This is the online stream for sharing conversations that happened throughout the Greater Bay Area from March through June 2012 around the question:

How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone?

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Mapping the Next 10 Years – Phase I Results!

This blog documents Phase I of the Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership’s strategic planning for Mapping the Next 10 Years. From March through June 2012 more than 280 people representing 50+ organizations from 8 counties participated in self-organized, face-to-face conversations around the question:

How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone?

Here you can find documentation and discussion of those conversations. This powerpoint  contains a synthesis of the collective vision that emerged and details Phase II steps to collective action that we will be engaged in September 2012 – March 2013.

Thank you! to everyone who participated and to the expanded Steering Committee that met monthly to digest and synthesize the information on this blog.

Mapping the Next 10 Years Phase 1 and 2 from artiseducation
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A New Territory for Partnership — by Joe Landon, Executive Director, CA Alliance for Arts Education

The Policy Council of the California Alliance for Arts Education is comprised of 40 organizations from around the state, representing the interests of education, business, arts and parents. It’s a natural forum in which to raise the question of how to expand and strengthen the impact of  partnerships in the work we do.

At our last meeting, Jeffry Walker presented the findings of a report commissioned by the California Alliance. Its conclusion underscored the point made in this blog, that partnerships are more effective than unilateral actions, and that we must seek new ways to bridge sectors of society as well as engage and serve diverse communities.

In order to ‘test out’ those findings, we invited the response of representatives from three unique sectors whose interests may overlap with arts education, but who until now have not been seen as natural  partners in the work we do. The organizations represented were Ed Trust West, whose work focuses on high academic achievement of all students; Preschool California, working to increase access to high quality early childhood education for all children; and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the union of professional stagehands, motion picture technicians, and allied crafts.

What we heard from their representatives reflected the recognition that arts education was not seen as a priority nor particularlyrelevant to their mission. Yet, as we discussed our individual missions, what emerged were the overlapping interests, whether connected to our shared commitment to provide every child with a complete education that includes the benefits of arts education, the importance of  ‘experiential’ learning opportunities throughout the educational experience, and the relevance of the arts to preparing students for careers in the workforce.

The conversation opened new territory for partnership and building a stronger base of support for schools and communities that support the aspirations of all children. As the statewide advocacy organization forarts education, we recognize the critical importance of that effort.

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Joe Landon is the executive director of the California Alliance for Arts Education. His professional background includes being a speechwriter and senior consultant in the state assembly, a K-8 music and drama teacher, a preschool teacher, and a playwright, composer and  television writer.