Thursday, March 24, 2011


California Alliance for Arts EducationFrom California Alliance for Arts Education ArtsEdmail | March 23, 2011


In This Issue


  • Poll Finds Voters Support Extending Taxes to Avoid Cuts to Education
  • Without Tax Extensions, Educators Face Grim Options
  • Local Advocates Fight Cuts to Arts Education in Paradise


  • AATE Announces Video Contest for National Theatre in our Schools Month
  • EdSteps Launches Contest to Collect Student Work


  • Register for Arts Education Partnership’s National Forum
  • The Clarice Smith National Teacher Institutes at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Propose a Workshop for Community Arts Education Conference


  • Ovation TV Offers Resources for Educators
  • Join NAMM's National Wanna Play Music Week, May 2-8, 2011
  • J. Paul Getty Museum's Art & Language Arts Program


March 23, 2011

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A Message from the Alliance

We work for you!

Advocacy season is now in full swing. Almost daily there are developments in local, state and national budgets with ramifications for arts education. Read about the bills we’re focused on in our Legislative Update. Also at the top of our list is lobbying state legislators to approve a June ballot measure that would give voters the opportunity to decide on proposed tax extensions. According to the results of a new poll out this week, the majority of voters support tax extensions a way to spare more cuts to education.

In the coming weeks, as hearing dates and votes are scheduled, we’ll be calling on you to communicate your support for arts education to decision makers. To respond quickly to these issues, we need a robust and accurate list of supporters at the ready. Please take two minutes to complete our advocate survey so we can communicate more effectively, and update your contact information with your zip code, so we can reach out when one of your representatives has a decision before them.

With your help, we are working to ensure that the current fiscal crisis does not lead policymakers to make shortsighted decisions about our future. In a testimony before the Arts and Entertainment Committee in support of ACR 25 (Arts Education Month) earlier this week, Alliance Policy Director Joe Landon reminded legislators that,

“The creativity and critical thinking that are a direct byproduct of engagement in the arts are essential to California’s economic future.”

Laurie T. Schell, Executive Director
California Alliance for Arts Education

Resources for Arts Education Month

Demonstrate the Power of Arts Education
Now is the time to demonstrate the power of arts education to our elected officials. There’s no better way to do this than to invite leaders to experience the creativity, innovation and joy that happen in arts classrooms firsthand. Our Arts Learning in Action toolkit, provides a step-by-step guide for planning an event.  Our new video, Start a Conversation About the Arts, links to this toolkit and makes a persuasive case (complete with music from Ozomatli) for advocates to reach out to elected officials. Share the video with your friends and networks. Use the toolkit to demonstrate the power of arts learning in action!

California News

Poll Finds Voters Support Extending Taxes to Avoid Cuts to Education
A statewide survey undertaken by the University of California, Berkeley and The Field Poll revealed that a majority of registered voters support the idea of extending the temporary tax increases enacted by the state several years ago, rather than making further cuts to k-12 education. These findings are based on telephone interviews with 898 registered voters conducted in English and Spanish between February 28-March 14. Read more.
Learn more about the ballot measure on our blog.

Without Tax Extensions, Educators Face Grim Options
“Schools could face a financial hit so severe … that many may be shut down as many as six weeks early.” An article in the San Diego Herald Tribune describes possible scenarios should state legislators fail to approve a ballot measure to allow voters to approve tax extensions. Read more.

Without these tax extensions, San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) arts curriculum faces a $2.8 million cut from its $3 million budget this year. Despite support from San Diego Unified and nearly 140 other California school districts, it’s unclear if the Legislature will vote to put the issue on the ballot. Read about possible cuts to arts education in SDUSD.

Local Advocates Fight Cuts to Arts Education in Paradise
According to local music teacher Sam Gronseth, in Paradise California, there were more than 500 district students involved in local music classes in 2001; now there are only about 125. In response, local advocates have joined the California Alliance’s Local Advocacy Network. Their first meeting brought together town leaders, business owners, artists and community members at the Paradise Senior Center, to brainstorm ideas that will restore arts education as a priority. Read more.

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