Blog Posts for California

Title I and the Arts — Yes, you can!

Posted by Laura Smyth, Apr 05, 2016 0 comments

For the last four years, The California Alliance for Arts Education has been pursuing its Title I Initiative, an effort to clarify confusion around the appropriate use of Title I funds for arts education programs, and to provide tools to school leaders on the ground for planning and implementation. For us, the initiative is not just about finding ways to provide more access to arts education—it’s about providing a high quality education, full stop, for every student. That high quality education must and should include the arts.

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Open Source Arts Education Is the Only Path to Equitable Arts Education

Posted by Dalouge Smith, Apr 05, 2016 0 comments

Visionary school districts aren’t satisfied with offering music and arts education only at schools with affluent students. Leaders in these districts know the imperative of equitable access to learning in the arts.  

However, the desire to provide arts education on the part of school leaders does not always translate into the capacity or even the know-how to make it happen. In California, the curriculum contraction that began in the early 2000s along with cycles of budget cuts, reduced arts education infrastructure, and diminished teacher training pipelines have left our state’s education field unprepared for a rapid restoration of the arts in schools.

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A Catalyst for Art: Jessica Cusick

Posted by Ms. Helen M. Lessick, Mar 28, 2016 0 comments

Jessica Cusick retired as the Manager of the City of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Department on March 3, 2016. Starting the job in 2005 she took a staff of three and grew it into a powerhouse of 21 to serve a city of 90,000 residents. She also created municipal programs through planning, policy, creative communities, public art and artist residencies to bring the work of writers and coders, planners and planters, poets and visual artists free to city audiences.

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Emerging Leaders Work Together Across the Country (An Americans for the Arts Member story)

Posted by Bridget Woodbury, Mar 17, 2016 0 comments

It’s been a few months since I joined the Americans for the Arts team and I've had the opportunity to learn a lot about the interesting and diverse work that you're doing and how our tools, resources, and member network are helping you get it done.

We often share your stories in our member e-newsletter Monthly Wire, but I wanted to dig a little deeper into some of your projects and programs and really get to know your work. I'll be jumping in periodically to share what I'm learning about member activity so that you can get to know each other a little better and to find some new, creative ways to use your membership!

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To Certify or Not to Certify: Is that the Question?

Posted by Sabrina Klein, Mar 16, 2016 0 comments

Maybe “to certify or not to certify” was our original question, but when in September and October last fall we convened teaching artists around the state of California, it became clear that consensus is emerging that the real question is “how to certify with integrity, flexibility and proper support”.

Nearly 200 teaching artists participated in person and in written responses in regional conversations focused specifically on the issues surrounding questions of professionally strengthening our field. One of our core strengths is the depth and diversity of pathways artists take into teaching artistry, with a continuum from self-taught, informally or formally mentored, individualized training, and formal academic training all providing valid and challenging forms of professional development. With increasing calls for teaching artists to step up and step in as partners in education, social services, social justice and community settings, our collaborative network thought it was high time we grappled head on with the challenges of documenting competence and making mastery visible.

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Preparing the Arts Field for a Future Rushing Towards Us

Posted by Roberta Uno, Mar 15, 2016 8 comments

In the new Hewlett Foundation report, Moving Arts Leadership Forward: A Changing Landscape, John McGuirk, Hewlett’s Program Director for Performing Arts, urges the arts field to reimagine leadership. The report summarizes Hewlett-supported research and previews their new goal to broaden the Foundation’s arts support to embrace cross-generational leadership and advance shared values of diversity and innovation. The findings and recommendations are strategically intended to prepare the field “for a future that is rushing toward us.”

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