March 2021 Arts Initiative Newsletter

California County Superintendents Educational Services Association

Inside this Issue

  • CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative News
  • County Programs
  • State Highlights
  • National Highlights
  • Professional Learning Opportunities



March is Arts Education Month

Communities across California are spotlighting the importance of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts education for all students. For ideas on how to spotlight the importance of arts learning, click here to see a toolkit with resources created by CREATE CA. We also celebrate the collectives work of county offices of education. Click HERE to see what some counties are doing to celebrate March as Arts Education month.

Click here for the latest edition of Counties on the Move: Arts Education for All Students, which describes the many ways that county offices of education support arts learning in California schools.


CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN)

At the February 23rd CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN) meeting, Peggy Burt shared information regarding preparing funding proposals which included tips and strategies and participants discussed topics in small groups.

If you haven’t already, please join us to learn, share your voice, and expand the field’s understanding of the specific strengths and challenges of our rural areas as we continue to work to offer equitable, accessible arts education for students across the state. We invite you to attend our next meeting on March 23rd from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Click HERE to read the initial announcement regarding the CCSESA Rural Arts Network.


Upcoming Meeting Dates:
March 23, 2021 * April 27, 2021 * May 25, 2021

 Music that Unifies: Developing Empathy and Understanding Through World Music (CCSESA’s Creativity at the Core Module 19)

Music that Unifies: Developing Empathy and understanding Through World Music
On the March 8th San Diego County Office of Education and Fresno County Superintendent of Schools initiated a two-part series focused on developing empathy and understanding through world music. The interactive sessions were designed to utilize the power of music to broaden a student’s world view and develop a greater sense of empathy. The sessions reinforce both the need for discipline specific music and arts instruction as well as integrated instruction to benefit the whole child.

Click HERE to learn about the module.

For questions or more information, contact Aaron Bryan ( or Pauline Crooks ( 

Why Art? Harnessing the Power of Arts Education Research FREE Webinar

Today, CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative joined forces with the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA), California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE), CREATE CA, and CSU San Marcos – Art=Opportunity in hosting a webinar Why Art? Harnessing the Power of Arts Education Research featuring key education research and advocacy resources.

Presenters were: Dr. Merryl Goldberg, Dr. Laura Smyth, Dr. Adelaide Kuehn, Nancy Meza and student alumni of the California State Summer School for the Arts: Jessica, Kim, Paul, and Yvette.

Counties on the Move Spotlight in Region 9 – Explore Arts Programs in Southern California County Offices of Education

The CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative believes that the arts are an integral part of a comprehensive curriculum and are essential for learning in the 21st century. All California students – from every culture, geographic region and socio-economic level – deserve quality arts learning in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts as part of the core curriculum. In this issue, we would like to highlight the excellent work being done on behalf of students primarily in northern California.

CLICK HERE to view/download the entire Counties on the Move: Arts Education for All Students publication.

Learn about arts programs in REGION 9:
Imperial, Orange, and San Diego counties HERE.

Meet the Region 9 Arts Leads, who work to strengthen arts learning for all students. Queana Givens-Jarvis (Imperial); Scott T. Fitzpatrick (Orange); and Pauline Crooks (San Diego).

Regional Arts Lead: Pauline Crooks, San Diego County Office of Education

CCSESA Regional and County Arts Leads

To view and/or download a complete list of Regional and County Arts Leads – CLICK HERE

Arts Ed Twitter Chat – #CaArtsEdChat

Join @PCrooks_VAPA, @VAPAJeannine, @aaronbryan, and other arts education leaders from across the state for the #CaArtsEdChat, a Twitter Chat held every Wednesday from 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. We’re growing a statewide virtual professional learning community for educators, artists, and others passionate about arts education. Join us as we discuss topics such as: the newly adopted CA Arts Framework; integrating the arts and technology; arts and anti-racism; and much more!

New to Twitter, or just want to learn more about the Twitter Chat or see the questions in advance? Visit



Alameda County Office of Education – Virtual Webinars

The Arts, Anti-Racism, & Climate Change
March 18, 2021
In these unprecedented and challenging times, the arts bring inquiry, voice, and creativity to support the processing and understanding the complex issues our communities are facing. This webinar, a collaboration among six counties in the Bay Area, offers creative and critical strategies using the arts to support teaching and learning.


Promising Practices from the Field
April 22, 2021
Educators in Alameda County are using the arts in ways that help students express the context of their lives, learn content in deeply engaging ways, and build the creativity needed to address the inequities in our communities and world. Join us for inspired presentations by educators in alameda County, as they share the critical ways the arts have an impact on the lives of their students.


Humboldt County Office of Education – Creative Education Symposium: Connecting the Arts to Social-Emotional Learning

Have you noticed how the arts and social-emotional learning (SEL) are natural for supporting the whole child?  When the arts are integrated into children’s learning, students are engaged as they take an active role in learning by connecting content to their thoughts, their emotions, and their identity.

The 4-3-21 Creative Education Symposium is a full-day online professional development opportunity for anyone who values providing a well-rounded education that meets the creative, intellectual, and social-emotional needs of children.

Three keynote speakers are scheduled throughout the day.  Ping Ho is the co-author of The Innovative Parent-Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art and the founder/director of UCLArts and Healing.  Jonathan Juravich is 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year and host of the public television series “Drawing with Mr. J” which encourages social-emotional discussions facilitated by simple doodles.  Stuart Stotts is an author/singer/storyteller and Kennedy Center teaching artist.  Ten breakout sessions will be offered throughout the day including one from each of the keynote speakers.  

Register today! $40 per person

April 3, 2021

Merced County Office of Education Launches NEW Strategic Arts Plan

Welcome to Arts @ MCOE!
The Merced County Office of Education is pleased to share its new strategic arts plan! Our initiative was established with the following vision and values:

“Merced County Office of Education envisions a countywide effort that ensures all youth have access to high-quality arts education and experiences, all teachers have resources and support to engage their classrooms and clubs in arts activities, and all advocates and community members have the space and opportunity to celebrate and engage with public art.”

Read the Merced County Strategic Arts Plan HERE
View the Strategic Arts Plan Launch Video HERE

If you would like to learn more, contact Noelle Chandler, Arts Education Consultant at

Mono County Office of Education -Create Eastern Sierra Summer Arts Institute – June 21-22, 2021

Make plans now for the exciting Create Eastern Sierra Summer Arts Institute

The Create Eastern Sierra Summer Arts Institute provides arts training and tools that meet the California Arts Standards and address Social-Emotional Competencies for teachers to integrate into their classrooms. The CESSAI online workshops will be interactive and engaging and are 90 – 120 minutes long. Each session will include opportunities for reflection and questions. Each attendee will walk away with new ideas and tools to use for integrating arts successfully and knowledge to address social-emotional competencies in their lessons and classrooms. 

To learn more, click HERE.


Riverside County Office of Education – Artistry In Action

Artistry In Action
Please join us for a panel discussion and question and answer session with three college level teachers and conductors.  Dr. Gregory Whitmore, Dr. Rickey Badua and Dr. Jake Sustaita will join us to share their thoughts on how young musicians can make the most of their music education as they strive to improve and move towards higher education or professional practice. 

For more information, contact Louisa Higgins, Administrator, Visual and Performing Arts at


Dance Around the World
Dance Around the World is an interactive presentation that can be used in a variety of subject areas to share about history and dance, while allowing students to collaborate in a low stress and engaging environment. This presentation models how disciplines can be integrated for an activity that will engage 6-12th graders, with movement and historical and cultural information that they can either explore further or be frontloaded with in advance.      

For more information, contact Louisa Higgins, Administrator, Visual and Performing Arts at



San Diego County Office of Education – Arts Empower Mega Rally

Arts Empower Mega Rally Encore: Student Spotlight
The October 2020 Arts Empower Mega Rally was such a success that we presented an encore!  A celebration of arts education and our San Diego County students. The Arts Empower Mega Rally Encore: Student Spotlight was held on March 11, 2021. Attendees were inspired by the student panel and the beautiful and powerful artwork created by our students to help them cope, connect, and communicate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether you were able to join us live for the first Arts Empower Mega Rally on Oct. 15, 2020 or not, you can watch a video of the event on YouTube to hear from teachers, leaders, and best of all students who are using the arts to thrive during this difficult time.

Santa Clara County Office of Education – Two Communities of Practice

Through the Artspiration Community of Practice, we will engage with each other around specific topics impacting our lives to improve teaching and learning in a virtual world.

MARCH 17; APRIL 14; MAY 26; and JUNE 9
Topics include: ways to include new CA Arts Standards and Framework; social-emotional learning and the arts; unpacking racism through the arts; arts and the Black Lives Movement; and indigenous ways of knowledge and learning. We see the arts as a tool for healing, connecting to self and community, increasing student engagement, and nurturing creativity.
4:00-5:30 p.m.

The arts are essential!




California Alliance for Arts Education & CREATE CA Merger Partner Announcement

California Alliance for Arts Education (the Alliance) and Create CA are seizing an opportunity to become stronger in the fight for every student’s right to receive an arts education by merging their organizations. This merger builds on a longstanding partnership and unites them in their shared mission to make sure that a quality arts education is part of every student’s life.

Operating together under the Create CA name, they will combine the power of Create CA’s dynamic communications and innovative data project with the Alliance’s proven policy and advocacy track record and statewide network supporting districts and counties to provide a full arts education to all students. They recognize that students who are low income and of color face the greatest barriers to a full and relevant arts education. Collectively, they will continue to fight for students to get what they need and deserve, because ultimately they know this is an equity issue. 

By coming together, they’ll go farther faster in insisting that arts education is a student right. With the stakes higher than ever, we’re so excited about what they will do together. Read information about the merger of CREATE CA and California Alliance for Arts Education. Click HERE.

California Arts Council Launches New Individual Artist Fellowships Program

The California Arts Council’s Individual Artist Fellowships grant will support artists from a broad spectrum of artistic practices, backgrounds, geographies and communities, whose work addresses themes such as race, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. In doing so, the CAC will showcase the centrality of artists’ leadership in generating social impact and the evolution of our traditional and contemporary culture From $5,000 to $50,000 to recognize, uplift, and celebrate the creative practices of California artists at key career levels. Individual Artist Fellowships – Deadline: April 1 at 11:59 PM
Click here to view grant details.

The California Arts Project (TCAP) – New Website

The California Arts Project launched in January a new website,!

The website provides current information on TCAP’s open professional learning opportunities, contact information, and resources. Check back often as the website continues to be updated and grow.

TCAP’s Upcoming Arts Education From a Distance Professional Learning Programs
Until conditions change, all of TCAP’s professional learning programs, district-based programs,  and statewide programs are being offered through online platforms. TCAP’s From a Distance programs provide support for teachers in teaching the arts in hybrid, face-to-face, or in distance learning formats, arts education professional learning communities,  and to schools and districts improving or expanding their arts programs. The programs may bridge to face-to-face professional learning when conditions allow. Please visit or email for more information on any of TCAP’s programs or services.

For more information on TCAP’s programs or services please email

California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Virtual Annual Conference March 23-27, 2021

  • Daily High Profiles Keynote and Featured Speakers
  • Interactive Virtual Exhibit Market Place Hall
  • Virtual Parent Resource Center
  • Distance and Hybrid Learning Tools Workshops and Institutes
  • English Language Development Designated and Integrated ELD
  • STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics
  • LCAP Processes and Decisions to Address EL Roadmap and Global CA 2030
  • Dual Language Immersion – Elementary & Secondary
  • Administrator and School Board Leadership
  • Parent and Family Engagement & Leadership
  • Safe Haven Schools & Districts and Immigration Resources
  • Assessment and Accountability — the California Data Dashboard, LCAP and the California Spanish Assessment & Much More!

REGISTER HERERegistration closes March 14!

California Department of Education -Acquiring Devices and Connectivity for Students

As it is recognized that Technology plays an essential role in delivering education, especially highlighted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the CDE has partnered with a few major technology companies and internet service providers to put together programs to make it easier for schools to acquire necessary equipment and services for their students. With the possibilities of continued remote and hybrid learning in many schools, the need for current devices, connectivity solutions, and engagement remains a top priority. To help support our California schools in acquiring and maintaining the needed technology solutions, please see the details below on the various programs and how to contact each of them. For more information, click HERE.

For questions on how we can provide assistance, please contact the Digital Divide team at


 California State Summer School for the Arts (CCSSA)

For teens who love to create, the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) Summer Animation Program application is now live for Summer 2021! The Animation Program provides students with a unique opportunity to experience a broad range of possibilities within the world of animation. From fine art to digital animation, this program encourages students to explore their potentials, and bring movement to their artwork through an intense and rigorous curriculum. CSSSA is committed to running a robust program this summer, either in-person or virtual, as State and LA County restrictions allow.
Click HERE to visit the CSSSA website, view the application instructions, and apply online today.

California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Magazine

Click HERE to access and read the Winter Issue

California Student Media Festival 2021

Now in its 55th year, the California Student Media Festival (CSMF) is our nation’s oldest student media festival. Over the past twenty-five years, the California Student Media Festival has awarded more than $145,000 to California Schools. It has expanded to include the work of more than 6,000 student contestants from schools across the state. The Festival exists to celebrate the amazing media and multimedia projects produced by California’s students and teachers — rewarding and acknowledging their successful classroom work at an awards event in June every year.

May 22, 2021 2:00-4:00 p.m. CSMF WEBSITE

CREATE CA – March as Arts Education Month Social Media Toolkit

This Arts Education Month,  we invite you to join forces with Create CA to show how #ArtsEdRebuilds. From building leaders to reviving our economy, arts education is and will continue to be more essential than ever. Starting February 22nd use the sample posts in our social media toolkit at to promote and  recognize the importance of a full and relevant arts education! Join the conversation using the hashtag #ArtsEdRebuilds.

Information from the First Annual Arts, Media, and Entertainment (AME) Coalition Meeting

KQED Youth Media Challenges

Get your students podcasting, creating videos, or designing solutions to real-world problems during second semester with KQED’s Youth Media Challenges. Each YMC includes curriculum resources to support self-directed learning while allowing for student choice and content alignment. This is a challenge, not a contest, aligned to CTE anchor standards. Be ready for the launch of our student showcase site this spring where every participating student can share their voice.

Click on the image to view the video!

Click HERE to learn more, preview curriculum, and sign up.

The Pastel Society of the West Coast – Arts Scholarship Opportunity

The Pastel Society of the West Coast is pleased to offer a $1,500 Art Scholarship for 2021. Each year, the PSWC’s Art Scholarship Program solicit high school art teachers to help find talented, dedicated students interested in pursuing a career in art at a junior or four-year college or university.

Please forward this information to any interested students so that they may prepare to submit an application and pictures of their art work by the deadline of April 15th. Learn more or apply for PSWC’s Art Scholarship here. Contact Pamela Comfort for more information and/or questions at

View/download scholarship flyer here.

The Music Center’s 42nd Annual Very Special Arts Festival Goes Virtual To Celebrate Students of All Abilities

The Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival is an annual inclusive event celebrating the artistic achievements of students with all abilities. The festival features student and professional performances, visual and performing arts workshops, and a student art exhibit created around the theme. Presented in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the Very Special Arts Festival is free and open to all grade levels.

The Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival takes on a new virtual format in line with guidelines from the State of California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. This new format offers students and teachers an opportunity to experience dance and musical performances and participate in lots of art workshops. We can’t wait to see you there!

Register Your School here!
A look back at Very Special Arts Festival 2019: Homecoming (YouTube video)
View/Download event flyer here.

Stand Up 4 Arts Education Advocacy

Stand Up 4 Arts Education
On March 11, 2021 Stand Up 4 Music hosted a virtual advocacy event featuring Keynote Speaker Kristen Bell.

Stand Up 4 Music grew out of a need to strengthen music education in California. The leaders in The California Arts Project, TCAP, and California Association of Music Education, CMEA, convened an historic meeting of the many California professional music education organizations to surface common concerns around the equity and access of music education for all students within California. Out of this summit grew the idea to gather the many supporters of music education into a coalition of Californians who advocate for music as a vital part of a comprehensive education. Stand Up 4 Music provides a collective voice for the many who believe that music education is an essential and powerful learning experience.

Click HERE, if you missed the event sponsored by the California Dance Education Association (CDEA), the California Music Educators Association (CMEA), the California Educational Theatre Association (CETA), and the California Art Education Association (CAEA).

Look for additional talking points posted on the CMEA website under the Advocacy tab.


Americans for the Arts – National Arts Action Summit

Join Americans for the Arts, organizational partners, and hundreds of advocates April 5-9, 2021 for the National Arts Action Summit. Over these five days, advocates will gain a depth of knowledge from policy experts at Americans for the Arts and many organizational Partners in an all-virtual setting.
To learn more about the National Arts Action Summit and scholarship information, click HERE.

National Arts Education Association – Getting Started with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The 2020-21 school year finds us experiencing many challenges simultaneously, from the effects and limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, budgetary constraints, and woes to ongoing, increasing racial tension and unrest. As an educator, you are likely seeking resources, experts, supportive peers, and guidance in navigating these multiple realities. Each individual is on a unique learning journey toward an increased understanding of the role of equity, diversity, and inclusion in their community and educational setting. Our positionality – shaped by past and present experiences, social identities, and many other dynamics – contributes to understanding ourselves and how we understand others. knowledge from policy experts at Americans for the Arts. Regardless of where you fall on the continuum or cycle of learning, each of us make take steps toward increased growth and understanding to serve our diverse learners best and create inclusive learning environments.

Click HERE for the Getting Started with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and/or Read more about NAEA HERE.

International Thespian Festival

Join thousands of Thespians from around the globe for the ultimate summer celebration of school theatre! The Virtual International Thespian Festival on June 22-25 brings together the best performances, top teaching artists, and premier colleges and universities for a community-centered experience like no other. Plus, with daily surprises and special Broadway and Hollywood celebrity appearances, you never know who might stop by. Click HERE to learn more. Click HERE for registration information.

National Association for Music Education (NAfME) – Leading the Fight for Music Education

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) advocates at the federal, state, and local levels to educate elected officials and other key decision makers about the impact and importance of music education programs. Representing music educators, students, and advocates, NAfME is dedicated to ensuring the access, presence, and perseverance of quality music programs operated by certified music educators, for all students across the nation, regardless of circumstance. Through active advocacy and collaboration, we are changing the national conversation about music’s role in delivering an outstanding well-rounded education to all students.

Want to advocate for music, but don’t know where to begin? Visit the What You Can Do page for an overview of our advocacy resources.

National Dance Education Organization –
Call for Session Proposals: NDEO’s 2021 Virtual National Conference | Submit by 4-1-21

The 2021 NDEO Virtual National Conference, with the theme of Telling Our Stories: The Essentiality of Dance Education in Changing Times, will highlight the need to advocate for our field in these financially and socially difficult times. We will gather to explore stories of the power of dance education, how we tell those stories, who tells them, and how those stories have been shaped and changed over the last year. We invite all dance educators interested in presenting at this virtual conference to submit applications for panels, paper presentations, movement sessions, and workshops for the 2021 conference.

The deadline to submit a proposal is Thursday April 1, 2021.
Learn More about the Call for Proposals

National Endowment of the Arts – American Artscape: Arts in a Time of COVID

There is no aspect of American life that hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the arts. In this issue of American Artscape, we’ll look at the heartbreak and the silver linings of the pandemic, from how arts organizations across the country are faring, to how reopening plans are proceeding, to how the National Endowment for the Arts and our partners have worked together to strengthen the sector during this crisis. 



UPDATE – Please note that events listed below are currently open for registration and that event organizers continue to monitor current federal and state health guidelines.

MARCH 2021

March 17, 2021
Presented by the Santa Clara County Office of Education

March 18, 2021
The Arts, Anti-Racism & Climate Change: Strategies from the Bay Area Virtual Webinar
Presented by the Alameda County Office of Education

March 23-27, 2021
CABE 2021 Virtual Annual Conference
Presented by the California Association for Bilingual Education

March 25, 2021
3:00-5:00 pm
Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms – Session 6 CELEBRATION
Presented by the Los Angeles County Office of Education

APRIL 2021

April 3, 2021
9:00-3:00 pm
Creative Education Symposium 2021
Presented by the Humboldt County Office of Education

April 10, 2021
12:30-2:00 pm
Artistry in Action
Presented by the Riverside County Office of Education

April 14, 2021
Presented by the Santa Clara County Office of Education

April 22, 2021
Promising Practices from the Field Virtual Webinar
Presented by the Alameda County Office of Education

MAY 2021

May 22, 2021
2:00-4:00 pm
California Student Media Festival (CSMF)
FREE to Enter and FREE to Attend
Entry Window: January 31-May 7, 2021

May 26, 2021
Presented by the Santa Clara County Office of Education

JUNE 2021

June 9, 2021
Presented by the Santa Clara County Office of Education

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