The continuum of services offered by Arts for All include:
Community Arts Teams (CAT)
Once a school district joins the initiative, an Arts for All coach begins work with a local team of stakeholders (i.e. a Community Arts Team or “CAT” team). These teams are often made up of district administrators, school board members, teachers, local artists and nonprofit and business leaders. Together, they develop a policy that provides a vision for arts education in their school district and a plan for implementing that vision. These are then submitted to the school-board for approval. CAT team members continue to provide ongoing support and advocacy for arts education after the adoption of their district’s policy and plan.
District VAPA Coordinator Support
Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Coordinators are the point people who manage the delivery of arts instruction across a school district. Arts for All supports their efforts to implement arts education activities in their schools through a variety of networking and professional development opportunities.
Residency Grant Program
This program brings teaching artists into classrooms to work directly with students. Musicians, dancers, theater and visual artists collaborate with classroom teachers to engage students through extended, experiential learning. Since its inception in 2006-07, the program has provided matching funds to support residencies that impacted over 46,200 students in more than 2,000 classrooms. This program sunsets in June 2014.
Student Access Fund
The Student Access Fund targets school districts with high percentages of students living in poverty and with little access to the arts community. This program builds partnerships between these districts and community arts educators to provide direct student instruction through classroom residencies, teacher professional development and field trips.
Teacher Professional Development Grant Program
Serving 12 school districts since 2012, this three-year effort aims to build the capacity of teachers to deliver instruction in the arts to their students. School districts work with The California Arts Project, California’s subject matter expert for the Visual and Performing Arts, to identify their arts professional development needs and create action plans. They then request up to $30,000 to partner with high quality, vetted providers to implement their professional development plans. This program sunsets in November 2014.
Teaching Creativity with the Common Core Standards
With California and 45 other states transitioning to the Common Core State Standards, big changes are taking place in what students are expected to know and be able to do. Arts for All and the Los Angeles County Office of Education provide a free, hands-on workshop series designed for district leaders and educators to examine ways the arts can help students achieve these new standards.
Arts Education Roundtable
The Roundtable provides a popular forum for administrators, teaching artists, and arts education advocates to network and share knowledge. Convenings offer professional development as well as networking opportunities. An ongoing email listserv provides a virtual bulletin board for 850 arts education stakeholders to share ideas and information about their work, programs and events.
Online Tools and Resources
Arts for All offers online resources including a Programs for Students searchable database with over 200 profiles of vetted L.A. County arts education programs, a Programs for Educators searchable database of 45 peer reviewed professional development programs which improve arts instruction through teacher training, and Designing the Arts Learning Community: a Handbook for K-12 Professional Development Planners which includes detailed profiles of 50 model professional development programs from across the nation. These easy-to-access tools offer valuable resources for stakeholders working on delivering high quality arts education in schools.
Arts and STEM Collaborative for 21st Century Learning
Leaders from the arts, education and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) communities in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties joined forces in 2013 to establish the Arts + STEM Collaborative for 21st Century Learning. Prompted by funding from The Boeing Company, the Collaborative was established to allow arts, STEM and education leaders to learn about one another’s work, identify areas of convergence, and determine how they might work together to more broadly support public education. Currently, 39 representatives from 23 government, higher education, business and nonprofit entities are participating in the Collaborative, which is being led by Arts for All and Arts Orange County.
Advocacy Team Training
Advocacy is critical to ensuring that all children receive meaningful arts education in school. To that end, Arts for All has forged a strategic partnership with Arts for LA, the premiere voice advancing the arts as a vital part of civic life in Los Angeles County. Skilled facilitators work with community teams to address all aspects of creating and implementing successful advocacy and awareness campaigns. From asset mapping, to communications support, to putting ideas into action plans, Arts for LA’s support helps ensure community members have a voice in school board elections and in protecting the future of arts in schools.
Publication of Research and Data
From 2004-2008, Arts for All published three county-wide Arts Education Performance Indicators reports analyzing five factors identified as critical for sustaining meaningful arts education in school districts. In 2009, Arts for All commissioned The Griffin Center for Inspired Instruction to develop a new tool for assessing arts education with an emphasis on factors of quality, equity and access. The School Arts Survey offers a multi-dimensional perspective on arts education at individual schools in a particular district. Each year, a growing set of cumulative data is providing insights into the state of arts education throughout the region. The California Alliance for Arts Education used findings from the School Arts Survey in their recent policy pathway paper entitled Embracing Arts Education to Achieve Title I Goals.
Ensure Sustainable Funding Partnerships for Arts Education
The Arts for All Pooled Fund was formed in 2004 to bring funders together to have a collective and sustained impact on students through support of Arts for All. The Pooled Fund is the principal catalyst that fortifies the ongoing work of Arts for All through financial contributions and strategic thinking. Co-Chaired by Janice Pober of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Rachel Levin of the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Pooled Fund is managed by a roundtable of public, private and corporate grantmakers who contribute to the fund, meet quarterly to discuss priorities and provide financial oversight. Additionally, Pooled Fund members help cultivate expanding philanthropic interest in arts education, with many members also supporting partner organizations whose work increases districts’ capacity to improve arts education in Los Angeles.