Arts Education for All: Lessons From the First Half of the Ford Foundation's National Arts Education Initiative

Arts and Culture, Nonprofits and Philanthropy

Arts Education for All: Lessons From the First Half of the Ford Foundation's National Arts Education Initiative

Provides an overview of an initiative to expand access to integrated arts education with partnership building, advocacy, and strategic communications activities. Discusses Ford's theory of change, challenges, lessons learned, and case summaries.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-California, North America-United States (Southern)-Maryland, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Minnesota, North America-United States (Southern)-Mississippi, North America-United States, North America-United States (Midwestern)-Ohio, North America-United States (Southwestern)-Texas, North America-United States (Southern)-District of Columbia-Washington

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies

This report examines the academic and civic behavior outcomes of teenagers and young adults who have engaged deeply with the arts in or out of school.

In several small-group studies, children and teenagers who participated in arts education programs have shown more positive academic and social outcomes in comparison to students who did not participate in those programs. Such studies have proved essential to the current research literature on the types of instrumental benefits associated with an arts education.

A standard weakness of the literature, however, has been a dearth of large-scale, longitudinal studies following the same populations over time, tracking the outcomes of students who received intensive arts exposure or arts learning compared with students who did not. This report is a partial attempt to fill this knowledge gap. The report's authors, James Catterall et al., use four large national databases to analyze the relationship between arts involvement and academic and social achievements.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Dance Education in Chicago Public Schools: A Research Study

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Dance Education in Chicago Public Schools: A Research Study

In the summer of 2010, the Chicago Community Trust (CCT) commissioned Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (HSDC) to undertake a project to better understand dance education programs offered to Chicago Public School (CPS) students by outside organizations, as well as how they are using the newly released CPS Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts. Along with HSDC, three other organizations were commissioned to complete similar projects for the arts disciplines of visual arts, music and theater (The Art Institute of Chicago, Ravinia Festival and The League of Chicago Theaters).

The overarching goal for the initiative was to identify how arts organizations can more effectively serve CPS students through arts education programming. Specifically, this included a better understanding of the current capacity of dance education organizations as well as factors that could improve the quantity and effectiveness of dance education programming for CPS students.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Midwestern)-Illinois-Cook County-Chicago

Nurturing California's Next Generation Arts and Cultural Leaders

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Nurturing California's Next Generation Arts and Cultural Leaders

Leaders in the nonprofit arts world, many of them founders and builders of their organizations for decades, will be retiring in unprecedented numbers in the coming years. Organizations could become weaker and destabilized during this transition, a prospect that should be addressed with some urgency. Younger professionals should be able to take on these leadership roles and chart a new course in stressful and changing times. Yet an operational divide between the workplace needs and values of Next Geners and those currently in charge threatens this transition.

It does not help that the nonprofit arts field suffers from a paucity of training and professional degree-granting programs, low pay, long work hours, and inadequate career advancement opportunities. The generation that sparked a powerful nonprofit arts movement more than thirty years ago now wonders about their successors: Are they motivated? Prepared? How can we recruit, train, nurture, and retain them?

This study was commissioned by the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI) as part of a large-scale Next Generation Arts Leadership Initiative funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation that aspires to strengthen and retain a new generation of administrative talent in California's nonprofit arts field. It addresses nonprofit arts leaders' desire to know more about their younger colleagues and their experiences as professionals, board members, and volunteers.

To explore the experience of Next Geners, the author developed a survey conducted in the summer of 2010. In this report, Next Gen arts leaders are defined as individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 years who are currently working with a California nonprofit arts organization as administrators, artists or board members and who have worked in the field for less than ten consecutive years. More than 1,300 California Next Geners took the survey and with modest exceptions (under-representation of Latinos, African and Asian-Americans, and men, non-metropolitan regions, and certain art forms), their workplaces are generally representative of the size of and variation within the nonprofit arts sector in the state. For example, some 23% of our Next Gen respondents work for organizations with budgets under $100,000, while 22% work in organizations with budgets over $2 million.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States (Western)-California

Arts At Large Handbook Pt. 1 - The Arts @ Large Program

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Arts At Large Handbook Pt. 1 - The Arts @ Large Program

The Arts @ Large model is based on a simple mission: consistently advocate for the connection of arts to academics by building sustainable partnerships between the arts community, K-12 educators and students, public policy makers, and institutes of higher education. With this mission in mind, Arts @ Large strives to meet goals that make arts education accessible for ALL students.

Arts @ Large:

  • Provides ongoing, quality arts experiences for students that builds an arts-rich school climate, which encourages the inclusion of art and music specialists in school staffing plans.
  • Forges sustainable partnerships with artists, arts and community organizations to enhance in-classroom and after school learning, and motivate ALL students to higher academic achievement.
  • Provides arts education experiences in an inclusiveenvironment designed to motivate students with diverse learning and physical abilities.
  • Helps teachers build skills to integrate performing, visual, and literary arts into all subjects in a manner sensitive to the needs of a diverse student population.

The arts are essential because they:

  • Are a unique languagethat all people use to communicate regardless of age, ability,ethnicity or gender.They allow people to move beyond individual differences such as race, society, culture, education and economic level.
  • Are symbol systems like letters and numbers and are equally important to a person's development.
  • Allow every child to learn.
  • Connect the learning of both content and process.
  • Develop independence and collaboration.
  • Provide opportunities for self expression,creative problem solving and critical thinking.
  • Improve student achievement -enhancing test scores, attitudes and social skills.
  • Provide authentic assessment opportunities.
  • Create a bridge between motivation, instruction, assessment and application - leading to deeper understanding.
  • Integrate mind, body and spirit thereby addressing the whole child.
  • Provide immediate feedback and opportunities for reflection.
  • Exercise and develop higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, and problem solving.
  • Address the multiple intelligences and various learning styles.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day: Lessons from Five Schools

Arts and Culture, Education and Literacy

Advancing Arts Education through an Expanded School Day: Lessons from Five Schools

In schools across the country, educators recognize the power of the arts to change young lives. They know that students' sustained engagement with enriching, high-quality experiences in the arts promotes essential skills and perspectives -- like the capacity to solve problems, express ideas, harness and hone creativity, and persevere toward a job well done. And yet today, educators at many schools that operate with conventional schedules are forced to choose between offering their students valuable opportunities to pursue the arts and focusing on other rigorous core classes that also are necessary for success in the 21st century. This study, which highlights an exciting new approach, is produced by the National Center on Time & Learning (NCTL), an organization dedicated to expanding learning time to improve student achievement and enable a well-rounded education, with support from The Wallace Foundation, a national philanthropy seeking to improve education and enrichment for disadvantaged children. In these pages, we present portraits of five schools that are advancing arts education through an expanded school day as they create vibrant and inclusive models of truly enriching education for all students.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Arts Education

Education and Literacy

Learning in a Visual Age: The Critical Importance of Arts Education

Every day, American young people spend more than four hours watching television, DVDs or videos; one hour using a computer; and 49 minutes playing video games. In many cases, youths are engaged in two or more of these activities at the same time. Little wonder this era has become known as the "digital age," and Americans born after 1980 have become known as "digital natives."

Yet it might be equally accurate to refer to the current era as a visual age. Although many digital tools rely on sound and text, most disseminate images, and youths who spend a third of their waking hours in front of a screen are saturated with images. The ubiquity of images in young people's lives has transformed the way they learn and perceive the world. And their use of images has created a demand for new skills to enable all young people to make sense of the visual world.

The predominance of visual images and demand for new abilities has also transformed the workplace. In the "flat" world that the journalist Thomas L. Friedman describes in his influential book, The World Is Flat, aesthetics and creativity are just as important as technical knowledge in the new economy. "The secret sauce comes from our ability to integrate art, music, and literature with the hard sciences," Friedman says. "That's what produces an iPod Revolution or a Google. Integration is the new specialty. That is what we need to prepare our children to be doing."

These transformations place a premium on the types of abilities visual arts educators develop: visual-spatial abilities, reflection, and experimentation. They suggest that schools and their community partners need to strengthen visual arts education as a content area and to integrate the arts into other areas of learning to ensure that all young people become knowledgeable and skillful in the visual age.

Yet in a short-sighted effort to help make children competitive in a global economy, many schools have reduced visual arts instruction in favor of a greater emphasis on mathematics and science. These actions in some cases have resulted from accountability policies that measure school performance on a narrow set of abilities

This report is the result of a year-long -- and ongoing -- conversation within NAEA that included discussions in board meetings, conversations with Association members, and a three-day summit of leading educators from across the nation (held in August 2008 in Aspen, Colorado). This document examines evidence about the capacities that art education develops in students and what it can prepare them to do. It explores what high-quality instruction looks like and takes a look at some environments in schools and in other settings in which excellent visual arts instruction takes place. The report concludes with recommendations for federal policy makers that will strengthen visual arts education to help ensure that all young people can thrive in the visual age.

Geographic Focus: North America-United States

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