Embracing Community Partnerships in Riverside

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 here.

“We are here to help!”

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 strategy here.

Sharing Information about Resources Opens the Door for Collaboration

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.

Donna Chinn Champions the Candidate Survey Project

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 a strong case for why it is important for your school and your child to connect to the local elections and elect school board members who value the arts.”

Arts Education Week 2018 featuring Arts Now Heroes

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. 

Otis Report on the Creative Economy

On May 22, 2018 the Otis College of Art & Design released the 2018 Otis Report on the Creative Economy of California. Data shown are from 2016, with projections out to 2021.

Why is this important to K-12 educators, parents and community members?

Because the so-called “jobs of tomorrow” are here today!  As students search for a path forward, having this kind of data makes a compelling case for pursuing education that prepares students for creative careers. 

 

How to Use Data in Arts Education Advocacy

The California Arts Education Data Project is powerful tool for anyone hoping to learn more about the access to and quality of arts education in their community. It was designed to help increase participation in arts education across the state. It was first piloted in New Jersey, where access to arts education has risen from 94% to 99.8%.

What information is included in the Data Project?

  • Participation rates for secondary school students in California
  • School-level, district, county and statewide data is displayed in an interactive, color-coded dashboard 

New this year:

  • Year-over-year comparison tools display changes in access over time
  • Arts participation of students enrolled in free and reduced lunch program shows how the socio-economic status of a school district impacts access to the arts 

Jeannine Ball - 2018 Outstanding Arts Educator

The Orange County Music and Arts Administrators recognized LAHS Photography teacher Mrs. Jeannine Ball as an Outstanding Arts Educator for this year. The awards ceremony took place on May 9th at Samueli Theatre at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo shows Mrs. Ball (left) with fellow OCMAA honoree Mrs. Sherry Tanaka (right).  This is how LAHS Principal Dr. Brandon Martinez describes Mrs. Ball's exemplary teaching:

"Jeannine Ball is a tireless arts educator who first and foremost believes that every student can learn how to be an excellent photographer. However, taking pictures is really just a part of what she does. Through multiple teaching strategies, engages students on behavioral, emotional, and cognitive levels. Through these learning experiences, students learn about accountability and responsibility by taking care of equipment, managing ongoing tasks, and using time outside of class to take photos. She also gets students to care about each other, their school community, and themselves. Mrs. Ball finds ways to integrate current issues into her class discussions and as subjects for various projects. In addition to teaching the fundamentals of shooting an image to editing it, Mrs. Ball regularly affords students the opportunity to engage in critiquing. This is powerful about this endeavor because it affords students the chance to articulate critical thought, demonstrate their analytical skills, and develop their competence at evaluation. Moreover, they carry this skill beyond the photography class and into other areas of their learning. Lastly, Mrs. Ball is a teacher who boosts students’ self-efficacy for rigorous academic work. Namely, she instills the confidence in her students to pursue Advanced Placement Photo (AP Studio Art: 2-D Design).  She consistently has one of the highest pass rates, but more importantly makes a lifelong impact on student learning within and beyond the visual arts."

How to use the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning in the Arts Planning Process

The Challenge: How to introduce the Declaration and Model Resolution as part of the arts planning process so that the ideas and principles of the Declarations can be fully embraced in the Arts Plan.

The Strategy: Bring the resolution into the planning process as a way to guide thinking and support adoption of the plan!

The Story: A number of districts have adopted the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning and/or a Resolution supporting the Declaration based on the model available on CREATE CA’s website.  In our blog post last month, we highlighted The Amador Alliance for Arts Education, a local advocacy coalition working to increase access to arts education, and their local success in adopting the Declaration.

Amador Adopts the Declaration of Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning

The Challenge: How to Energize Support for Arts Education among your School Board, School Administration, and district Parents

The Strategy: Ask the School Board to Adopt the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning

The Story: The Amador Alliance for Arts Education, a local advocacy coalition working to increase access to the arts education, was looking for a way to gain visibility and inspire district leaders to take action. Faced with this challenge, the group turned to the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning.

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