Sunday, November 09, 2008


from the ArtsEdMail e-newsletter connecting the Arts Education community in California.

November 5 , 2008-- There is a blessing in Jewish custom, known as the "Shehecheyanu", intended to encourage the offering of thanks for new and unusual experiences, typically recited at the beginning of holidays and to celebrate special occasions. Although the purpose of ArtsEdMail is to provide you with the up-to-the-minute information you need to advocate for arts education, we must take a moment to share with our readers this remarkable, new, and unusual moment in our country's history.

And lest we forget what lies ahead in our own state, the Legislature is scheduled to convene a special session in the coming days to deal with the deficit in the state budget that has emerged since the budget was signed in September. Further cuts in state services, including education, will certainly be discussed, along with proposals to raise revenues.

The Governor has indicated he is thinking about both increasing revenues and mid-year cuts. Whatever actions may be taken must occur before the end of November, when this legislative session ends. December 1 marks the beginning of a new session, with the inclusion of 40 newly elected legislators.

From this vantage point, it is difficult to assess what the impact of these anticipated cuts may be for arts education. We expect to share in the burden, and to protect our fair share of the funding we have worked so hard to achieve. As we learn more about where this discussion is going, we will let you know. If you have questions or would like to share stories of what is happening in your school district, please contact California Alliance for Arts Education Executive Director Laurie Schell or Policy Director Joe Landon at or

California Arts Council Gives Over $1 Million to State Arts OrganizationsThe California Arts Council is pleased to announce approved funding for 130 arts organizations for the agency's "Artists in Schools" program, a grant program designed to support artists in residency activities that take place in the classroom and in after-school settings. For a list of funded organizations, click here.

National News

Illinois Releases Comprehensive Arts Education Guidebook
Illinois Arts Alliance released Committing to Quality in Education: Arts at the Core, the first arts education guidebook specifically designed for Illinois teachers, principals, superintendents, parents, and community partners. Arts at the Core offers direction and tools to assist stakeholders in strengthening arts education. For more infomation, click here.

Fine Arts in the Classroom Develops Leaders in the Workplace
"Strengthening arts education in Milwaukee schools will produce creative, entrepreneurial graduates who can help transform Wisconsin's economy," local educators and artists said Tuesday. They offered testimony at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center during the last of nine public forums hosted around the state by the Wisconsin Task Force on Arts and Creativity in Education. Click here for more information.

New Parent Handbook from Pennsylvania
A new parent handbook has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; the Pennsylvania PTA; and the Division of Standards and Curriculum, Bureau of Teaching and Learning Support of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the handbook includes information about how parents can support, improve, and advocate for arts programs in the schools. Click here.

Ohio Critical Links Project
The Ohio Critical Links Project, a two-year program promoting localized learning communities of arts educators, has completed its first year of classroom inquiry work. Co-sponsored by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), project participants include ten Ohio teachers from throughout the state. The Ohio Arts Council is providing additional support. The project is based on Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, an arts education research compendium published in 2002. The project's goal is the creation of a network of theatre educator learning communities and a Web-based index of best teaching practices based on the classroom research work of the participating teachers. For more information, click here.

Museums Bring Education Efforts to Scale
A report by the New Media Consortium says that museums are working in partnership with educators to expand arts education in schools. An interesting experiment has been unfolding in Texas that looks at arts education problems with novel solutions. Since October 2005, the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation has been working with the New Media Consortium (NMC) to help museums across Texas learn to scale their education efforts. Click here.

Staten Island Schools Finding Ways to Offer More Art Programs
Despite an increased focus on test scores, Staten Island schools have been finding ways to offer more art programs to students by connecting with cultural organizations in their neighborhoods. According to a report released yesterday by the city Department of Education, 84 percent of Staten Island schools teach their students about the arts through partnerships with local groups. Click here to read article.

Merrifield "Neglecting the arts hurts our children"
Colorado Rep. Michael Merrifield defends against criticism of the recent study of arts in schools, saying that the findings are indeed valid, and pleas for giving "the next generation the gift of creativity and collaboration, abstraction and the arts." Click here to read more.


New CA PTA Website
Check out the redesigned SMARTS webpage on the CA PTA website. SMARTS is California State PTA's program to encourage arts education. To view, click here.

CCA Teaching Institute
The CCA Teaching Institute (TI) seeks to transform the culture of teaching and empower learning through professional development in the arts. TI pioneers contemporary pedagogies and proven programs, training educators and teaching artists to be leaders in arts instruction at the pre-K The first of its kind in the Unites States, TI's Arts Learning Specialist Certificate provides a meaningful opportunity for pre-K through 12th grade educators and teaching artists to advance professionally. A model for contemporary arts education excellence nationwide, this certificate program was developed by CCA Center for Art and Public Life in partnership with the Alameda County Office of Education. For more information visit CCA TI on the web by clicking here.

Summer Music Institute
The Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute is a 4-week summer music program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., for student instrumentalists. This program is open, by recorded audition, to students who are seriously considering orchestral music as a career, and are in grades 9 through 12 or are a college freshman or sophomore. Nominations are due to California Alliance for Arts Education by January 20, 2009. To view the 2009 Summer Music Institute application, click here.

Call For Nominations: 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards
The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize individual leaders who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to significant issues in California. Award recipients will each receive $125,000 to support their work to benefit the people of California. The award also includes communications activities, undertaken together by award recipients and the Foundation, to educate policymakers and practitioners about the solutions they have implemented. Nominations can be submitted online by clicking here. Nominations are due by January 16, 2009, and awards will be announced in the summer of 2009.

Conferences, Professional Development

So Cal Museum Educators Offers Evaluation Workshop
The Museum Educators of Southern California (MESC) is sponsoring a workshop series that focuses on the essentials of evaluating public programs on Monday, November 10, 2008 9:00 AM-12:00PM. The MESC ESSENTIALS series offers museum educators basic tools and strategies for success in the field. Participants will leave with tools and information they can put to use immediately. The cost is $15 Non-members/ $10 Members. For more information or to register, visit the MESC website at

Resources, Funding Opportunities

Music Matters Grants for 2009
Music Matters offers grants that will focus on educational reform in school music programs and independent music programs. Grants will be awarded in April 2009 to schools and music programs throughout the United States. Grant amounts for this cycle are between $1,000-$12,000 each and are made on an annual one-time basis. Click here for more information.

VSA Arts Guide to Evaluation
VSA arts has released The Contours of Inclusion: Frameworks and Tools for Evaluating Arts in Education. This practical guide features essays that provide examples of the design and use of evaluation for arts education in inclusive settings can be found here.

Spotlight Awards Student Scholarships
The Music Center Spotlight Awards is a nationally-recognized scholarship and arts training program for Southern California high school students in the performing and visual arts. Open to all students who attend high school in Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties. The deadline for Visual Arts is December 1, 2008. For more information, visit Spotlight online by clicking here.

Nathan Cummings Foundation Grants
Nathan Cummings Foundation offers funding towards projects in the arts, the environment, health, and Jewish life. Arts funding supports education and advocacy with a focus on underserved communities and efforts to make existing institutions more accessible to disadvantaged groups. Open to nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education. The first step in the application process is a 1-2 page letter of inquiry to the foundation.To apply, click here.

VSA Arts and MetLife Foundation Invite Proposals
Nonprofit 501(c)(3) performing and/or exhibiting arts organizations who are creating or have an established educational program are eligible to apply. A maximum of 10 awards of up to $15,000 will be awarded. For information on eligibility and to download the application, click here.

Identifying the Right Grant-Makers for Your Program
Identifying the right grant-maker for any program or project is a straightforward, step-by-step process that can greatly increase your organization's chances of securing grant funding. Click here to learn more.

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