December 1, 2021|

2020-2021 End of Year Report Released

Staff and artists from the Arts for Healing and Justice Network (AHJN) and member organizations.
Image by Sylvanus Leone. Courtesy of AHJN.

The 2020-21 End of Year Report provides an overview of how the Arts Ed Collective now formally extends beyond public education and aims to change the social conditions and broader public systems that impact where and how young people access learning in and through the arts. Following last year's adoption of the new LA County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education (Arts Ed Blueprint) and Countywide Plan for Elevating the Arts as a Justice Reform Strategy (Arts and Justice Reform Plan) by the Board of Supervisors, this report summarizes recent efforts through which the Arts Ed Collective stretches beyond a single program or approach to prioritize resources for youth historically excluded from learning in the arts and expand arts-based strategies in school, after school, and in communities.

Read Report
November 19, 2021|

New Resources from the November 5 District Arts Coordinator Convening

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the School District Arts Coordinator convening on November 5! If you weren't able to attend, please find the agenda and resources that were discussed here on our website. We hope to see you at the next convening on January 28, 2022, 2:00PM-4:00PM. Registration information is on the resources page.

Resources and Opportunities

September 20, 2021|
April 28, 2021|

KCET ARTBOUND: ARTS EDUCATION

The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of LA County.

Artbound: Arts Education is a special documentary episode of the acclaimed KCET series. It features contributions from artists, educators, policymakers—including youth poets from Get LitCatherine Opie, Vijay GuptaHector TobarDebbie Allen, and Chloe Arnold.

The film shows that by supporting social-emotional intelligence, inspiring a sense of belonging, and developing creative skills, the arts help youth make sense of the past, act powerfully in the present, and imagine the future. It is a reflection on the vital role that arts learning can play in youth development, wellbeing, and building a democratic society with civic narratives that value diverse perspectives, critical thinking, and the creative voices of our youth in a complex world. It is also a call to action to join the collective movement for racial justice, diverse representation in the arts and creative economy, and education equity for all.

Artbound: Arts Education is a project of the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, developed by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture in partnership with KCET. Funding for this project was generously provided by the Stuart Foundation, the Moss Foundation, and the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective Funders Council. 

Learn More
September 29, 2021|

Arts and Culture Awards 41 School Districts Grants to Advance Arts Education

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE AWARDS GRANTS TO 41 SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ADVANCE ARTS EDUCATION

Funded by Philanthropy, Grants Total $867,700 and Support Projects Ranging from Professional Development to Social Emotional Learning in the Arts

The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) has announced that grants totaling $867,700 will be awarded to 41 Los Angeles County school districts. The Advancement Grant Program is administered through the LA County Arts Education Collective, the countywide initiative dedicated to making the arts a core part of every child’s growth and development. Advancement Grants, underwritten by the Arts Ed Collective Funders Council, offer flexible funding to school districts to advance arts education in LA County.

Together with school district matching funds, Advancement Grants will catalyze more than $1.6M this year to expand access to instruction in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts. School districts use Advancement Grants to implement district-wide arts education in a range of ways: arts integration, professional development and resources for teachers, social emotional learning in the arts, arts classes, and musical instrument purchases.

Arts education is critical to the overall wellbeing of our young people, and contributes to academic achievement, social development, civic participation, and career success. Research such as the Arts Education Profile: Report on Public Schools, 2015-17 shows, however, that students from low income communities, English learners, and students of color have less access to arts education than their white, higher income, and English-proficient peers, and that the arts instruction they do receive is of lower quality.

Informed by the Regional Blueprint for Arts Education, the Advancement Grant Program is one of the Arts Ed Collective’s school-based strategies that directs resources and investments to historical underserved communities. Advancement Grants promote equity with priority points for school districts serving large numbers of students (10,000 or greater), and those with more than 71% of students who are eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals, foster youth, and English language learners. A complete list of the 41 school district grantees (including four charter school networks) is below.

"Advancement Grants bring arts and cultural resources to school districts throughout Los Angeles County, and I am proud of the ways that the program incorporates an equity lens in its design. We need to keep investing in our creative infrastructure, and supporting school districts as they bring the arts, improved educational outcomes, and future opportunities in the creative economy to our youth,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District.

"Advancement Grants show the powerful impact of public-private partnership and our dual aims to reach scale and equity in arts education, while prioritizing resources and investments to historically underserved communities," said Kristin Sakoda, Director of Arts and Culture. "Especially as we continue to recover from the pandemic, the human connection, educational engagement, wellbeing, and creative expression that the arts provide are more important than ever. We are deeply grateful for our school district, philanthropic, and County partners who are working together as part of the Arts Ed Collective to ensure all young people have opportunities to create and thrive through the arts."

"We are honored to be supporting these 41 school districts and are excited about all of the different ways these matching grants will help them initiate, expand, or preserve students’ access to quality arts education at this critical time," said Jacqueline Chun, Chief Program and Operations Officer at The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation and Chair of the LA County Arts Ed Collective Funders Council Advancement Grant Subcommittee.

The Advancement Grant Program is administered by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. The Advancement Grant Program is made possible with funding from the Arts Ed Collective Funders Council and through direct contributions from The Herb Alpert Foundation, the Angell Foundation, Colburn Foundation, The Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation, and the Music Man Foundation.

2021-22 Arts Education Collective Advancement Grant

ABC Unified School District
Alhambra Unified School District
Antelope Valley Union High School District
Arcadia Unified School District
Azusa Unified School District
Baldwin Park Unified School District
Burbank Unified School District
Centinela Valley Union High School District
Compton Unified School District
Covina-Valley Unified School District
Culver City Unified School District
El Monte Union High School District
El Rancho Unified School District
Garvey Elementary School District
Glendale Unified School District
Glendora Unified School District
Hacienda La Puente Unified School District
Hawthorne School District
iLead Charter Network
Inner City Education Foundation
Keppel Union School District
Lawndale Elementary School District
Lynwood Unified School District
Magnolia Public Schools
Monrovia Unified School District
Montebello Unified School District
Mountain View School District
Newhall School District
Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District
Paramount Unified School District
Pasadena Unified School District
Pomona Unified School District
Rosemead School District
San Gabriel Unified School District
Saugus Union School District
South Pasadena Unified School District
Sulphur Springs Union School District
Whittier City School District
Whittier Union High School District
Wilsona School District
Wiseburn School District
 

About the Arts Ed Collective
The LA County Arts Education Collective is the countywide initiative dedicated to making the arts a core part of every child’s growth and development. Starting with just one school district in each Supervisorial District nearly two decades ago, the Arts Ed Collective now includes a robust coalition that includes 74 school districts, 5 charter school networks, nearly a dozen County agencies, and hundreds of community-based arts organizations, teaching artists, educators, philanthropists, and advocates. The initiative is coordinated by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture, is supported by curriculum and instructional services provided by the LA County Office of Education. It is guided by a Leadership Council and an active Funders Council who continue to invest in what is now recognized as a national model of collective impact in arts education. For more information and a list of philanthropic funders, visit lacountyartsedcollective.org

September 14, 2021|

Learn About the Arts Ed Collective's 'Healing-Centered' work with a new Zine

As our arts-based youth development work with the Arts Ed Collective continues to evolve, the idea of "healing-centered" approaches have emerged as central to reimagining and creating an LA County where all youth—and especially youth who have been historically precluded and excluded—engage in arts all year, every year. To learn more about the emerging field of Healing Centered Engagement, especially as it relates to arts based youth development, please download our zine Healing-Centered Engagement—Reflections and Insights from the Field.

A part of Los Angeles County's New Regional Blueprint for Arts Education, this research was commissioned by the Arts Ed Collective to explore the important ways arts-based Healing Centered Engagement can support and uplift youth voices as part of healthy growth and development. This zine is a summary of six months of intensive review of academic literature and interviews with research-practitioners and youth, and serves as a guide to understanding key concepts and ideas that can advance arts-based healing practices across the region.

October 13, 2020|

Board of Supervisors Adopts New Regional Blueprint For Arts Education

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Adopts New Regional Blueprint For Arts Education

Blueprint Contains Strategies for Increasing Arts Education in School, After School, and in Communities, Including Juvenile Justice, Foster Youth, and Workforce Development Systems

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion today to adopt the Arts for All Children, Youth, and Families: Los Angeles County’s New Regional Blueprint for Arts Education, which aims to bring arts education to young people throughout LA County. The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) and the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective (Arts Ed Collective) developed the Blueprint, which calls for arts learning to happen both in and outside of school, throughout communities, and in juvenile justice, foster youth, and workforce development systems.

This Blueprint is an update of the 2002 Arts for All: LA County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education, which focused exclusively on in-school arts education. The new Blueprint presents an expanded approach with strategies that reach beyond school to include arts instruction for all students, across all grade levels, in all public schools; expanded opportunities for arts education after school; year-round community-based arts learning; access to careers in the creative economy; arts-based programs and services provided in collaboration with multiple LA County departments that support children, youth, and families; and a prioritization of historically underserved populations. It is intended as both an aspirational policy statement and a roadmap for practitioners and leaders to advance youth development over the next decade.

The new Blueprint’s goals are to:

  • Develop systems and infrastructure that expand and sustain arts education for all young people, in all schools, and in all communities.
  • Build and strengthen partnerships and collaborations to create, expand, and leverage resources for arts education.
  • Increase public awareness about the importance of arts education and mobilize stakeholders to advocate for robust implementation.

The arts promote creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills that prepare all students to thrive in school and in life, said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Third District. The County’s bold new Blueprint brings the arts into schools and communities so that our young people grow up being able to think critically and develop out-of-the-box solutions for the many challenges they will face.

We know that the arts and creative learning support social-emotional well-being, improved student outcomes, access to careers in the creative economy, and transferrable skills that prepare young people for any profession or industry, said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. The new Blueprint fosters creativity in the children of Los Angeles County, enriching their lives now and also laying a foundation for more opportunity into adulthood.

The Blueprint is steeped in Arts and Culture research which continues to confirm that access to arts education is limited for historically underserved students in LA County. The Arts Education Profile: Report on Public Schools, 2015-17 found that students from low income communities, English learners, and students of color have less access to arts education than their white, higher income, and English-proficient peers, and that the arts instruction they are offered is of lower quality. These findings sit within a broader context of inequity: Measure for America’s A Portrait of LA County, for instance, looked at key indicators of well-being and found similar correlations between poverty, race, geography, education, and health.

Despite the many benefits of an arts education, we continue to see disparities in access and opportunity among youth of color, current or former foster youth, youth that are currently or formerly homeless, impacted by the justice system, LGBTQ+, migrants, English language learners, and youth living in poverty, in rural areas, and with disabilities, said Kristin Sakoda, Director of the Department of Arts and Culture. The new Blueprint leverages this moment of opportunity to redefine scale, equity, and quality in culturally sustaining arts education for the next generation of youth in the largest County in the nation.

The new Blueprint’s vision to increase access and equity in the arts aligns with much of the County’s bold and innovative work advancing racial and cultural equity across the region, demonstrated by its groundbreaking policies and initiatives including the:

  • Cultural Equity and Inclusion Initiative, which ensures that all residents have equitable access to arts and culture, and to improve inclusion in the wider arts ecology.
  • Countywide Plan to Elevate the Role of the Arts in Criminal Justice Reform, which provides strategies for reimagining justice reform, prevention, and community investment through the arts including arts education and creative youth development for justice-impacted youth.
  • Countywide Cultural Policy, which affirms the value of arts, culture, and creativity; strengthen cultural equity and inclusion; and leverage arts and culture to achieve the highest potential of communities across all aspects of civic life.
  • Anti-racist Los Angeles County Policy Agenda, which will guide, govern, and increase the County’s ongoing commitment to fighting racism in all its dimensions, especially racism that systemically and systematically affects Black residents.

Background
Nearly 20 years ago, the Board of Supervisors launched a countywide initiative to restore the arts in public education. That initiative, now known as the Arts Ed Collective, is coordinated by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture. The coalition currently includes over 150 public and private partners, including the Los Angeles County Office of Education, 74 of the 81 LA County school districts, arts organizations, grantees, philanthropy, and county agencies including departments of Mental Health, Probation, Parks and Recreation, the offices of Child Protection, Youth Diversion and Development, and more.

In 2018, the Board of Supervisors identified a need for an updated regional plan for arts education that reflects the current priorities and educational landscape of LA County. The development process for the new plan involved input from more than 600 stakeholders during the spring and summer of 2019. Arts and Culture staff travelled across the county, speaking to residents in Lancaster, Santa Clarita, Pomona, Santa Monica, and six other neighborhoods in a series of community forums. Residents engaged included youth, parents, artists, and community members—as well as representatives from schools, arts organizations, local businesses, creative industries, workforce development, social services, and local government.

September 3, 2020|

Awarding Grants to 40 School to Advance Arts Education

Students at Leuzinger High School take part in an arts engagement featuring UniverSOUL Hip Hop.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ARTS AND CULTURE AWARDS GRANTS TO 40 SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ADVANCE ARTS EDUCATION

Funded by Philanthropy, Grants Total $811,600 and Support Projects Ranging from Professional Development to Social Emotional Learning in the Arts

The Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) has announced that grants totaling $811,600 will be awarded to 40 Los Angeles County school districts. The Advancement Grant Program is administered through the LA County Arts Education Collective, the countywide initiative dedicated to making the arts a core part of every child’s growth and development. Advancement Grants, underwritten by the Arts Ed Collective Funders Council, offer flexible funding to school districts, and are matched by school district funds. Leveraging public and private resources, they will invest more than $1.6M this year to expand access to instruction in dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts.

School districts use Advancement Grants to implement district-wide arts education in a range of ways: arts integration, professional development and resources for teachers, social emotional learning in the arts, arts classes, and musical instrument purchases for at-home instruction. To address data showing disparities in access to the arts, Advancement Grants promote equity with priority points for school districts serving large student populations of 10,000 or greater, and those with an Unduplicated Pupil Count of 71% or greater which includes students eligible for Free and Reduced Priced Meals, foster youth, and English language learners. A complete list of the 40 school district grantees (including four charter school networks) is below.

We are proud to provide Advancement Grants with an eye toward increasing equity and access in arts education for the benefit of our County youth, said Kristin Sakoda, Director of Arts and Culture. In this unprecedented time, the human connection, educational engagement, wellbeing, and creative expression that the arts provide is more important than ever. We are deeply grateful for our school district, philanthropy, and County partners as we collectively work to ensure opportunities for students to create and thrive.

Investing in the future for Los Angeles County’s children is imperative, especially now, said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. These Advancement Grants support a well-rounded education and help school districts lay the foundation to careers in the arts and the creative economy. We want every person in Los Angeles County to have access to the breadth, depth, and diversity of the arts to enrich their childhood and foster their creativity into adulthood.

We know that learning is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, so as educators throughout Los Angeles County innovate their operations in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have an obligation to support customized learning initiatives that equip students with invaluable creative skills, said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. The Advancement Grants will be used for initiatives designed by the school districts themselves, as they know how to best reach their communities and be attentive to gaps and inequities in resources.

2020-21 Arts Education Collective Advancement Grant


Alhambra Unified School
Antelope Valley Union High School District
Arcadia Unified School District
Azusa Unified School District
Baldwin Park Unified School District
Burbank Unified School District
Centinela Valley Union High School District
Claremont Unified School District
Compton Unified School District
Covina-Valley Unified School District
Culver City Unified School District
El Monte Union High School District
El Rancho Unified School District
Garvey Elementary School District
Glendora Unified School District
Hacienda La Puente Unified School District
Hawthorne School District
Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union
iLead Charter Network
Inner City Education Foundation
Keppel Union School District
Lawndale Elementary School District
Lynwood Unified School District
Magnolia Public Schools
Monrovia Unified School District
Montebello Unified School District
Mountain View School District
Newhall School District
Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District
Paramount Unified School District
Pasadena Unified School District
Pomona Unified School District
Rosemead School District
San Gabriel Unified School District
South Pasadena Unified School District
Sulphur Springs Union School District
Walnut Valley Unified School District
Whittier City School District
Whittier Union High School District
Wiseburn School District
April 3, 2018|

Los Angeles County Adopts Arts Ed Equity Policy

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has long advocated for the importance of the arts in public education. In 2002, the Supervisors unanimously adopted the Los Angeles County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education which established the LA County Arts Ed Collective as a part of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The Arts Ed Collective was directed to work with the Office of Education to ensure that LA County’s 1.5 million public school students receive high-quality arts education. Sixteen years later, in a motion co-authored by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Sheila Kuehl, the Board of Supervisors has reaffirmed its commitment to the arts and adopted the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning (The Declaration).

The Declaration was put forth by California’s statewide arts education coalition, CreateCA, and has been adopted by a number of school districts across the state. It outlines the rights of all students to a high-quality arts education, regardless of race, culture, language, religion, national origin, place of residence, socioeconomic or legal status. However, supported in part by a study completed by the Arts Education Collective, Los Angeles County has become the first municipality to adopt The Declaration. The study concludes that while most schools in Los Angeles County have some arts education, access to quality arts education, especially for lower income students and students of color, is not equitable. By adopting The Declaration, the Board of Supervisors ensures that the importance of access to quality arts education is communicated across all levels of Los Angeles County government, and that steps are taken to address the disparity. In fact, a result of the Supervisors’ adoption of this motion, the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), has followed suit. Most significantly, the passage of this motion creates opportunities for equitable access to arts education through partnerships with multiple County departments, extending the reach of the work facilitated by the Arts Ed Collective.

December 8, 2017|

LA County Arts Commission Presents Findings From Arts Ed Profile at Education Summit

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission releases findings from a 18-month survey of arts education in K-12 public schools. The Arts Ed Profile was administered to all 2,277 schools across LA County, including 81 districts, four charter school networks as well as a few individual charter schools.

Read the Full Press Release

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