Rural Arts Initiative

CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative has been working to build momentum for arts education in rural communities. Through foundation support, CCSSEA has been able to provide subgrants to rural counties to increase student access to arts education. These subgrants have supported developing strategic arts plans and/or implementing existing strategic arts plans as well as professional learning programs. A key component of building artistic literacy in rural communities has been implementing professional development focused on the California Arts Standards and developing rigorous arts integration strategies that can open the door for interdisciplinary learning in the arts.

Counties that have been part of the CCSESA Rural Grant Cohort include the following: Amador, Butte, Humboldt, Imperial,  Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Tulare County Offices of Education. 

Click on the map below to learn more about these county offices of education representing different locations from across California and what work they have accomplished to build capacity for arts education. Special thanks to consultants Peggy Burt, Dr. Merryl Goldberg, Patty Taylor, and Jim Thomas for their partnership and expertise. We also acknowledge Create CA for supporting this effort. This collective work has been made possible through generous funding from the Stuart Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

To learn more about rural arts education, please access the Creativity at the Core Module 21: Creativity and Collaboration in Rural Communities developed by Kate Stover, Tulare County Office of Education.

Alameda Alpine Amador Butte Calaveras Colusa ContraCosta DelNorte El Dorado Fresno Glenn Humboldt Imperial Inyo Kern Kings Lake Lassen LosAngeles Madera Marin Mariposa Mendocino Merced Modoc Mono Monterey Napa Nevada Orange Placer Plumas Riverside Sacramento SanBenito San Bernardino SanDiego SanFrancisco SanJoaquin San LuisObispo SanMateo Santa Barbara SantaClara Santa Cruz Shasta Sierra Siskiyou Solano Sonoma Stanislaus Sutter Tehama Trinity Tulare Tuolumne Ventura Yolo Yuba

Amador County

Amador Arts Planning Initiative established an Arts Planning Team that convened for three days to develop a 3-5-year strategic plan for arts education.

Through a consensus building process with a diverse stakeholder team, Amador County Office and partners have worked to envision advancing arts education TK-12 across the district.

Butte County

Butte County Office of Education has been working to implement their county arts strategic plan. This has involved working with rural arts educators and deepening professional learning in Butte County. Learn how Butte County Office has formed a regional partnership with districts in eight counties in Region 2 and has been working to build momentum for arts education.

Humboldt County

Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) serves 32 school districts from the very rural (designated as Frontier by the California Department of Education) of 8 students to our largest of less than 4,000 students. In total, our 7,000 sq. mile county has 19,000 students.

Stacy Young serves as the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Coordinator for each district. 

Imperial County

Imperial County Office of Education embarked on an arts strategic planning process that was facilitated by Jim Thomas, consultant for the California Alliance for Arts Education – made possible through the CCSESA grant and Stuart Foundation. Through a series of meetings, the committee worked to envision key actions that will help increase access for arts education. Learn more about their story.

Mariposa County

Mariposa County was one of the original counties of California, created at the time of statehood in 1850.

While it began as the state’s largest county, territory that was once part of Mariposa was ceded over time to form all or part of twelve other counties, including all Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kings, and Kern; and parts of San Benito, Mono, Inyo, and San Bernardino, and Los Angeles.

Merced County

Nestled in California’s agricultural Central Valley, Merced County is made up of almost 300,000 people across 2,000 square miles.

Merced County is thought of as a series of farming communities: Merced River was originally named Nuestra Senora de la Merced (Our Lady of Mercy) and that proximity to life-giving water allowed for a wealth of produce to be grown and for families to thrive.

Mono County

Mono County Office in partnership with key arts and education partners, developed the The Arts Master Plan which has provided a compass to guide work in the arts.

As programs, projects, and initiatives come along, the Strategic Directions of the plan function as the North Star and helped to define key actions to meet the needs of Mono County students.

Nevada County

Nevada County is home to over 11,000 students (excluding the Truckee area). This includes eight elementary school districts, one comprehensive high school district, seven independent charter schools, and one community college.

Schools are located across Nevada County from the south end, near Auburn and Penn Valley to the north end, San Juan Ridge.

Santa Cruz County

Located on the California Central Coast, Santa Cruz County is the second-smallest county in the state by land size and is home to about 276,000 residents.

Santa Cruz County encompasses the four cities of Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Capitola, and Scotts Valley, as well as large swaths of unincorporated land ranging from agricultural fields to redwood forests.

Tulare County

The Tulare County Office of Education led a strategic planning process to include key stakeholders from various sectors to envision key goals for strengthening and expanding arts education in Tulare County which resulted in a strategic plan. The Tulare County Arts Master Plan (AMP) is a strategic roadmap detailing the expansion of arts and cultural programs in the county’s schools.

Sonoma County

Sonoma County lies south of Humboldt, north of Marin, and to the west of Napa counties. Measuring 1.5 million square miles, the county offers redwoods, vineyards, and a rugged ocean coast that makes for diverse experiences and activities. In California’s Wine Country region, Sonoma County is the largest producer of wine. More than 8.4 million tourists visit each year, making tourism a significant industry.

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