my students. They exude potential, work hard in class, and have a uniquely wonderful spirit and enthusiasm for learning.  They also are pretty creative when it comes to figuring out things they don’t know.  For example, in the beginning of the year when I showed them pictures of musical instruments, even though they had a hard time identifying most of the instruments, they did their very best to invent ways to spell the names of instruments once we labeled them together in class.  Here are a few invented spellings for instruments such as cello, cymbals, xylophone, violin, harp, saxophone, trombone, flute, guitar, oboe, timpani, and bassoon:  

chellow, chelo, cielo, symbols, zilphon, xailaphone, villien, violen, arp, saxiphone, trumbone, fluit, kitour, clairanet, obo, tymphony, timponee, bazoon.  

When I asked them to make a collage that portrayed arts in their lives, I first had to go over what a collage was – and...

The What and Why of Starting a Local Arts Education Advocacy Coalition
January 7, 2014
On December 3, Arts Council Napa Valley along with the Napa County Office of Education and the California Alliance for Arts Education hosted an early morning breakfast to garner support for arts education in Napa County schools. In response to the statewide changes in education focus, the California Alliance launched the Local Advocacy Network project, which supports local advocacy efforts in more than 30 California communities. 
 
Napa County Superintendent of Schools Barbara Nemko, along with the Principal Advisor to the State Superintendent of Schools Craig Cheslog, Napa Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sweeney and Executive Director of the California Alliance for Arts Education Joe Landon, began the conversation with more than 50 Napa County educators, arts organizations, nonprofits and community leaders in attendance. The event was held on the historic Napa Valley Unified School District Auditorium stage.
 
The Arts Advocates of Napa County agree that it is essential every child have the opportunity for an arts-...

2013

Find Out the Status of Arts Education in Your Local School District
December 3, 2013

The Challenge: The Local Control Funding Formula offers a rare opportunity for districts to allocate funding for the arts, but how do you find out what your district needs most?

The Strategy: An online survey of schools in your district can provide information about the status of arts education in local schools and the areas of greatest need. 

The Story: Last month, parents, educators, elected officials, and leaders from local business and cultural institutions gathered to launch an arts education advocacy effort in San Luis Obispo County. There was a great turnout and small group discussions yielded a long list of possible goals. County Superintendant of Schools Julian Crocker told those gathered that the new Local Control Funding Formula presented them with a “historic opportunity” to advance arts education in their community. Only one question remained, where should we start?

 
“We wanted to be able to seize the momentum in the...

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