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. 

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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 27, 2020|

A Reflection During COVID-19 On The Importance of Arts Education Access

Maritza LopezMy name is Maritza Lopez, and I am a second-year transfer student at UCLA, pursuing a B.A. in Art History. I am interested in engaging arts in education geared towards individuals across different communities, whether they are currently incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, system impacted, homeless, or have had other experiences that might exclude them from access to the arts.

As a former member of the LA County Arts Ed Collective's Youth Advisory Council, I had the privilege of working alongside many unique individuals from different Los Angeles school districts. I had the chance to hear the personal narratives of those individuals and the impact the arts had on them. In my own life, the arts had a huge impact. When I was 12 years old, I took an elective class in middle school to rest my mind from barriers and challenges I faced. I was trying to understand where I belong as a first generation, system-impacted woman of color. I did not have many role models, in any area, but I especially had few guides in the arts. Because of my own positive experience with the arts, I hope to inspire and create the skills more accessible for all marginalized and underrepresented communities. In fact, one day I hope to work in art spaces and focus on arts in education throughout LA County.

I am currently involved with Bruin Underground Scholars and McKinney- Vento Scholars Program at UCLA. The Bruin Underground program fosters a prison-to-school pipeline by cultivating a healthy community and pathway for formerly incarcerated, and system impacted individuals to thrive in higher education. McKinney-Vento Scholars serve students who are once houseless, currently homeless, or are housing insecure. We aim to foster academic success among McKinney-Vento students by providing community, case management, and support with basic needs. I am involved in both programs because I get the chance to share my experience with students and many more individuals whose identities are similar to my own. I've learned that the challenges we all face are different, but that we can all remain hopeful when we build communities for one another.

I have a personal relationship with incarcerated youth – my sibling is serving time in prison. His experience is further impacted by the COVID-19 crisis we are currently facing. As a direct result of the pandemic, there has been less time to speak to my sibling on the phone, and there is less time for him to go to the prison yard, prison-canteen, and prison-store. He spends 22 hours inside a cell. We talk about lockdowns and social distancing, but for the past eight years, this has been a daily experience for my brother.

It’s important to educate others and acknowledge the issue of folks who are currently incarcerated. This pandemic has limited programs and resources nationwide in prisons, including resources that help individuals earn degrees and take courses, opportunities to meet with counselors, and access to programs in the arts. These arts programs should be accessible to youth around LA County, including those who are incarcerated, because the arts can and do change peoples’ lives. The arts help us create retention programs that can help individuals find passion, create experiences, find networks, and build career pathways—overall fostering a safe space for diverse individuals from all spectrums of life.

Art and creativity are always a part of my life, whether I am handling social media flyers, co-hosting events, building workshops, etc. I can use arts in a social justice-oriented manner, which helps my mind rest. Ten years after my first experience with the arts, I still have arts incorporated into my life, and I can still see it as a path forward.

March 11, 2020|

LA County Supervisors Adopt Goals of Plan Elevating Arts as Justice Reform Strategy

(Pictured Above)"Energy" by youth artists from Challenger Memorial Youth Center (Lancaster), in collaboration with artist Joseph Montalvo of the Armory Center for the Arts. Photo by Cam Sanders, courtesy of Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network.

LA County Board of Supervisors Adopts Goals of Plan Elevating Arts as a Justice Reform Strategy

Department of Arts and Culture plan advances Board commitment to create more rehabilitative, less punitive, justice system

The goals of the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture’s Countywide Plan for Elevating the Arts as a Criminal Justice Reform Strategy were adopted yesterday by the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, furthering the transition of LA County’s justice system from a punishment-based model to one that embraces trauma-informed and healing-centered approaches. The new plan guides the development of countywide infrastructure that expands arts-based programs and services to those impacted—or at risk of becoming impacted—by the justice system. Its core components focus on prevention, community development, diversion, custodial care, and re-entry strategies. The plan directs the LA County Department of Arts and Culture (Department) and Chief Executive Office to assess resources for implementation.

Arts and culture have the power to promote positive narrative change and connect us to our humanity and the humanity of others, said Department of Arts and Culture Director Kristin Sakoda. By investing in justice-impacted youth, individuals, and communities as part of alternatives to incarceration, arts and culture can play a meaningful role in helping the County enhance our systems of care, and build safer, healthier, and more equitable communities.

Research shows us that the best outcomes for decreasing justice system involvement are achieved through individual and community development efforts, along with opportunities for job placement. These strategies also tend to be much more cost-effective than long-term custody and care, said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, lead author of the motion that directed the development of the plan. The Department of Arts and Culture has an ambitious strategy to not only help individuals re-enter society after their time in the justice system, but to prevent system involvement in the first place.

Arts-based strategies have already shown a wonderful ability to foster resiliency and positive self-images in young people, said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, co-author of the motion. As the County embraces more rehabilitative and trauma-informed practices in our juvenile system, we recognize that it’s important to incorporate innovative arts strategies. As the poet Thomas Merton wrote, 'Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.' Let the healing begin!

The arts also play a unique role in connection to community. In the criminal justice context, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals suffer additional trauma and isolation as a result of societal stigma. Engaging with arts bring forward the stories, experiences, and emotions of those affected by the justice system to be heard, felt, and embraced by the broader community.

Background
Starting in 2014, the Department of Arts and Culture (then the LA County Arts Commission) has partnered with community-based organizations, the Los Angeles County Probation Department, and other County agencies to pilot arts-based services for incarcerated and at-risk youth. This work expanded in 2018, when the agency was awarded a one-year, $750,000 grant from the Art for Justice Fund to build support for youth involved or at risk of becoming involved with the LA County juvenile justice system.

In our cross-sector collaboration with the Department of Arts and Culture, our staff has been trained in arts-based interventions, and we have been able to bring transformation and access to creative career pathways to County juvenile facilities. We are incredibly proud of the work, said Department of Probation Interim Chief Probation Officer Ray Leyva.

In December 2018, Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl advanced a motion, Investing in Justice Involved Individuals Through the Arts, which called on the Department of Arts and Culture to create a Countywide plan to elevate the arts as a criminal justice reform strategy. The Department submitted the plan in September 2019. It advances the Department’s work even further—the new plan supports not just young people, but youth, families, and adults touched by County criminal justice systems. It sets out five goals, including establishing Countywide leadership and coordination of arts-based strategies; expanding prevention strategies; strengthening and sustaining support for justice-involved youth and their families; supporting justice-involved adults; and expanding external partnerships.

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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!

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2019 Arts Ed Community Forums

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