Leadership transitions can be hard on grassroots volunteer efforts, and for Keith Davis, who recently assumed the role of lead organizer for the South Bay Alliance for Arts Education, there was the added challenge of having some very big shoes to fill when Ron Bolles stepped down.
“Ron had worked as a highly respected VAPA teacher and Facilitator in our district for thirty- seven years. He’s known as a passionate and credible advocate for the arts in the community,” according to Keith.
Keith himself is a longtime supporter of the arts in South Bay, serving as the marketing director and then Executive Administrator of the San Repertory theater for a decade, then as the manager and go-to guy for [name] both Eastlake and San Ysidro High schools' state of the art theaters. He joined the South Bay Alliance for Arts Education in 2011.
Located in southern San Diego County, the South Bay group is one of thirty coalitions spread across California that, with resources from the California Alliance, builds support for arts education in local schools. In their first year, the group undertook a Facebook campaign that activated local advocates and made elected officials sit up and take notice; the group built strong relationships with school board officials by offering solutions and taking a collaborative rather than oppositional approach at public meetings; and they used local music events to highlight the benefits of arts education and bring their message to the larger community.