by Arts for All | Dec 12, 2013

    As a part of our ongoing commitment to ensure all K-12 students receive quality arts education, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission seeks to identify and map the work of artists and arts organizations in public schools in the county. We are requesting your help to produce an accurate, county-wide snapshot showing where artists, arts organizations and cultural institutions support public education.

    For artists and arts organizations in LA County: Even if you DID NOT provide services to public school students during the school day in the 2012-2013 school year, it is important that you complete the first section of the survey. If you or your organization DID provide services to students last year, we ask that you complete the entire survey. Full instructions can be found at the start of the survey.

    For artists and arts organizations located outside of LA County: If you provided services to public school students in LA County during the school day in the 2012-13 school year, please complete the entire survey.

    If you have already completed this survey, please accept our thanks.

    All surveys should be submitted no later than January 31, 2014. The Arts Commission will report our findings back to you and the field in summer 2014.

    SPECIAL INCENTIVES: If you complete this survey by December 31, you will be entered into a drawing for a grant of $2,500 to expand your work in schools. If you complete this survey by January 15, you will be entered into a drawing for a grant of $1,500. If you complete the survey by January 31, you will be entered into a drawing for a grant of $1,000.

    Findings from this survey will be useful for:
    • elected officials and policy-makers focused on increasing services to their local constituents;
    • advocacy groups (such as Arts for LA and the California Alliance for Arts Education) who communicate publicly on behalf of students’ access to quality arts instruction;
     school district leadership tracking the extent to which arts partners are working in their schools; and
     local funders interested in identifying where services are provided to schools throughout the County.

    Specifically, this data will show:
     which individual schools and school districts are currently engaging teaching artists or arts organizations to deliver arts instruction to students;
     which individual schools (and therefore regions of the County) are receiving little or no arts instruction from outside providers;
     which grade levels are most (and least) served by individual artists or arts organizations; and
     which arts disciplines are most (and least) taught by teaching artists or arts organizations.

    In future surveys we will collect data on other arts-related services such as professional development and after-school programs.

    We’d also like you to help us reach artists and arts organizations across LA County by forwarding this email to anyone you think might be appropriate, and sharing it on the web and social media.

    Many thanks in advance for your time, for completing or designating someone from your organization to complete the survey in the next few weeks, and for helping us distribute it. Your inclusion and support is essential to our ability to paint a full picture of where artists and arts organizations are working within LA County public schools.

    Click here to begin the survey.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Denise Grande dgrande@arts.lacounty.gov (213-202-3983) or Sofia Klatzker sklatzker@arts.lacounty.gov (213-202-5939).

    Photo: Third grade student at Lincoln Drew Elementary School in Compton Unified with teaching artist from Theatre of Hearts/Youth First by Gennia Cui.


    by Arts for All | Dec 12, 2013

    Arts for All welcomed four new school districts to the initiative for the 2013-14 school year. Monrovia Unified, Centinela Valley Union High, Charter Oak Unified and Keppel Union School Districts are now official Arts for All partners, bringing the total number of partner districts to 56, plus two charter school groups.

    With the addition of these districts, nearly 70% of Los Angeles County’s 81 school districts have joined the Arts for All network. Arts for All supports these districts first with resources to develop an arts education policy and strategic plan, which is subsequently adopted by their local school board. Access to additional Arts for All resources, including funding, then assists these districts with implementation of key components of their strategic plan.

    Lancaster School District and Covina-Valley Unified School District, which joined Arts for All in 2007 and 2012 respectively, are also accessing Arts for All coaches this year to revise existing arts education strategic plans, with an eye towards alignment with Common Core State Standards and 21st century skills.

    Each year, new Arts for All districts kick off the process with a day-long training in strategic planning. This year, Arts for All coaches Celena Turney and Aja Howell worked with district leadership teams comprised of administrators, principals, teachers and arts specialists. Coaches are now working with individual districts to identify local stakeholders to serve on a Community Arts Team (CAT), which will formulate their local arts policy and strategic plan, and present them to their school board for adoption.

    Congratulations to these districts for their commitment to arts education.

    Photo:District leaders at the 2013 training for new Arts for All districts.


    by Arts for All | Dec 12, 2013

    School district visual and performing arts coordinators wear many hats. Some oversee arts education full-time. Others monitor and direct VAPA efforts alongside broader curricular and administrative responsibilities. Despite their varying roles, they are each on the front lines of arts education. Arts for All’s Visual and Performing Arts Lead Advancement Grant program was designed to acknowledge and support the professional development needs of this diverse and dynamic group. Arts coordinators apply for small grants to attend conferences or training opportunities that they feel are best poised to bolster their learning.

     There were more applications for the program this year than ever before. Ten grantees will attend conferences ranging from the National Art Education Association gathering in San Diego to Harvard Project Zero’s “Perspectives” conference in Memphis.

    This year’s VAPA Lead Advancement grantees are:

    Robyn Alatorre, Hermosa Beach City SD – National Art Education Association (NAEA) Conference, San Diego
    Janet Buhl, Glendale USD – NAEA Conference, San Diego
    Karen Calhoun, Norwalk-La Mirada USD – Seattle World Rhythm Festival, Seattle
    Renee Cobb, Compton USD – NAEA Conference, San Diego
    Christa Erolin, Lancaster SD – Project Zero Perspectives Conference, Memphis
    Christine Fagnano, Hawthorne SD – NAEA Conference, San Diego
    Christine Hamlin, Saugus Union SD – Kennedy Center Partnership Conference, Washington D.C.
    Amarpal Khanna, ICEF – SXSW Education Conference, Austin
    Peter Knapik, Mountain View SD – NAEA Conference, San Diego
    Tom Whaley, Santa Monica Malibu USD – California Music Educators Conference, Fresno

    Photo: Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Deb Joseph from Beverly Hills Unified  School District, giving a report from her visit to the 2013 NAEA Conference.


    by Arts for All | Dec 12, 2013

    In a classroom at Lincoln-Drew Elementary School in Compton Unified School District, a   variety of colorful beads, traditional African fabric wraps and head pieces were being unveiled to a group of first grade students. As each costume piece was revealed, the students “oohed” and “aahed,” anticipating what their character would be wearing.
    The class was working with a teaching artist from Theatre of Hearts/Youth First to bring the West African folktale Anansi the Spider to life. As the teachers helped them dress, they happily chatted to visitors about their roles, “I’m Anansi!” said one child. “I’m water!” exclaimed another.

    Theatre of Hearts/Youth First partnered with Lincoln-Drew Elementary School to provide all students with 10-weeks of arts instruction. Kindergarteners and second and fifth graders had lessons in music, third graders worked in visual arts and fourth graders studied dance.

    The residency was part of Arts for All’s Student Access Fund. Through this program, more than $100,000 is providing students in five school districts with access to arts instruction through partnerships with community arts education providers. Funding is directed toward districts where over 65% of students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals, and less than 40% of their schools receive services from community arts education providers. The program is supported by The Eisner Foundation, California Community Foundation and the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

     “We know there are areas of the County where students have limited access to our region’s cultural resources,” says Arts for All Director Denise Grande. “Our objective is to support school districts in building relationships that will address these inequities.”

    In addition to Compton Unified, other participants include Little Lake City, Lancaster, Mountain View and South Whittier School Districts. The arts organizations providing instruction are Theatre of Hearts/Youth First, Flights of Fancy Story Theatre, Royer Studios and The Music Center.

    Photo: First grade students at Lincoln Drew Elementary School in Compton Unified School District in storytelling residency with Theatre of Hearts/Youth First by Gennia Cui.