1. Establish a strong foundation and deepening school districts’ capacity to implement arts education

When arts education is woven into the fabric of the school district and the community, it is difficult to cut when times get tough. By starting with an adopted arts education policy and plan, Arts for All helps to combat the last 40 years of piecemeal arts instruction and creates a common launch point for arts education to be implemented. School board adopted policies demonstrate commitment and articulate a vision of what arts education should look like, and adopted plans establish a shared road map. The on-going development of district leaders helps them to understand their role in removing barriers to quality arts education.

2. Improve the quality of teaching and learning

When we help build the skills, knowledge and confidence of the people who provide arts instruction to students, they are able to translate district policies and plans into high quality student learning. Practical tools and partnership opportunities promote the collective responsibility of classroom teachers, arts teachers and artists to deliver high quality arts education. The on-going development of teachers and artists increases their ability to raise the quality of arts education.

3. Create and empower advocates and conducting ongoing research and evaluation

When community members are organized, empowered and informed, they publicly declare their values and beliefs about the importance of the arts to a well-rounded education for all students. Engaged parents, civic and community leaders, arts and arts organizations, business leaders and students build relationships with local education decision makers and are supportive partners for school districts for the delivery of high quality arts education for all students.

4. Ensure sustainable funding partnerships for arts education

When a small group of funders comes together, big change happens. Funders ensure quality arts education by aligning guidelines with the Visual and Performing Arts Standards. Funders increase student access to the arts by pooling their resources, shifting from funding isolated programs to investing in County-wide collaboration. Funders leverage school district investment in arts education by providing matching grants and seed grants, impacting whole school systems.

Why these goals?

Goal 1 is based on the belief that the basis of quality arts education in a school district is a sound infrastructure consisting of an arts education policy and plan adopted by the school board, a budget to ensure implementation of the plan, the hiring of a district level arts coordinator and a student to art teacher ratio no higher than 400 to 1. Goal 2 concentrates on giving teachers and teaching artists the training and tools to deliver optimum arts education. Goal 3 generates stakeholder groups that drive adoption of policies and plans, monitor the implementation of those plans and campaign strategically for arts education. Goal 4 aims to create a steady funding stream for arts education by educating funding sources about its importance and making alliances with those sources based on common interests.

Photo: Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky at an Arts for All Progress Report meeting.