Can we get beyond our "fraying patchwork of programs, grants and donations"?

November 20, 2011
 
Dear Encinitas Arts Education Leaders,

I hope you're all out having a lovely, blustery Encinitas Sunday and are looking forward to a bit of down time during the holiday week ahead.  In the past two weeks I've had meetings with a few of the remarkable arts and education leaders here and will be sharing more with you at our November 30 meeting at City Hall. 

I must say, in these discussions I was reminded of the sobering truth regarding arts education in Encinitas, and of the state of arts education in California overall. This recent SF Examiner article (October 2011) offers a snapshot of how schools in San Francisco and all over California rely on a "fraying patchwork of grants, programs and donations” for arts education. Some districts rely almost entirely on parent fundraising to maintain these programs, while schools in lower-income communities go without. San Francisco’s situation reflects conditions that exist across the state, according to Mark Slavkin, chairman of the California Alliance for Arts Education,.“The northeastern states are spending twice as much on education as California,” Slavkin said. “What these states take for granted, like dedicated art and music teachers, is something of a luxury in California.” Read more: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2011/10/sf-schools-rely-fraying-patchwork-grants-programs-and-donations-funding#ixzz1aOhokDPb

If you have a moment to learn more, please make note about the origins and purpose of the Encinitas Alliance for Arts Education (EAAE) and our relationship to other arts advocacy efforts in the state.

The EAAE was started in 2009 is a part of the Local Advocacy Network of the California Alliance for Arts Education.  Now in over 25 California communities and web-based advocacy groups, the CAAE LAN builds the capacity of advocates to communicate a unified message in their local communities by providing advocacy expertise, communications tools and leadership development. I'll be updating this page regularly about our goals for the year and our collective progress.  I really encourage you to spend some time on the CAAE website to learn what other communities are doing to creatively maintain and build programs during challenging economic times. 

I, for one, am inspired by the work other arts advocates are doing all over the state in spit of our challenges and believe that you will be too.  Clearly this is a labor of love for so many of us; we are not alone in wanting greater access to and equity in quality arts education for all our students in Encinitas. I know I will be able to count on all of you to help make a difference this year on behalf of all students in all Encinitas schools.

Thanks, and I'll see you on November 30,
 
Sandy Jordan
Coordinator, Encinitas Alliance for Arts Education