May 2021 CCSESA 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



Preview of the Governor’s May Revision

May 12, 2021 – Universal transitional kindergarten, community schools, and expanded learning opportunities were at the forefront of Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcements today relating to the May Revision. The full details and Trailer Bill Language will be released Friday.  

Following an introduction from Monterey County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Deneen Guss, Governor Newsom highlighted the overall theme of his expansive K-12 spending plan: A focus on the whole child via multi-year, equity-driven proposals. 

Read full memo from CCSESA to County Superintendents HERE (Preview of the Governor’s May Revision)
The summary to the May Revision is now available, CLICK HERE to view.

Framework Rollout Planning

The Framework Rollout Committee has been working since December 2020 to determine a re-envisioned Arts Education Framework Rollout. This work has included collaborative work with The California Arts Project (TCAP) and the California Department of Education (CDE) and has included representative leaders from TCAP, CCSESA Arts Initiative and CCSESA/CISC, and CDE. This process included 1,211 survey responses from teachers and administrators across California. This included 980 educations and 231 administrators. Data was also received from 24 discussion groups with educators involving 89 participants. The committee is working to create a plan which will be finalized by June 2021. The plan will include a phased approach for development which will include information, tools, and resources for Arts Education Framework Rollout activities. Principal Researcher, Patti Saraniero, from Moxie Research was the lead researcher in this effort; she has provided leadership and analysis of the data which will inform next steps. Many thanks to all the counties that helped with the survey. Stay tuned, more to come.

The Art of Everything Leadership Conversation Series: A five-part Series Concludes on May 21

CCSESA Arts Initiative partnered with CREATE CA to launch the The Art of Everything Leading for “WE” in the Age of “ME.” focused on the book written by Dr. Gary Waddell, that launched in January 2021. The final session will be presented on Friday, May 21st with Guest Facilitator Dionna Ndlovu Fletcher and a participant panel. This five month webinar series of the Artful Leadership Framework focused on: The ART of the matter (leading as an artist), Leading for equity, Humility-Grace-& Compassion, and Empathic Design. We would like to thank all who were able to participate in the series and the following guest facilitators and guest speakers, who all provided new insights and sparked great conversations! Seitu Jemel Hart & Dionna Ndlovu Fletcher (Session 1); Janice E. Jackson, Ed.D. & Gabriela López, M.Ed. (Session 2); Cherie Hill & Khalil Bleux Hodges (Session 3); and Rebecca Vyduna & Héctor Márquez (Session 4).

Seven in Ten Californians Support State-Funded Preschool: PPIC Survey

Early education has emerged as an important policy priority at the federal and state levels. President Biden recently announced the American Families Plan, which would invest $200 billion toward free universal preschool for all three- and four-year-olds, regardless of income. And last December, Governor Newsom established a goal of universal preschool for all four-year-olds and income-eligible three-year-olds in California. PPIC’s April survey found that overwhelming majorities of Californians say preschool is important, and most support a state-funded preschool program for four-year-olds.  The full PPIC report may be found here.

The Safe Schools for All Team has shared new guidance now in effect:

  • Outdoor Seated Live Events and Performances – this guidance allows for spectators and observers at outdoor youth sports competitions and practices, and defines capacity limits and other requirements.  It allows for outdoor concessions.  This guidance can also be used for other performances (theatrical or musical) and includes recommendations for performers and musical performers.  Finally, this guidance should be used for an audience at graduations (also follow CDPH Commencement Guidance).
  • Indoor Seated Live Events and Performances – this guidance allows for spectators and observers at indoor youth sports competitions and practices, and defines capacity limits and other requirements.  It specifies that food and drink can only be consumed in designated areas (which can be indoors or outdoors), but is open to how the food is purchased (via concession stands  for example).  This guidance can also be used for other indoor performances (theatrical or musical) and includes recommendations for performers and musical performers. 
  • Private Venues and Events – this guidance can be used for Proms and any other private events.  There are specific requirements for testing/vaccination for indoor events, and this was done because of the risk levels associated with these types of events.  There are separate capacity limits for outdoors, without the need for testing/vaccination. 
  • Guidance for Gatherings –  this guidance can be used for smaller, social and informal settings without requirements for testing/vaccination.    

As always, please visit for additional information.

CRAN (CCSESA Rural Arts Network) April Meeting Recap

At the April 27th CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN) meeting, Debbie Yarrow (Creative Sonoma) and Karen McGahey (Sonoma County Office of Education) were the featured presenters who shared their work around arts strategic planning and implementation and how they are building capacity for arts education with school districts in Sonoma County. We invite you to attend our last meeting on May 25th from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. We will be celebrating the work of all the rural counties. Don’t miss this fun culmination meeting with lots of time for interaction and discussion.

California Student Media Festival 2021

May 22, 2021 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm
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.


Counties on the Move Spotlight Region 11 – Explore Arts Programs in the Los Angeles County Office 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 11 HERE.

Meet the Region 11 Arts Lead, Jeannine Flores, who works to strengthen arts learning for all students.

CCSESA Regional and County Arts Leads

To view and/or download a complete list of Regional and County Arts Leads – CLICK HERE Please let us know if you would like to make any changes/additions.

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



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 – Fine Arts Spectacular

Easy Arts for Everyone – How-to Arts Videos
Did you know that Riverside County Office of
Education’s Visual and Performing Arts program has been busy creating 25 short videos on arts instruction?

Each video is between 5 to 10 minutes long, with easy-to-follow instructions and utilizing materials that are typically found either at
home or in the classroom. The focus is on fun and engagement and the videos are intended for parents to use at home, teachers to assign or do with their students as part of distance learning, or to support teaching and learning in the classroom setting. There are even specific
lessons that embrace Social and Emotional Learning, Cultural Relevancy and STEAM.


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


Santa Clara County Office of Education

June 7-10, 2021
Summer 2021 Arts Integration Institute

The counties of CCSESA Region 5 Arts (Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara) are coming together to present a region-wide, Arts Integration Institute, June 7-10, 2021 in a virtual convening of educators who want to deepen their knowledge of culturally responsive arts integration and social emotional learning. Come share new thoughts and ideas with a cohort of educators to address the conditions of a dynamic educational landscape and the needs of students and their families by infusing joy and creativity into teaching and learning.
Institute contact: Audrey Sirota at


May 26 and June 9, 2021
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 – Job Posting for Policy Director

The California Alliance and Create CA are in the process of merging to be finalized in July 2021. As a result, the newly merged Create CA is seeking a passionate, dynamic, and collaborative leader in the new position of Policy Director. The right candidate will be articulate about the issues surrounding education systems change, and creative about strategies to engage stakeholders and guide actions that disrupt the roadblocks to ensuring all California students have the right to a well-rounded education that includes the arts. To view the position, please click the link below.

Position: Policy Director
For more information, please visit and

California Arts Council – Local, State, and Special Federal Programs

The California Arts Council Administrators of Color Fellowship is a partnership between the California Arts Council and the administering organization the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. CAC-ACF pairs 10 arts administrators of color with an equal number of arts and culture organizations dedicated to equity and community engagement for a nine- to 12- month paid fellowship. The pilot fellowship program is made possible by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation and a one-time increase in state arts funding.

Transformative Arts is a partnership between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Arts Council designed to have a positive impact on the social and emotional well-being of people experiencing incarceration, promoting healing and interpersonal transformation both inside and outside of the boundaries of their institutions.

The California Cultural Districts program promotes 14 state-designated districts, highlighting some of the thriving cultural diversity and unique artistic identities within local communities across the state. From larger, urban areas to uncharted rural locations, each district helps grow and sustain authentic arts and culture opportunities, increase the visibility of local artists, and promote socio-economic and ethnic diversity through culture and creative expression. 

Poetry Out Loud is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and state arts agencies that celebrates the study of great poetry and dynamic recitation. With the support of California Arts Council State-Local Partners, California students compete at the county level before sending their top participants to Sacramento to determine the state champion who will represent California in the national competition in Washington, D.C. each spring.

The California Poet Laureate is a Governor’s appointee whose mission is to advocate for the art of poetry in classrooms and boardrooms across the state, to inspire an emerging generation of literary artists, and to educate all Californians about the many poets and authors who have influenced our great state through creative literary expression over the course of a two-year term. 

The California Arts Project (TCAP) – Professional Learning Opportunities

TCAP’s Latin Music Initiative Part 2

Trend setter and sustainer in California’s cultural landscape – an influencer of popular culture – Latin Music is relevant for today’s music classroom. Join us on May 20! Sit in on a conversation of Latin Music artists and industry representatives as we bring this academic year’s Latin Music webinar series to a close. REGISTER HERE.

May 20, 2021 – Latin Music Industry Panel – Special time for this webinar only – 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

TCAP’s webinar series — Black Theatre, Conversations with California Artists, Creatives, and Educators, and Latin Music  — will resume in the fall.

TCAP Summer Studio: Artist as Scientist – Scientist as Artist – July 20 – 22, 2021

TCAP is holding a virtual summer studio in July focused on drawing, scientific illustration, and insects. Participants will explore connections to the California Arts Standards and environmental justice. Additional program and registration information coming soon on

Coming 2021 – 2022 TCAP Statewide Convenings  — Save the dates!

TCAP will be holding a series of quarterly virtual statewide arts education convenings in support of arts educators and administrators as the new academic year unfolds.  These statewide sessions will augment TCAP’s regional quarterly regional network sessions.  All sessions, statewide and regional, are planned to be held virtually and are free of charge. Additional information and registration coming soon!

September 8, 2021

November 3, 2021

February 2, 2022

May 4, 2022

Projected convening time will be 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

For addition information:
Email or Armalyn De La O at

California Department of Education – State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Announced 2021 California Exemplary Arts Education Awards

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that 33 California schools were selected for the California Exemplary Arts Education Award.

These schools engage students in quality arts education that meet California Arts Standards for Public Schools (Arts Standards) and demonstrate progress on indicators on the California School Dashboard. The awards are designed to celebrate successful efforts to engage students in arts through exposure to a variety of disciplines.

“This year has been especially challenging for our students and schools, but I commend these schools for recognizing that this is a time when the arts are more critical than ever,” State Superintendent Thurmond said. “These schools excelled in providing quality arts education, despite all the obstacles presented by distance learning. It is with great pleasure we honor these schools for their steadfast dedication to arts education that plays a powerful role in supporting wellness, bridging social divides, and expanding creativity and critical thinking in our students.”

Schools recognized as Exemplary Arts Education Awardees represent a broad cross-section of educational delivery models, including traditional comprehensive elementary schools, magnet schools, and district and independent charters. These schools serve diverse demographic populations of varying sizes, from a 2,700-student urban school to a 250-student rural school. Some schools serve primarily Title I students from lower socio-economic circumstances, and others serve suburban populations with strong district and community financial support. To read more and the list of schools, click here.

These California Exemplary Arts Education Schools, along with California Distinguished Schools, National Blue Ribbon Schools, and recipients of California Department of Education (CDE) recognition programs, will be honored virtually later this year. For more information, please visit the CDE California School Recognition Program web page.

California Department of Education – Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant: Literacy lead Agency RFA

The California Department of Education recently released the Request for Applications for the Comprehensive Literacy State Development Grant for Literacy Lead Agency. Applications are due on Friday, June 25th, and can be accessed HERE.

California Educators Together – California’s Educator Community of Practice

California Educators Together – California’s Educator Community of Practice

California Educators Together is a community of practice designed to provide educators, administrators, specialists, and state program leads a common space to communicate, share strategies, and access resources and guidance from one another and top providers.

California educators join to access thousands of free learning resources, while also engaging in statewide subject and grade level cohorts where peers are sharing their best instructional strategies and learning models from classrooms across the state.

California leadership teams join to help coordinate staff and programs, while gaining access to direct California Department of Education outreach on initiatives, resources, and supports aimed at helping districts, schools, and communities.

The California Educators Together platform is brought to you by a collaboration between the California Department of Education and the CDE Foundation

The Arts Statewide Group is open to classroom teachers, grade level cohorts, content coordinators, and instructional leaders to exchange ideas and resources focused on topics related to this unique subject-area.

Browse for Pre-K to 12th Grade Dance, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts, AME and Arts Integration resources in each of the collections below.

The AME (Arts, Media, and Entertainment) Institute – SAVE THE DATES

We are excited to share a virtual PD opportunity for arts teachers that is happening June 21, 22, and 23, 2021:
the AME (Arts Media and Entertainment) Institute

Although the Institute is planned for CA teachers (and sponsored by the CA CDE) all are welcome, and the access to high-profile creative industry partners is just incredible. The first half of the Institute consists of teacher externships and workshops that get the teachers working in small cohorts with creative industry professionals. We have externships and workshops set up with Nickelodeon, Pensado’s Place, the VFX Society, LA County Museum of Art, Otis College for Art and Design, Center Theatre Group, USITT, and many other incredible partners. The second half of the Institute engages a more traditional conference format, with high-profile speakers, an expo hall, and breakouts on AME program and pathway development, curriculum and instruction, and industry education. The virtual nature of the Institute allows us to pull speakers, presenters, AND registrants from all over the country. We’d love to have other states join us to build this AME community. Please reach out if you have any questions. And please share this webpage link with your members.

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


#CreativityIsNotOptional and #ArtsEd Rebuilds
We’re highlighting the importance of arts education in social-emotional learning and for a joyful in person school re-entry this May. We need your help to showcase the power arts education has in this moment and the future.

We created five social media posts focused on how arts education helps students mental health and social-emotional well-being with proposed copy for you to share on your organization’s social media accounts. 

Let’s teach people that #CreativityIsNotOptional and that #ArtsEdRebuilds!

California school districts have an unprecedented infusion of funding due to COVID-19 relief and school boards are right now deciding what to do with that funding. We need your help to alert your school leaders that arts education is a proven strategy to help the district achieve their goals and to care for students’ mental wellbeing. We created four social media posts focused on district priorities and how arts education helps to achieve those priorities.

Share these posts using the hashtags #CreativityIsNotOptional and  #ArtsEdRebuilds, and encourage your community to do the same! For more information, contact us at

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 below to view the video!

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


Call for Presenters at the 2022 NAEA National Convention in NY, NY

NAEA invites you to share your expertise as a presenter with visual arts educators from around the world who are committed to NAEA’s mission. The 2022 NAEA National Convention will be held March 3-5, 2022 in New York, NY at the Hilton New York and Sheraton New York Hotels. To learn more about the NAEA National Convention and how to submit a proposal to present, CLICK HERE.

International Thespian Festival

June 22-25, 2021
Join thousands of Thespians from around the globe for the ultimate summer celebration of school theatre! The Virtual International Thespian Festival 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.


National Association for Music Education (NAfME) – Suggestions for Schools/Districts Moving Forward

This kind of project is a lot of work, but extremely rewarding for teachers and students. One of the benefits was working with a team of like-minded music teachers, all excellent, and all sharing in the work. Though Mr. Lewis did the lion’s share of the editing and mixing, we all worked together on other aspects of the project in addition to preparing our own students.

It’s important for teachers to be able to work with other teachers. They learn from each other. Some veteran teachers will seek each other out, but if they do not have connections or know where to start, school and district leaders would facilitate this. The project would not have happened if Mr. Lewis didn’t know a few other jazz choir teachers and reached out to us. When I was principal at another school, I organized a “Teacher Jazz Band.” We were able to pull together enough teachers to rehearse a big band once a week in our music room at school. The interaction between the teachers and the opportunity to push ourselves to read challenging music was fantastic!

Principals can host clubs and teach classes. It’s more common than you may think. There are a few downsides but lots of upsides! I’ve been doing some form of this since I became a school principal in 2006. I’ve taught beginning choir, glee club, jazz choir, show choir, a cappella singers, AP Music Theory, Writing for Musicals, and jazz improvisation at different times all while serving as a school principal. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE.

2021 Arts Education Partnership (AEP) Virtual Gathering

This September 14 and 15, 2021, AEP invites you join to our second ever Virtual Gathering. While we are eager to convene in person, we have decided to host our annual event virtually given continued uncertainty and safety concerns. We are looking forward to seeing you online! Arts and education leaders from across the nation will convene virtually on Sept. 14-15 to explore solutions aimed at ensuring all learners  day event that features keynote speakers, panel discussions, concurrent sessions and online networking opportunities. We believe that all art forms are important, and all educators are important whether learning takes place in schools or communities. The gathering is a place to share the best of what’s happening across the country in all learning spaces.

To read more about the virtual gathering, click HERE.
To learn more information about AEP’s call for proposals to present click HERE



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.

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 1, 2021
AFine Arts Spectacular – Online Gallery Opens
Presented by the Riverside County Office of Education

June 7-10, 2021
Summer 2021 Arts Integration Institute
Presented by CCSESA’s Region 5 Arts Leads

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

June 21-22, 2021
Create Eastern Sierra Summer Arts Institute
Presented by the Mono County Office of Education & Mono Arts Council

June 22-25, 2021
Virtual International Thespian Festival
Presented by the Mono County Office of Education & Mono Arts Council
Promo video (YouTube)


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