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Student Voices Summit & Screening

On Saturday, April 30, the California Alliance for Arts Education will host the Student Voices Summit & Screening at the San Francisco Art Institute. The Summit will bring together students from all over California for an afternoon of student-led advocacy workshops, master classes with celebrated artists Christopher Coppola, Isa Borgeson, and Delroy Lindo, and the chance to see student videos on the big screen.

Together with our event hosts, the California Arts Council, Oakland School for the Arts and the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, we are pleased to offer this free event, open to all California public school students in grades 7-12, teachers, and parents. Space is limited and registration is required.

REGISTER and view the event page at StudentVoicesSummit2016.eventbrite.com

If you, your school or organization are interested in bringing a group of students to the event, please email us.

Free Webinar: How Teachers Can Support SB 916

Update 3/28/16: View an archived recording of the webinar.

Join us on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 5:30 PT for a webinar that will offer concrete strategies for supporting Senate Bill 916, including how to communicate with your union and your legislators, and how to spread the campaign to other teachers. Panelists will include leaders from the California Dance Education Association (CDEA) and the California Educational Theatre Association (CETA). These voices will give you the context and strategies to help you take action to get this bill noticed and passed.


SB 916, the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!), introduced by Senator Ben Allen, would establish single-subject teaching credentials for dance and theatre. TADA is the third legislative attempt to correct this issue.

Currently, California is one of only two states in the country that does not have a teaching credential in dance or theatre. California's Education Code includes specific standards for dance and theatre, and yet the state does not provide discrete teaching credentials for those disciplines.

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Building and Engaging a Strong Leadership Team in Amador County

The Challenge: How to build a countywide effort to increase arts education  

The Strategy: Build a strong leadership team composed of cross sector partners (and keep them engaged)

The Story: The small county of Amador sits among the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When the Amador Alliance for Arts Education launched, one of their challenges was bridging the county's geography to build a coordinated effort across county schools.
 
"We needed a strong leadership team that gathered leaders from several key stakeholder groups to create a unified effort that bridged the county's hilly geography," says Terra Forgette, Executive Director of AmadorArts and the lead for the Amador Alliance.

Theatre and Dance Act Introduced

UPDATE 6/22/16: The Assembly Education Committee voted unanimously to approve SB 916. The bill now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

UPDATE 6/1/16: SB 916 passed the Senate on May 31, 2016.

UPDATE 4/13/16: The general assembly of the California Teachers Association voted on Sunday, April 10 to support legislation by Senator Ben Allen (D-Los Angeles) that would create teaching credentials in the subjects of Dance and Theatre. Due to the dedicated advocacy of dance and theatre teachers, as well as colleagues from other disciplines, one of the historic barriers to establishing the credentials has been removed. Our advocacy campaign continues after the bill is heard in the Senate Education Committee on April 20. 

On January 27, 2016, Senator Ben Allen held a press conference to announce the introduction of SB 916, the Theatre and Dance Act (TADA!), legislation that would establish dance and theatre credentials in California. California is one of only two states in the country without dance or theatre credentials. Read what the bill says here.

Annette Bening at the California Arts Council 40th Anniversary Celebration speaking on SB 916 (Allen), the Theatre and Dance Act

Arts Education Strategies in California LCAPs

Join us for the release of Arts Education Strategies in California LCAPs.

The California Alliance for Arts Education, Arts for LA and Arts for All have partnered to provide new resources that demonstrate the ways that the arts can contribute to the State’s new priorities and in particular to the success of low-income students and English Language Learners. Arts Education Strategies in LCAPs gathers concrete examples of how districts are increasing access to arts education and implementing arts strategies to improve student outcomes in their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) and shows an exciting range of arts strategies and metrics.

In the coming weeks and months, districts will be updating their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) to determine priorities and funding for the coming years. The California Alliance and Arts for LA are working to empower arts education advocates to contribute to these important conversations and ensure all students have equitable and robust access to the arts. 

The webinar will offer an introduction to the Arts Education Strategies in LCAPs document, case studies by school leaders and practical advice on how to contribute to a robust arts program in your local district. 

Register

From Assessment to Arts Plan in Napa County

At this year’s Local Advocacy Retreat, local organizer Robin Hampton presented a breakout session featuring a case study of a countywide assessment of arts offerings, done by the Napa County Alliance for Arts Education - a local coalition made up of the Arts Council Napa Valley, the Napa County Office of Education, and over 50 Napa County educators, arts organizations, nonprofits, and community leaders.

The group’s extensive 360 Degree Assessment of arts education in Napa County aimed to identify the current landscape in relation to arts education assets the county already had, and also what it needed. 

The Making of the Animated Video: Interview with Nevada Lane

The first installment of our Student Voices Visionary features Nevada Lane, whose drawing are featured in the animated Student Voices Intro video. We spoke to her by phone and asked about her vision for schools, what creativity means to her, and what it was like to draw with a camera recording her every move! 
 
What is creativity? Can you give an example of creativity in someone you know?  (It could be a friend, a relative, a public figure, or you)
 
Nevada: I’m going to take a different slant on it. We often think of creativity in the arts, and I think that’s beautiful and wonderful.  But what’s under recognized is the creativity people have when working with other people and how they’re able to create something out of bringing people together around collaborating and achieving a common outcome.  
 
For a practical example – young activists who can create networks of people and bring people together to have a conversation about and tackle issues like climate change, or gun control laws.  It’s a beautiful form of creativity that we don’t often think about.

CTC Reviewing New Teaching Performance Expectations

By Joe Landon
 
Earlier this year, the California Alliance for Arts Education submitted a policy brief, authored by Dr. Merryl Goldberg of California State University, San Marcos, which highlighted the role and value of arts integration in student learning, to be considered by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) in revising current Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs). TPEs are the foundation of what all licensed teachers should know and be able to demonstrate, and they provide an important basis for teacher preparation program curriculum and fieldwork experiences.

New Policy Paper on the Arts and Equity

By Joe Landon
 
The Alliance has released a new policy paper titled “At the Crossroads of the Arts and Equity.” The paper underscores the Alliance’s commitment to its goal of every California student receiving access to high-quality arts education. That commitment has informed our efforts to promote Title I funds being used for arts education strategies to support Title I goals, our focus on arts education as an effective strategy within the goals of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), and our work to articulate and promote arts integration throughout the curriculum. 

What Works in Letters to Elected Officials

By Kathryn Arnett
 
I have written many letters to elected representatives in my life. But while interning at the California State Capitol one summer, I had the chance to be on the other side reading those letters. Seeing the hundreds of emails and mailed letters that come to a State Senator on any given day, I learned what kinds of letters are most effective and influence representatives most. 

When I was interning at the Capitol, there was talk that the education budget would get a major overhaul—and potentially receive much more funding than in recent years. So, we saw a lot of letters come in asking the legislature to invest more in education. Many came in bulk, and those I do not remember. The letters that stood out to me, and to my boss and the staff, were personalized. 

I remember one letter in particular from a concerned mother with a son in elementary school in Los Angeles. She shared the story of how cuts to the budget had affected her and her child. He was less engaged in school because classes like Physical Education had been cut. When she walked through his school she saw broken and deteriorating facilities, and wished her child could have something better. She asked for an investment in schools because she cared about her son’s education, and knew more funding would help. 

This woman used a basic form letter for the bulk of her message, but she also took the time to tell her story—and it made a world of difference. 
You don’t have to write a three-part saga to create an effective letter. Here are three easy things you can do to make sure your message packs the most punch: 

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