November 20, 2019|

Supporting Advocacy for Teacher Training:How LUSD Uses the Arts Ed Profile

The LA County Arts Ed Profile is a tool used by school districts, administrators, parents, arts partners and many other stakeholders to understand where arts instruction is happening in LA County public schools. It’s similar to the Arts Data Project that uses California Department of Education (CDE) data to build profiles of arts instruction in schools and districts, however it has a few important differences. The LA County Arts Ed Profile:

  • Includes K-8 statistics (the Arts Data Project covers secondary school only)
  • Includes arts partners that provide arts education
  • Incorporates discrete and integrated arts instruction data

Lynwood Unified School District (LUSD) is a K-12 district located just west of Downey and north of Compton. It encompasses 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, and three high schools. The district prioritizes arts education, and district administrators have found the Arts Ed Profile a valuable tool in helping them advocate for increased arts education. A member of LUSD since 2016, District Arts Coordinator Dr. Mariana Astorga-Almanza is one of the administrators who has used the Arts Ed Profile to great effect.

Mariana says the Arts Ed Profile helps:

  • Drill down on arts education offered by content area and grade level
  • Identify gaps in arts education, and provide a jumping off point for the district’s strategic planning process
  • Make informed decisions on what arts courses should be offered at each grade level each year, based on current student enrollment, and where to expand in upcoming years
  • Have data to leverage partnerships to build teacher capacity and develop integrative arts training for teachers
  • Support arts education pilots
  • Advocate for district support in hiring full-time arts teachers
  • Inform projects under consideration for the Arts Ed Collective Advancement Grant

For example, one pilot program supported by the Arts Ed Profile is a teacher training partnership with the Music Center. Three years ago, LUSD piloted this program Kindergarten level. The Music Center provided professional development and arts integration training for all Kindergarten teachers in the district, which resulted in all 1,000 Kindergarten students receiving music education. This pilot was expanded during the 2018-2019 school year to encompass first grade, and today serves 2,000 students. These pilot programs build existing teacher capacity for arts integration, while creating partnerships with arts partners. In turn, this strengthens the case for increasing the distribution of resources towards arts classes and ultimately, specialized, full-time arts teachers.

This is just one example of how schools and districts can use the data provided by the Arts Ed Profile to move their districts towards access to more resources for arts education. Curious how your school or district compares to others in LA County? Look them up in the Arts Ed Profile to see what arts education looks like for your students. Don't see your school, or not sure when your data was last updated? Email Matt Agustin, Research Associate, to find out.

September 11, 2019|

Innovating Arts Education In LA County

Thank you to the hundreds of residents who participated in community forums across LA County this past spring to impact the future of arts education. Your input makes a difference!

Over the past two decades, the local arts education landscape has shifted. Today, nearly 90% of public K-12 public schools in LA County offer some arts instruction to some students, some of the time. The notion that "schools don't teach the arts" is no longer true. What is true, is that youth of color, youth from low-income households, and English language learners not only receive less arts instruction in schools, they also receive lower quality arts instruction than their peers. Increasing access to the arts—and all of the cognitive and socio-emotional benefits they offer—means reaching youth people wherever they might be—in schools, in parks, in the community, or in the juvenile justice system, to name a few.

To that end, in Spring 2018, the LA County Board of Supervisors directed the LA County Department of Arts and Culture (Arts and Culture) to update the 2002 Arts for All: LA County Regional Blueprint for Arts Education in order to reflect the current priorities and educational landscape of LA County.

During spring and summer of this year, Arts and Culture solicited input from community members in ten forums that took place in neighborhoods that spanned the geographic breadth of the County. Through dialogue and visual arts activities, residents in areas as disparate as Santa Monica, Long Beach, Lancaster, and Pomona. explored key questions across four distinct focus areas: In-School Arts Education, Creative Career Pathways for Youth, Community-Based Arts Education, and County Government Programs and Services.


Data from these forums was combined with input collected at separate convenings of targeted stakeholder groups, which include representatives from County government, philanthropy, organizations working in justice reform, in the creative economy, and members of the Arts Ed Collective Youth Advisory Council.

Throughout the summer, an advisory group of diverse LA County arts education leaders, reviewed all data collected and put forward strategies to inform the updated Regional Plan. Later this fall, the plan will be presented to the LA County Board of Supervisors for adoption. The goal is that the new Regional Plan will serve as a roadmap for the field to directly address the current inequities in education and serve all youth in LA County.

Stay tuned for more updates, and check out our gallery of photos from the forums!

View Gallery

2019 Arts Ed Community Forums

February 20, 2019|

Measure Progress With the Arts Ed Profile

The Arts Ed Profile is aimed at understanding the quality, quantity, and equity of arts education offered in K-12 schools across LA County. First administered in 2017, it has, to date, garnered responses from more than 47% or 1,000 schools across the County. Each year, the Arts Ed Collective incorporates more individual school and district data, using it to build a more robust picture of arts education in Los Angeles. Having this data give schools and districts the information they needed to advocate for greater resources.

The survey data is filtered into a manageable and usable tool that schools can refer to as they seek parent, funder, and stakeholder buy-in. This tool allows schools to take stock of their offerings and identify strengths, while granting organizations and advocates use it to identify districts that have greater need.

We encourage all LA County schools to work with their district arts leaders to complete their Arts Ed Profile. While the Arts Ed Collective recently completed a major update, we accept new data year-round.

Here are a few success stories from both school districts and funding organizations:

As part of my role with The Music Man Foundation, I regularly visit public school campuses where the Arts Education Collective and our grantee organizations partner to provide music education programs. Before visiting a school, I like to look it up on the County’s Arts Ed Profile tool to see what arts are offered on that campus. I find it interesting and helpful to see how its offerings compare with others in the neighborhood. While on-site, I’ll share that Profile data with the school’s teachers and administrators, and explain how I found it helpful. In cases when a school has not reported their data, I’ll encourage school leaders to send in their information and let them know how valuable it is for grantmakers.

I have had a number of experiences where I learned that the arts education available at a given school was not accurately reflected in the Profile. For example, I had a wonderful experience during a holiday music concert at an elementary school in the Compton Unified School District, where I sat next to and chatted with an assistant superintendent. We discussed the many fantastic arts programs happening in Compton, and I pointed out that they weren’t all reflected in the Arts Ed Profile. Seeing the importance of representing accurate data, he shared his plan to send a memo to his principals, encouraging their participation immediately. Since then, Compton schools have had much better representation on the Profile.

-Sarah Lyding, The Music Man Foundation


It was so easy to stand up and speak to a room full of people and easily and succinctly tell them the story of the impact that years of inadequate funding had on our arts programs, and what we needed to get back to that place. When I shared the data that showed where Burbank ranked in terms of providing funding to our arts programs, it was an eye opener for our district leadership and for our community, and they overwhelmingly approved additional funding for instrument repair and replacement.

They also added funding so that over three years, we added an additional three teachers to our elementary music program, making it possible for us to provide weekly general music instruction for every 2nd through 5th grade student. Furthermore, we were able to address a problem with providing materials and supplies for students in secondary visual arts programs.

The survey data really empowers the classroom teachers who are trying to get their job done with their students, and at the same time, lobby for their program. Our mission is to use the data to help drive the improvement of our programs. At some point you have to stop and really look at what’s real and what’s going on so that you can begin to address the things that need to be addressed."

-Peggy Flynn, Arts & Career Technical Education Coordinator, Burbank Unified School District.


I think most of our schools in California are data-driven places. They understand the importance of gathering data to inform and make decisions. Especially the way we’re working now with our local control funding formula and our concentration dollars we have to provide data in order to show why we’re making these decisions. So it’s mutually beneficial. Yes, it takes some time, but it’s well-worth the time. And when you are able to see interesting, rich, robust, informative data about your school or about your district or LEA that tells the story of the need for arts education, or why we should do something, or the impact it’s having, it’s absolutely motivational, inspirational, and it’s really focusing. It helps you set goals. Consider this survey as a key to unlock the door to having arts flourish on your campus.

-Geoffrey Zamarripa, Principal, Columbia Elementary School, El Monte


Our participation in the Arts Ed Profile data collection coincided with our becoming a member of the Arts Education Collective in 2017. We launched our district’s Community Arts Team (CAT) to create a 5-year Strategic Plan for the arts. Our leadership team was generally very responsive to collecting the data using the online instrument. Our CAT meetings quickly discovered the value of using Arts Ed Profile data to address the formation of goals for equity in the arts across the district and the importance of relating these objectives back to the LCFF in ways that aligned with the district priorities. This improved the overall awareness of the role the arts can play in meeting district needs, and provided a focus for our professional development with arts specialists.

This year additional funds were set aside for arts specialists to schedule field trips and attend conferences. Perhaps the most significant advance that the data will make possible will come about as a result of updating the metrics for this year. We anticipate that the Arts Ed Profile will become a foundational piece in measuring the types of improvements being implemented as the arts strategic plan shapes our district’s commitment to achieving equity in the arts in AVUHSD.

-Betsy McKinstry, Career Technical Education Director Antelope Valley Unified High School District


January 17, 2019|

2018 SSAE Grants to Support Arts in Schools

The Arts Education Collective extends its congratulations to the Pasadena Unified and Lancaster school districts which join the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) in using their 2018 California Department of Education (CDE) Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SAEE) grants to fund Arts Education.

The SSAE grant program was created to support districts and charter schools across California in their efforts to providing all students with access to comprehensive, quality education. The grant program specifically prioritized applicants that aim to strengthen arts education, as well as those that will use funds to increase access to physical and mental health care.

The SSAE grant will be used to expand a program piloted at Eliot Arts Magnet, in which physical education teachers receive professional development and arts integration training from Lineage Dance Company teaching artists. It will also be used to complete the development of curriculum in the five art forms to align with core subject units and the California Common Core State Standards, NGSS, and History/Social Science standards. Lineage Dance Company will expand their partnership with the district by providing a dance residency in the district's secondary schools and managing dance training, while the Music Center and other contracted partners will assume teacher professional development training. Furthermore, the grant will fund the creation of well-equipped dance spaces, as few schools have facilities appropriate for such programming.

Lancaster School District will use their funding to implement arts integration classes which will be open to parent and teacher observation. These open classes will share ways that the arts transform learning in the classroom, by showcasing the district-wide arts learning currently in place, and creating community buy-in for further expansion of arts integration.

Finally, the LA County Office of Education’s $1.02M award from CDE’s SSAE Grant Program will support Scale Up! Student Success through Technology and Arts Integration Project to provide high-quality online/in-person professional development. Using a blended technology-driven instructional model, LACOE’s Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL) will help local educational agencies, schools and communities build knowledge and capacity to integrate arts strategies into Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). In the summer of 2019, district leaders will come together to learn evidence-based integration strategies, and develop a collaborative implementation model that focuses on well-rounded education, academic achievement, and digital literacy for all students.

LACOE welcomes all interested Los Angeles County districts to apply to the Scale Up! Academy, taking place in June of 2019 in DTLA. Space is limited, so districts are encouraged to apply early.

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 13, 2018|

Teaching Artists Guild Launches Teaching Artists Asset Map

Teaching Artists Guild (TAG) is an advocacy organization dedicated to the professionalization and visibility of artists who teach, establishing them as equally valued peers with partners in education, community, and social services. Recently, TAG launched the interactive Teaching Artists Asset Map. This important resource illuminates the depth and breadth of the field, assisting in the creation of community and connections. A LinkedIn for teaching artists and arts organizations, the Teaching Artists Asset Map, allow teaching artists, arts organizations, and advocates to connect with one another, build momentum, and share opportunities and resources.

While its primary function is network-building, the Teaching Artists Asset Map has a secondary function – allowing stakeholders to determine which populations are and are not being served. This enables advocates a more comprehensive understanding of equity in arts education, which in turn builds a case for support and resources in low-access areas.

November 13, 2018|

Inequity in Education

Last year the LA County Arts Ed Collective released a study that identified critical inequities in arts education. If you want to dig deeper on equity data in education, we suggest you check out ProPublica's recently released Miseducation, an interactive database that highlights racial disparities in opportunity and discipline at districts and schools across the U.S.

Their analysis of the data, which is primarily from the Civil Rights Data Collection, shows that nationally, “Black and Hispanic students are, on average, less likely to be selected for gifted programs and take AP courses than their White peers. They are also more likely, on average, to be suspended and expelled.”

Interactive data tools such as Miseducation and our Arts Ed Profile online tool can be important in uncovering inequities based on demographics within a district or school. Our countywide analysis of arts education data from LA County schools found that schools with more White students receive more and better quality arts education than schools that are more Black, Asian or Hispanic/Latinx.

Does your district or school face inequities? What kind of arts education is happening at your district or school? The LA County Arts Ed Profile seeks to answer these questions. Last year, 41% of Los Angeles County public schools submitted data, and helped arts advocates gain a partial view of existing inequities. A first step in addressing inequity is to identify it. With your help in gathering data, the Arts Ed Profile can provide a complete picture of access and inequity across LA County schools.

To answer questions of this nature, take a look at the existing information available in both tools:

August 29, 2018|

The Arts Ed Innovation Lab Travels to Berlin

"We are living in an era of great disruption and enormous potential." —opening comments, Presencing Foundations Program, Berlin, Germany

Building on work of the Arts Education Innovation Lab, eight arts education leaders from California traveled to Berlin in July to attend the Presencing Foundations Program. Participants represented over 20 nations and were committed to systemic change across multiple sectors including universal healthcare, banking and sustainable agriculture. Over the course of the 4-day intensive, participants were introduced to the concepts and practices of Theory U, a “social technology for helping bring about profound innovation and change.”

In the year ahead, ten arts education leaders from across the state who have trained in Theory U will partner with emerging arts education leaders in a professional learning community to advance systems change in arts education in California.









Pictured (L-R, Top)

  1. Nancy Ng, Luna Dance Institute
  2. Kate Stover, Tulare County Office of Education
  3. Kimberleigh Aarn, Arts Education Consultant
  4. Gillian McCarthy, LA County Arts Commission
  5. Victoria Lanier, Education Through Music—LA

(L-R, Bottom)

  1. Stacy Young, Humboldt County Office of Education
  2. Denise Grande, LA County Arts Commission
  3. Pat Wayne, Create CA

Other leaders in the professional learning community with previous Theory U Training

  1. Jean Johnstone, Teaching Artists Guild & Alameda County Office of Education
  2. Merryl Goldberg, CSU San Marcos

Learn more about Theory U Process and Practice

Over the past 18 months, the Innovation Lab’s strategic visioning has been guided by Theory U. Those interested in deepening their understanding of Theory U processes and practice can participate in U.lab: Leading From the Emerging Future, a free on-line course this fall. The session begins September 13, 2018.

August 21, 2018|

LA County School Districts Receive $748,400 In Matching Grants

LA County School Districts Receive $748,400 in matching Grants in Support of Arts Education in Schools

Awards Support Projects Ranging From Culturally-relevant Instruction to Creative Workforce Pathways


In August, the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective (formerly Arts For All) announced $748,400 in one-year matching grants to 42 school districts, including three charter networks through its Advancement Grant Program.

Now in its sixteenth year, the Arts Ed Collective is dedicated to making the arts core in public education by working with school districts and community arts partners to increase the quality, quantity and equity of arts instruction provided in schools. Since 2002 the Arts Ed Collective has offered a continuum of services to school districts including coaching for strategic planning and arts coordination, Countywide networking opportunities and funding for implementation.

The Advancement Grant Program offers flexible and responsive financial support, helping districts build necessary infrastructure to expand quality arts instruction in dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts for all of their students.

The 2018/19 Advancement Grant awards range from $6,900 to $22,900 for projects that include: professional development for teachers, culturally relevant in-school performances for students, the expansion of district-wide arts-integrated curriculum, the hiring of full-time staff, the development of college and career arts pathways, the purchasing of materials and more.

“Supporting school districts in their efforts to make quality arts education available to all LA County public school students is central to our mission,” said LA County Arts Commission Director of Arts Education Denise Grande. “This year, through the generosity of our Funders Council, we are pleased to be expanding the Advancement Grant Program, offering more funding to more districts than ever before.”

The Advancement Grant Program is underwritten by the LA County Arts Ed Collective Funders Council, with dedicated support from The Boeing Company, Herb Alpert Foundation, The Angell Foundation, The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, The Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation and The Dwight Stuart Youth Fund. Music education projects that are part of the Advancement Grant Program receive dedicated funding from Colburn Foundation and The Music Man Foundation. Established in 2004, the LA County Arts Ed Collective Funders Council is a collaborative of public and private funders that serves as a vehicle for sharing knowledge, developing strategy and strengthening arts education across LA County by both giving on the local level and supporting larger efforts towards system change by contributing to the work of the Arts Ed Collective. Since its inception, the Funders Council has invested more than $10.8 million in LA County arts education.

“Expanding arts education is one of the core initiatives of the Arts Commission,” said LA County Arts Commission Executive Director Kristin Sakoda. “Making arts and culture more accessible to all LA County residents begins long before the museum door or the theatre lobby. In many cases, a classroom is a child’s first gallery, stage, dance hall or music studio. In ensuring quality arts education we make the arts more accessible.”

The 2018-19 Advancement Grant Recipients

District Name Award Final Project Description
Antelope Valley Union High School District $17,200 to support district wide arts coordination, teacher professional development, student field trips and the purchase of instructional materials
Burbank Unified School District $22,900 to support artist residencies, teacher professional development, instrument repair and purchases, and transportation for student field trips
Castaic Union School District $9,600 to support the expansion of district arts coordination to oversee teacher professional development and residency programs
Centinela Valley Union High School District $19,600 to support culturally relevant performances for students and teacher professional development
Claremont Unified School District $19,100 to support the expansion of district arts coordination and the SALT program
Compton Unified School District $16,700 to support the expansion of visual arts curriculum, district wide elementary teacher professional development and the purchase of supplies and materials
Covina-Valley Unified School District $19,700 to support the expansion of district wide visual arts programming for kindergarten through fifth grade
Culver City Unified School District $20,800 to support district wide arts communications and technical theatre management
Duarte Unified School District $10,800 to support the expansion of teacher professional development in arts integration by the Armory Center for the Arts
El Monte Union High School District $21,600 to support equity in the arts for special populations through the expansion of student arts councils
El Rancho Unified School District $17,500 to support the expansion of a district wide arts integration curriculum
Gorman Joint School District $17,900 to support teacher professional development, artist workshops, and the purchase of visual arts and theater equipment and materials
Hawthorne School District $19,700 to support teacher professional development and the expansion of the art docent program
Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union $16,400 to support visual arts instruction, teacher professional development and the purchase of supplies
Inner City Education Foundation $20,700 to support the addition of a full time visual arts specialist
iLead Charter Network $15,500 to support the expansion of district arts coordination
Inglewood Unified School District $6,900 to support teacher professional development in arts integration
Keppel Union School District $19,900 to support district wide teacher professional development, curriculum development and artist workshops
Las Virgenes Unified School District $9,200 to support teacher professional development in arts integration
Lawndale Elementary School District $20,600 to support district wide culturally relevant dance performances for students and teacher professional development
Lennox School District $17,400 to support teacher professional development, parent training and the purchase of performing arts materials and equipment
Lynwood Unified School District $11,100 to support teacher professional development in theater integration for first grade provided by the Music Center
Magnolia Public Schools $16,400 to support the expansion of teacher professional development by the Music Center
Monrovia Unified School District $20,800 to support the expansion of vocal music in middle school
Montebello Unified School District $20,400 to support STEAM teacher professional development for fourth and fifth grades
Mountain View School District $21,600 to support the development of a music education scope and sequence for transitional kindergarten through sixth grade
Newhall School District $22,600 to support district wide theater residencies for fifth grade and arts integration teacher professional development
Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District $8,300 to support teacher professional development in theater integration and the purchase of instructional materials by Drama Education Network and the development of visual arts curriculum
Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District $8,200 to support teacher professional development and a district wide artist workshop
Paramount Unified School District $21,400 to support the expansion of elementary performing arts instruction by a credentialed teacher, teacher professional development and the purchase of instructional materials
Pasadena Unified School District $22,800 to support the expansion of district wide theater residencies to second grade
Pomona Unified School District $21,800 to support the expansion of the arts leads initiative and residencies for fourth and fifth grades
PUC Charter Network $20,700 to support the development of college and career arts pathways and the purchase of materials for arts instruction
Rosemead School District $21,800 to support the expansion of district wide teacher professional development by the Music Center
Saugus Union School District $22,600 to support district wide music residencies for fourth grade
South Pasadena Unified School District $21,400 to support teacher professional development for arts specialist, equipment repair and purchases, and the expansion of district arts coordination
Sulphur Springs Union School District $19,400 to support the expansion of residencies to first grade and teacher professional development in arts integration lesson design
Temple City Unified School District $7,000 to support teacher professional development, collaboration time and student showcases
Walnut Valley Unified School District $20,900 to support district wide theater integrated STEAM artist residencies and teacher professional development by Dramatic Results
Whittier City School District $21,900 to support the expansion of district wide music instruction for kindergarten through second grade by a credentialed teacher and the purchase of instruments
Whittier Union High School District $20,700 to support teacher professional development, curriculum development and the purchase of equipment and supplies
Wiseburn Unified School District $16,900 to support artist workshops in visual arts and dance and the purchase of musical instruments and theatre lighting equipment
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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