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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Kick-off: March 8, 2012

Photos from the day:

March 8th Kick-off: Group Work

Documentation from the day:

Documentation from March 8th Kick-off

Transcribed notes from group reflections:

Timeline Exercise

What do you see?

  • Love for students and the arts
  • Lots of acronyms 🙂
  • We need more space around 2012 – lots of things happening!
  • I see a lot of programs that I was not aware of. Clearly there is a foundation and infrastructure already built that needs to be taken advantage of
  • I see that my school district hasn’t done a lot recently!
  • Arts anchor has grown a lot!
  • I see a lot of launching on the left, and a lot of collective action on the right!
  • I see the maturity of a movement

What do you think?

  • Community is really trying to make a difference in schools
  • There are a lot of acronyms and programs, we need to figure out a way to let each other know what’s happening
  • I think social media would be useful to make this accessible in a broader community
  • It’s hard, with this maturity, to deal with the shifting of people and places
  • Lots of opportunities for us and parents to learn and grow in arts education
  • I think there is a lot of desire
  • I think the alliance has set the goals for us to embrace in anyway we think we can to make things happen. It’s the ideas, it’s the values the alliance represents that we are attempt ion to actualize, and institutionalize

What do you wonder?

  • If artists will have jobs
  • I’m wondering if there’s an underpinning of common goals to all of these initiatives
  • I wonder if there are common outcomes or impacts of these programs
  • I’m wondering how I can see all of this action, and yet how my daughter in her school still doesn’t have visual arts
  • I wonder how the need for artists to have jobs, and the need for teaching artists to have more jobs, can address the needs you have for your children
  • I wonder how the idea of the alliance can move towards an alliance of people and organizations that are all working together
  • I’m wondering how we can get the ideas and enthusiasm in these meetings to a larger audience so we’re not always preaching to the choir
  • I feel compelled to write only positive, but I wonder how I get people in power to open up the airs to stop the rhetoric and actually stand behind what they say and put it in to action (From York district) Staff of 24 down to 2 😦
  • I wonder as a visual artists teaching/educator how I go from being at home to in to the schools
  • I wonder what it would take to get the people who have the power to make  difference to think about arts as core to a wholistic education
  • I wonder how after, in the hopes that all this information really does get down to individual level, how the rigor can be maintained so you can get it to move and stay in a rigorous, academic format that is also creative
  • I”m wondering how we can articulate that art is an answer to a strong culture and democracy and why it is so vital to our overall well being. To give it that same level of import to the vibrancy and health of culture
  • I’m wondering how we might look at creating an engaging education, how can we take the artistic paradigm and infuse it in to all teaching and learning so it’s inquiry based, critical thinking skills are activated, and children have a voice in the classroom along with the teacher
  • I’m wondering how we can professionalize the field of teaching artistry
  • Wondering when the test mania will end and we can find the assessment we need as artists that embraces the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and data doesn’t drive our life as human beings
  • I’m wondering what’s happening at the legislative level, since there wasn’t much of a state perspective in the timeline
March 8th Quilt Squares

Quilt Reflections

  • Graphically, like the colors
  • Like the folding on the square – individuality, thinking beyond the obvious
  • I see synergy and coming togetherness
  • Personal stories matter – stories make change
  • Like how individual squares are making up a composite picture. The interplay between the individual and the collective
  • I see the future, a shared vision
  • I really love “forget the parts, make me whole”
  • Feeling through those modalities
  • The quilts were historically means to send messages to freedom my african slaves… extending that metaphor we are seeking freedom
  • Frustrated urgency! Angst to tell the story and get some results
  • I see a readiness to take this to the next level. It’s just so active: tell the story, reveal your passion, just do it!

Debrief/Commitments/Final Thoughts

  • I would like to plug in to this network. We have a lot of talented, knowledgable people here!
  • I feel the need to tap in to the regular classroom teacher and get their thoughts about transforming education, because I haven’t heard from them enough!
  • I was part of the first strategic planning board, and one of the things we were working on was to have the conversation. To me the most important aspect is that educators are working together. It’s very exciting how this is now starting
  • I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet people who share a common goal. It revitalized me
  • How can we continue to share what we’re all doing moving forward?
  • When we are teaching to the whole child, it means their parents as well so we can support the whole child
  • I hope we can make it hard for people to dismiss the arts
  • I am interested in sharing this information and the blog with youth to bring them in to the conversation
  • I am at the preschool level, and am excited to have the conversation with them and their parents, start it now!
  • Stories are really a way to help people remember the power of art. So ask people question on a video cell phone and share!
  • I am planning on going home and writing my representatives to tell them about this conversation. Let’s let barbara boxer know about this conversation. Have the conversation with the arts commissioner!
  • I plan to bring it back to the most base level and to my department head. Start the conversation there so it won’t be too fragmented or isolated
  • Thank you – it means a lot to not feel so isolated or alone


  • Share training with my ED director, to help gather new ideas
  • Find another community member to share with, especially someone who is unaware
  • I have a meeting with arts teachers next week and I’ll have this conversation with them
  • User this process to inform my own work, share with colleagues and other stakeholders
  • I will bring our question into conversations I am already having and commit to filling out the notes online
  • Start the conversation by asking people what they care about, steer it to kids and education and arts!
  • Record for teachers stories principles too!
  • Plug into the network, communicate with contacts
  • Share this training with a new arts magnet school in AUSD, also with Peralta PTA> Contact people I have met re: grants.
  • Get a stronger grasp on the Studio 8 language, start using it to describe skills learned/practiced through the arts. Attach the language to stories of individual accomplishments
  • Have a conversation with Louise and Amy about support with and for the North Bay
  • Have a conversation with Napa colleagues who may have an interest in this
  • Will continue this conversation with another county I am working with
  • Share ideas and promote conversation on Facebook and blog. Write superior milly and Rep. Barbara Lee to get them in the conversation
  • Hold conversations with course A participants, ILSP faculty –> P& I Group, CAL DTE Students, NAEA friends & Arts Leadership Retreat, Parents of my kid’s school
  • I’ll be reconnection with art docents across Alameda to see where we’re going with the program(s) and how we can all participate in the change and restructuring of our district. I’ll also be talking to my preschool parents at the end of the year art show
  • Talk with board @ Theatre Bay Area about the CA advocates for the arts agenda with respect to finding/vision for arts in education
  • Incorporate ideas generated into program work underway to amplify the importance of the arts and public education
  • I will share the conversation we started with others in 3 different ways: 1. one-on-one with educations and adults who work with youth from a community angle; 2. On my blog create a short article describing a facet of this exciting movement; 3. Share the blog on Facebook
  • I’m going to tell the new Superintendent about our district’s art’s story!
  • Issue of Equity and Fairness for art teachers began and despite resistance, ongoing.
  • Engage new department chairman to take leadership role and head a consortium for visual and performing arts dept.
  • Reach out and connect
  • I want to participate in the synthesis team. I am also making a documentary film about teaching artists contributing to successful education. A chance for people to tell their stories!
  • I will talk to people I met here, maybe talk to people I don’t know!
  • Conversations in a box with arts pronders alliance of SF
  • Convene teaching artists for a discussion, convene a discussion at a board meeting
  • Jefferson arts coach will bring teachers there with conversations, will introduce tools
  • Talk to my principal about becoming an Art Resource Center for nearby elementary school. Ask her to take me to the next charter school principal meeting to present the idea.

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