Welcome to the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education. Our coalition of parents, school officials, arts organizations, community and business leaders are working to keep the arts in our local schools. Join us!

October 27, 2012

I'm sharing this article that I found in the LA Times in March 2011, just after the launch of the Los Alamitos Alliance.  I saved the article because of it illustrates the importance of arts education and  because the author, Daniel J. Levitin, is both a research scientist and a musician. His uncommon combination of skills means that he's able to comment from both an artistic, qualitative view and from a scientific, quantitative view.  

Levitin's childhood experience is a very personal case for keeping arts in public schools.  He explains that music saved him from being beaten up by the school bullies, but that it also planted the seeds for his interest in neuroscience, specifically the effect of music on the brain. In his closing, he opines that the California public school system of his time "valued the arts as a way to instill social skills and curiosity.  I hope the next generation of public school kids gets the same opportunity the state of California gave me to discover things about themselves and the world through music."
Read the full article:

October 19, 2012


Arts education hasn't historically been valued as a "must-have" in nationwide school districts. In fact, it's often one of the most popular cuts to be made when cash-strapped states want to decrease spending. That's because painting, music, and theater are generally considered “extras” or entertaining complements to education, but not core subjects. That view is shifting as educators open up to the idea that learning art-related subjects makes kids better academically as well as personally.

October 12, 2012


Amber Lee-Ruiz is the new Director of Educational Services for LAUSD, which includes being the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator.  She came to Los Al in July with knowledge and experience in LA County's "Arts for All" and a firm commitment to the arts.  She will serve as the liaison for the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education.  We look forward to working together to promote arts education to all of the students in Los Al.

September 19, 2012

Juilliard scholar Edward Bilous eloquently presents the case for a comprehensive, longitudinal arts education in this April 2012 lecture.  He beautifully articulates the unique role that arts play in engaging and nurturing our creative intelligence, providing a meta-learning experience, and reinforce the interconnects of the learning process.  His argument that the role of education has shifted from information transfer to information processing because of technology advances is insightful.  He ends by explaining that, "Imagining is more important than accumulating and creating is more important than consuming."  

You can read the full transcript of his lecture or watch the video.  It runs just over 23 minutes.


September 18, 2012


Newly published research suggests low-income kids are more likely to develop these all-important abilities if they attend a unique preschool program that integrates education and the arts.

The arts-rich curriculum produced more “positive emotions such as interest, happiness and pride, and greater growth in emotion regulation across the school year,” reports West Chester University psychologist Eleanor D. Brown.These results are particularly significant, she adds, given “the critical importance of children’s social-emotional readiness to learn.”

August 13, 2012

At a time when the unemployment rate in the United States topped 10 percent, the rate of unemployment for the Creative Class did not reach even 5 percent. As TechCrunch stated: "In a time of high unemployment, when traditional skills can be outsourced or automated, creative skills remain highly sought after and highly valuable.

August 13, 2012

Award-winning composer and conductor Marvin Hamlisch, who died last week, was passionate about arts education in schools. He was known to make a pitch for arts ed during his concerts. His obituary referenced an interview that he gave at the Orange County High School for the Arts in Santa Ana, in which he emphasized, "Arts education is so important.  It's part of being a human being.  I don't think the American government gets it.  I don't think they understand it's as important as math and English.  It rounds you out as a person.  I think it gives you a certain love of artistic things. You don't have to become the next great composer, but it's just nice to have heard certain pieces and you get a feeling for that, or to see certain things that are artistic and say that's a beautiful sculpture.  We sometimes stress so much math and English and physical education, but we sometimes give short shrift to something [arts education] that I think is very important."

You can hear Mr. Hamlisch's comments on arts education at 4:49 of the full OCHSA interview.


May 24, 2012


Employment of Digital Media Artists to Increase by 10%, Jobs in Industrial Design by 7%, Entertainment by 6%, Visual and Performing Arts by 4.5%

LOS ANGELES, Nov 09, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- --Otis College's Annual Report States Creative Economy Generated $129 Billion in Sales/Receipts in L.A. and Orange Counties in 2010, Up From 2009 Revenues.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Otis College of Art and Design has commissioned a creative economy report from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). In 2007, Otis launched the study to champion an under-recognized economic driver of the region by putting real numbers to creativity. "It is gratifying to note that the Otis Report has become a useful and indeed much-used advocacy tool," said Samuel Hoi, president of Otis College of Art and Design. "Since its inception, the Otis Report has firmly established that the 'creative economy' is powerful in Southern California. In fact, it is one of the largest business sectors in Los Angeles with almost one in every eight jobs directly or indirectly related to art, design or entertainment."

May 24, 2012

By Ronald Brown, author of Anticipate. The Architecture of Small Team Innovation and Product Success

“Last year, reports said creativity was on the decline in the U.S. However, reports this year indicate that creativity is more important than ever to business success.”

May 22, 2012

According to John Eger's newest blog in the Huffington Post, "Clearly something big is happening across America" and that something is creativity.

Read about two California initiatives aimed at transforming classrooms through creativity.