First State to Include Arts Education in Annual School Assessment
New Jersey recently marked a national milestone when it became the first state to include arts education in its annual assessment of public schools. While the State of New Jersey Department of Education's comprehensive evaluation—its second ever—does not measure students' grades or test scores in the arts, it does report on the percentage of high school students enrolled in courses (dance, drama/theater, music and visual arts) that fulfill New Jersey's one-year arts requirement. The School Performance Report for 2012-13 shows that 47.7% of students (about 200,000 students) took one or more arts classes, which is about twice the number expected if students met only the minimum graduation requisite. The report presents the arts data in terms of college and career readiness, reflecting the Department of Education's position that creativity and innovation leverage academic and professional success. The
inclusion of the arts education metric is a direct result of the most recent New
Jersey Arts Education Census Report,
a project of the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership, which is cosponsored by the New
Jersey State Council on the Arts
(NJSCA) and the ArtPride NJ Foundation. Additional support comes from the Geraldine
R. Dodge Foundation,
the state department of education, the Prudential Foundation and Quadrant Research. To learn more, contact NJSCA Senior
Program Officer - Arts Education Robin Middleman.
$2-Million Budget Windfall Supports Six New Programs
The California Arts Council (CAC) has created six new programs with an extra $2 million in one-time funds from the California State Assembly. The $2-million supplement, which was allocated from a discretionary fund via a budget bill passed in July, brought CAC's total fiscal year 2014 budget to $7 million. With the boon of its first budget increase in more than 10 years and with the leadership of a state legislator who secured state discretionary funds for the arts, CAC is capitalizing on its long-standing commitments to arts education, to at-risk youth and other underserved communities, and to creative economic development. Through new programs—Creative California Communities, The Arts in Turnaround Schools in California, Creativity at the Core, JUMP StArts, the Statewide Chinese Cultural Exchange Symposium, and Arts on the Air, an arts storytelling program—CAC is demonstrating that its work reaches beyond artists and arts patrons and that the arts benefit all citizens of California. Several of the new programs are based on recommendations from CREATE CA (Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate), a statewide arts education coalition that includes CAC, the California Department of Education, local government agencies, and representatives from primary, secondary and higher education. For more information, contact CAC Public Information Officer Caitlin Fitzwater.
Arts Map Demonstrates Impact of Partnerships
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) serves a diverse state with cultural and physical topographies as variegated as Philadelphia to the east, Pittsburgh to the west and the Allegheny Mountains in between. Through its Arts in Education (AIE) Partnership, PCA works with a network of arts organizations acting as local and regional partners to provide high-quality arts education via artist residencies and collaborations between schools and arts organizations. To empower Pennsylvanians' access to the AIE Partnership network, PCA recently launched Arts Map, an on-line, interactive, customizable mapping tool that enables users to locate AIE Partnership opportunities relative to AIE Partner regions, municipal and county lines, school districts, congressional and state legislative districts, and other cartographic features. The mapping interface (accessible via Internet Explorer and Firefox) produces exportable reports that narrow searches to the granularity of project type, discipline and fiscal year. Arts Map illustrates the reach of arts education in Pennsylvania and endeavors to increase awareness of PCA's role as a statewide facilitator of local arts engagement. Contact PCA Arts in Education Division Director Jamie Dunlap for further information.
Arizona Art Tank Invests in Crowdsourced Innovation
Arizona Art Tank is a new Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA) initiative that harnesses the spirit of crowdsourcing to make strategic investments in arts based entrepreneurial ventures. Through the program, funded by a portion of ACA's one-time additional budget allocation of $1 million, applicants were invited to pitch, at public and participatory Art Tank events, new ways of providing meaningful arts experiences to their communities. At each of the four Art Tank events, held in late January and early February, a panel evaluating the pitches consisted of governor-appointed commissioners and elected officials as well as local artists, arts professionals, and business leaders. Panelists looked for innovative and risk-taking proposals and awarded those that stretch beyond conventional, day-to-day practices. The five pitches receiving the highest panel scores won, respectively, grants of $10,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000 and $4,000. Because Art Tanks were designed to be fun, engaging, inspiring and supportive, Art Tank audiences also voted on the proposals, awarding their favorite with $500. In the end, the biggest prize might be the potential of crowd-encouraged innovation. Find out more from ACA Artist
Services Coordinator Jessica