September 2020 Arts Initiative Newsletter

California County Superintendents Educational Services Association

Celebrate National Arts in Education Week September 13-19, 2020

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. During this week, the field of arts education joins together in communities across the country to tell the story of the impact of the transformative power of the arts in education (Americans for the Arts)
Celebrate, Advocate, & Participate!.

Inside this Issue

  • CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative News
  • State Highlights
  • National Highights
  • Upcoming Events and Convenings


CCSESA Creativity at the Core Module Development

CCSESA is pleased to announce the launch of Creativity at the Core Module 22:California Arts Standards for Public Schools: Resources for Learning & Implementation developed by San Diego County Office of Education and Santa Clara County Office of Education. This Module will provide educators with an overall understanding of the California Arts Standards structure and purpose as well as the opportunity to do a deep study into one or more arts disciplines. Hats off to Pauline Crooks (San Diego), Sofia Fojas (Santa Clara) and Jeannine Flores (formerly from Santa Clara and now at LACOE).

Plans are underway to continue to expand the Creativity at the Core resources and update some of the earlier modules with new information. During the 2020-21 academic year, some of CCSESA’s CISC /Arts Subcommittee members will be working on the following modules:

Module 4: Alameda COE – Creativity in Court and Community Schools (Grades 6-12)

Module 5: Santa Clara COE – ACTOS Arts Integration Culturally Responsive Arts Learning Across the Curriculum Tied to Common Core (Grades K-8)

Module 12: Sacramento COE – Leadership in the Arts and the Common Core State Standards (Grades K-8)

Module 14: Fresno CSS – Arts Integration as a Model of Rigorous Instruction: Connecting Arts Learning with the Common Core State Standards

Module 23: Los Angeles COE – Media Arts for Elementary Classrooms, new resources to support distance and online learning and professional development

Module 24: Butte & Stanislaus COEs – Visual Arts and Distance Learning, new online module aligned to the California State Standards

CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN) Launch

The CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative is delighted to announce the formation of the CCSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN). Building on the success of the 2019-20 Rural County Arts Cohort, we would like to invite you to participate in a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the newly expanded CCSESA Rural Arts Network. 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 offer equitable, accessible arts education for students in Grades Pre-K through12. 
Read full announcement here.

Meeting Dates: Sep 22, 2020 – Oct 27, 2020 – Nov 10, 2020
Jan 26, 2021 – Feb 23, 2021 – Mar 23, 2021 – Apr 27, 2021

Three Upcoming Online Opportunities – Please Join Us!

What Sweeter Music: Arts and Social and Emotional Learning in Harmony – September 16, 2020

Join us for an interactive meeting where presenters will share about the power of the arts and Social-Emotional Learning. Featuring Headliner: Aaron Bryan, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools

Creative Action Planning: Mapping a Response in Light of Current Challenges – September 30 & October 1, 2020

This two-day online training offered by the California Alliance for Arts Education and CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative will allow you to further develop your leadership and facilitation skills that can be translated into all aspects of your work. You will be provided with timely information to respond to this new landscape, and learn strategies and processes that you can immediately apply.

Rural Arts Education Strategies Webinar – October 22, 2020

Rural communities face specific challenges when working to deliver arts education to students. Learn from several experts who have created tailored approaches for rural communities. Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education in partnership with CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative.

Welcome Anna Belitski – New CCSESA Regional Arts Lead

We are pleased to announce Anna Belitski will serve as the new CCSESA Region 8 Arts lead.  Anna works at the Ventura County Office of Education where she has been a Content Specialist for the last six years. Before coming to the Ventura County Office of Education, Anna taught most grades at the elementary level in Monterey, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. During her tenure as a classroom teacher she ensured her students were engaged in the creative process where she incorporated the visual and performing arts into her curriculum. She allowed students to embrace their own artistry and also taught them to appreciate the work of other artists through field trips, music, and literature.  She shared, “The Arts are what brings many students to school every day. Knowing that many of our marginalized students need additional ways to connect and express themselves, I see this new role as an opportunity to continue to be an arts and student advocate and to connect K-12 educators, community artists, and other key stakeholders to increase arts offerings and participation across the area.” Please join us in welcoming Anna to this new role.

Counties on the Move Spotlight on Regions 1 and 2: Explore Arts Programs in Northern 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.

REGION 1: Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties
REGION 2: Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Siskiyou, Tehama, and Trinity counties

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

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

Arts Learning Community of Practice for Arts Education Leaders & Educators from the Bay Area and Beyond

In order to better serve school districts in increasing and enhancing their arts learning needs, the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) is launching this new community of practice. This network will assist educators and leaders in reflecting on their arts education strategies through community building and the design of purposeful opportunities that matter in students’ lives and communities. We see arts learning as a way to draw upon the interstes, talents, and creativity of every child and teacher, building the skills, confidence and motivation to persist through challenges, as fully present “solution-aires” for the complex social, economic and environmental issues that concern and worry us all.

Areas of Focus include: New CA Arts Standards & Frameworks; Social & Emotional Learning & the Arts; Anti-Racist Education & Arts Learning; Promising Practices in Arts Disciplines; Integrated Thinking and Learning; and Art-Centered Literacy Strategies.
View and/or download an event flyer here.
Submitted by Derek Fenner –

Butte County Office of Education

Meet the Region 2 County Arts Leads

County Arts Leads are currently exploring new regional projects on which to partner such as trainings for teaching artists in trauma informed practices, a regional skills competition for high school students, or a virtual conference for the region with a resiliency showcase.

Our last regionwide partnership project which ended in September 2019, established the North State Arts Education Consortium ( All nine county offices of education were active in NSAEC which supported approximately 200 teachers to undergo 30 hours of professional development primarily in arts integration. All nine counties were well represented at the NSAEC three-day summer institute and evening celebration at the Turtle Bay Museum in Redding, which was co-hosted by Shasta County Superintendent of Schools Judy Flores and Butte County Superintendent of Schools Mary Sakuma. Lisa Morgan, Arts Lead from Glenn County, attended with 22 teachers; Marian Murphy-Shaw, Arts Lead from Siskiyou County, attended with 34 teachers; James Hall, Arts Lead, from Lassen County attended with 25 teachers; Jennifer Spangler, Regional Arts Lead from Butte County, attended with 50 teachers;  Helene Lemnah, Arts Lead for Plumas County attended with 7 teachers; Alethea Vazquez, Arts Lead from Tehama County, attended with 24; and 5 teachers from Trinity County; and 11 teachers from Modoc County attended. The NSAECA website and list serve continue to support our network.

Learn more about the North State Arts Education Consortium (NSAEC) here.

All of the Region 2 county offices of education have shown consistent support for arts education through the efforts of our CCSESA County Arts Leads.

Submitted by Jennifer Spanger –

Click here to view and/or download complete list of Regional and County Arts Leads

Riverside County Office of Education

Featuring Amplifying the Arts, SEL Via The Arts, and Our Town Arts Program

Amplifying the Arts

The Our Town Cultural Arts Program brings the cultural arts into elementary school classrooms in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District, engaging students in the traditions and cultures of the citizens who make up our community and the students who sit in our classrooms. The program addresses the social, emotional, and academic needs of students by inviting community leaders, who are Teaching Artists of diverse backgrounds, as guest speakers. The Our Town Cultural Arts Program develops social awareness, perspective-taking, empathy, and respecting diversity.

The program was created and is administered by Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Carol Hernandez. Their motto is “Inspiring every student to think, to learn, to achieve, to care through participation in the arts.” For more information, click here or contact Carol at  Check out the video overview of the program here.

Easy Arts For Everyone

Join us each week for a new art lesson that is designed for teachers, parents, and students to complete together at home. Lessons are presented by Louisa Higgins, Riverside County Office of Education’s Visual and Performing Arts Administrator.  She is also an accomplished professional artist, with an extensive background in teaching art to both students and teachers. Each week, Mrs. Higgins will be adding an easy art lesson that is suitable for any age, and can be done with simple materials found around the home. Stay tuned! View the latest video: Social and Emotional Learning via the Arts.

Ventura County Office of Education

Ensuring that very child, in every school in our county has access to The Arts

In collaboration with the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative, the Ventura County Office of Education is planning three Ventura County Arts Network (VCAN) meetings in 2020-21, the first one being October 5, 2020.

Goals for these meetings are to:
* Connect teachers and administrators who are leading, building, and sustaining the arts in K-12 education;
* Share state-level information, resources, research, and opportunities in The Arts;
* Support and deepen understanding of art program models, Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Framework and standards;
* Devise solutions to common barriers and celebrate successes; and
* Identify best practices in The Arts.

For more information please contact: Anna Belitski, VAPA Lead at

Click here to register.

San Diego County Office of Education

 2020 Arts Empower Mega Rally

It’s been a long, strange, tough year with the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of relegating the annual Arts Empower Mega Conference to another event canceled by the coronavirus, we invite you to get pumped up for the opportunities ahead of us with the free one-hour, Arts Empower Rally on Oct. 15. Be inspired by your peers and the beautiful and powerful student artwork and performances that came out of quarantine and in response to racial injustice. Explore ways to teach dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts virtually and at a distance. Get energized to advocate for the arts in education at a time when students need all the ways to express their feelings and experiences. And be reminded of the importance of arts education with the new state framework. Register now to attend the 2020 Arts Empower San Diego Rally.

We can’t wait to celebrate arts education and arts educators with you at the Arts Empower Rally on October 15, 2020.


California Department of Education – California Arts Standards for Public Schools Publication Released

The State Board of Education (SBE) adopted the California Arts Standards for Public Schools, Prekindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Arts Standards) on January 9, 2019.

Educators can use this Arts Framework as a guide to curriculum and instruction to inform both the what and how of teaching in and through the arts.

Click here to download the publication version of the standards.

California Department of Education – Free Educational Resources for Distance Learning

A non-comprehensive list of publishers offering free distance learning resources. At the URL listed, users can learn about the specific resources available as publishers continue to expand their offerings. Districts are not mandated to utilize only state-adopted instructional materials, and many classrooms utilize a network of resources. In this list below, educators and parents/guardians may discover the individual resources they want for a particular need.

Please note that this list is comprised of publishers who have offered their site information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these sites and resources, nor does the CDE in any way endorse or specifically recommend these resources. Users should carefully conduct their own evaluation based upon their own specific local needs and the appropriateness of the resources offered. View the entire list here.

CREATE CA Resources and a Rapid Response Plan

As an arts education leader, you are in the unique position to hear about any rumblings of cuts to arts education in districts. We are here to help. Two recent attempts to cut the arts were reversed by simple actions from Create CA and its partners as part of our rapid response plan. It was friendly, fast and easy. And the communication was punctuated by directing that district back to their County arts coordinator as an invaluable resource. Please feel free to reach out to Pat Wayne at for details and support.

Resources:  You may have seen a 15 minute video from Louisa Higgins and Pat walking you through a suggested additional proactive strategy.

A two minute video for school district decision makers:

More resources will be coming in the next few weeks with an eye on November. Let us know if there is any other way we can support you and your students.

As California’s largest statewide coalition dedicated to the arts in schools, we raise public awareness to ensure creativity is a priority in public education. Every student needs a full and relevant arts education. In a state with one of the world’s largest creative economies, the arts are essential. Without equitable access to arts education, California’s students are not reaching their full potential. Join us to make sure every California School is a creative school. and

The California Arts Project (TCAP)

The California Arts Project’s From a Distance Professional Learning Upcoming Fall Offerings

TCAP network’s primary concern is the safety of the students, educators, and community members. The TCAP Statewide Leadership and Professional Learning Center and all TCAP Regional Sites are working remotely following their specific campus guidelines and offering TCAP “From a Distance Professional Learning”. From a Distance programs provide support for teachers in teaching the arts in hybrid, face-to-face, or in distance learning formats. The programs can also bridge to face-to-face professional leaning when conditions allow. As health announcements are monitored, the status of programs may change. Please email for more information on any of TCAP’s programs or services and visit The California Arts Project Facebook page.

Click here to read about the many offerings of The California Arts Project. 

California Arts Council

Arts in Corrections: Training Organizations RFP

Contracts up to $25,000 awarded to strengthen Arts in Corrections programming through trainings on healing-centered best practices, race and equity, restorative and transformative justice, and strategic partnerships

The California Arts Council is currently accepting proposals from organizations interested in providing training to current Arts in Corrections Coordinating Organizations in the areas of healing-centered best practices, race and equity, restorative and transformative justice, and strategic partnerships. In a conscious effort to simplify the submission process and increase access, equity, and inclusion among interested organizations, the RFP includes plain-language templated forms, instructions, and an informational webinar for submission guidance. Click here to register for the webinar on September 23. Submissions are due on or before October 30. 

The California Arts Council’s Creative Uplift series was created to center and celebrate the voices of our state’s arts and cultural workers who are the soul of our communities. We want to share their stories of strength and hope, empathy and love, as continued inspiration — building resolve in this unique and difficult moment. We look to their stories to help us feel connected to the heartbeat of our communities. We want to honor their dedication and perseverance as creative thinkers who strive each and every day to promote change, to push us forward, challenge us to do more, and to realize a different and better world for us all.
Learn more here!


National Organizations in Support of Arts Education – Introducing the Arts Education Data Toolkit

The National Endowment for the Arts and Education Commission of the States released a groundbreaking suite of resources as part of the State Data infrastructure Project for Arts Education, an initiative to help stakeholders in the arts extract, analyze and report on data about arts education.

Use the toolkit to identify partners for your state arts education data initiative. The organizations below, which focus on arts and arts education, maintain directories of state affiliates and can be found on page 22 of this document.
Click here to view/download a copy of the publication.

Americans for the Arts – Local Arts Agencies
Americans for the Arts – State Arts Action Network
Arts Education Partnership – Partner Organizations
Educational Theatre Association
National Art Education Association – State Associations
National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
National Association for Music Education
National Dance Education Association
National Endowment for the Arts
State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education
Young Audiences: Arts for Learning – State and Local Affiliate Network

Professional Development Opportunities

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.


September 16, 2020
Starts at 3:00 pm
What Sweeter Music: Arts and Social-Emotional Learning in Harmony
Presented by CCSESA and Create CA
View and/or download event flyer here
Register here

September 29, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Arts Learning Community of Practice 2020-21 Bay Area & Beyond
Presented by the Alameda County Office of Education
View and/or download event flyer here (scroll down)
Register here

September 30, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Student Role and Participation in Advocacy
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education
View and/or download event flyer here
Register here

September 29 & October 1, 2020
9:30-12:30 pm
Creative Action Planning: Mapping A Response in Light of Current Challenges
Co-Presented by the CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative & the California Alliance for Arts Education
Fee: $50
Register here


October 14, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Importance of Local Advocacy in School Board Races
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education
Register here

October 15, 2020
4:00-5:00 pm
Arts Empower Mega Rally
Presented in partnership by Arts Empower, CAEA-SDC, CMEA-SBS, SDTEA, SouthCAP
Register here

October 29, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Arts Learning Community of Practice for Alameda County district/Site Leaders & Educators
Presented by the Alameda County Office of Education
View and/or download event flyer here
Register here

October 22, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Rural Arts Education Strategies
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education and CCSESA Statewide Arts Initiative
Register here


November 19, 2020
3:30-5:00 pm
Local Advocacy Webinar Series: Student Voices Campaign Launch
Presented by the California Alliance for Arts Education
Register here

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