The Arts Education Innovation Lab works to insure that every child in LA County engages in the arts all year, every year because the arts are fundamental to human growth and development.
In 2016, the LA County Arts Education Collective began a county-wide survey of arts education in public schools. This report, the Arts Education Profile, provides key findings about arts education in LA County:
- While arts education is available to students at every school in the county, the quality of that education varies widely.
- The students who most often receive the least arts education are also most often children of color, eligible for reduced/free meal plans (a proxy for poverty).
The Arts Education Innovation Lab was launched to not only address these issues, but to bring about a systemic, scalable change in the arts education model at work in LA County within the next year. Since January 2017, arts and education leaders have met regularly to learn from other industries, brainstorm solutions and test their hypotheses in prototypes around the county.
The Theory of Change
The goals and methods of the Innovation Lab were developed in collaboration with the Presencing Institute, an awareness-based action-research community for profound individual and institutional renewal. Over the past two decades, they have developed a method for how individuals, teams, organization and large systems can create large-scale change. With the help of the Presencing Institute, Lab participants have developed a Theory of Change to actualize the goals of the Lab
The Theory of Change is anchored around the shared vision that every child in LA County deserves to engage in the arts all year, every year because the arts are fundamental to human growth and development. From this, lab participants have worked together to develop a Common Agenda that lab participants can use to contextualize their work as they began to bring Lab ideas into the field.
The Common Agenda
The Common Agenda is an organizing principle that is composed of five Pillars:
Like most labs, what starts as a hypotheses often forms the basis for further experimentation. The Arts Education Innovation Lab is no different. Since January, 2017 Lab participants have begun testing Innovation lab solutions at sites around LA County. These experiments have been deemed Prototypes, and they range from a mobile Graffiti Wall that is designed to bring communities, educators and students together to a virtual reality experience that aims to put students in the shoes of a Broadway performer.