Summer Newsletter 2024

Student Artwork: (Left to Right): “Bird of Paradise”, by Camila Castillo, Barbara Worth Junior HS, “Gone Back”, by Melanie Ceron, ISANA Himalia Academy, “Better Times” a student at the one.Cruikshank School.

Arts Initiative News

As the first year of Proposition 28 implementation comes to an end it is a good time to pause and reflect on the journey. While Prop 28 is not  the only driving force for arts education in California, it has been a significant and welcome animator of conversations, relationship building, and strategic planning since voters passed it in 2022.

Some takeaways from 2023 – 2024:

Leadership Matters

Leaders at all levels, state, county, and district can and must ensure arts education is a priority. While there is no substitute for knowledgeable and dedicated arts teachers, a leader who prioritizes and fosters arts education can make an additional and significant difference, akin to providing fertilizer for growth of plants in a garden. 

Arts education supports and prepares students for career college and civic life while being an avenue for student voice and supporting well-being. Planning budget expenditures with the benefits of arts education in mind can have positive ripple effects including improving instructional practice, decreasing chronic absenteeism, and increasing student engagement to name a few. 

Even without an arts background, an engaged leader can make all the difference in these difficult budget times. If nothing else, a simple “yes” to commit to implementing Prop 28 in the spirit of the law and a “no” to attempt to circumvent the law in the name of “budget challenges” is one place to start (note the latest guidance document from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction).

Ideas Matter

The California Arts Education Framework for Public Schools adopted by the State Board of Education in 2020 is rich with guidance to drive ideas for implementing effective arts education. Collaboration among county arts leads has resulted in a robust array of professional learning opportunities tied to this resource. Whether you want to participate in the latest version of the virtual Building Effective Arts Education Programs series and culminating event at a museum, utilize an online module at a self-determined pace, or participate in a statewide or regional community of practice, there are a wealth of available options and professional learning communities to foster inspiration.

Actions Matter

In the vacuum of initial guidance from the state, some early implementers equipped with strategic arts education plans were able to act quickly to expand their arts education offerings. Some districts responded early to collect data and create time and space for thoughtful engagement with families on a plan for use of the funds. Many districts with smaller amounts of Prop 28 funding worked diligently to identify creative and innovative ways to leverage the funding to expand arts education within their limitations. 

Many County Arts Leads supported districts to implement Prop 28 by offering “boot camps”, celebrations, and other types of events and supporting strategic planning efforts in their regions and counties. You can read about what is happening in your county in the recently published of Counties on the Move, 2024 Edition.

Teaching artists and community based organizations continue to be necessary and valuable school district partners to help provide arts education for all students in California. Ongoing conversation among community-based arts organizations has resulted in collaboration on this helpful resource to support district and CBO engagement 

Throughout, the Arts Initiative has been fortunate to have new opportunities to build relationships, deepen and strengthen existing ones and be included as a thought partner in the statewide effort. As 2024-25 comes in to view we look forward to continued efforts to build leadership capacity, foster innovative ideas, and take action with new and old partners to expand access to arts education for all students everywhere.

Counties on the Move 2024: Expanding Access to Arts Education for All Students

Counties on the Move is a periodic publication that celebrates progress made towards expanding equitable access to sequential standards-based arts education through California’s 58 county offices of education. The 2024 edition includes a reflection on progress made in arts education over the last decade, snapshots of rural arts education community partnership models, and spotlights on several court and community schools.

Building Effective Arts Education Programs

Back by popular demand, this virtual series explores leveraging arts education funding, including Prop 28, to implement effective arts education as outlined in Chapter 9 of the California Arts Education Framework.

There will be a half-day, in-person event to culminate the virtual series on August 13, 2024 at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. If you would like to register for this in-person event, please register separately. Participation in the virtual series is not required to register for the Crocker event.

Creative Health and Wellbeing Webinar Recording Now Available

On March 26th, Amy Bultena of the Stanislaus County Office of Education shared the Arts Initiative’s newest professional learning module Creative Health and Wellbeing Through Visual Art: A Social-Emotional Approach to Learning.

A recording of the webinar is now available so you can explore the rich collection of free resources in this module with Amy’s guidance.

County News and Events

Explore what County Offices of Education have been doing as they support arts education across the state. Please refer to the updated arts leads contact list if you have questions about any of these items.

Butte County Office of Education

Region 2's Online Directory for Arts Education Providers

Region 2’s Online Directory of Arts Education Providers continues to gain new listings from around the region. Two new arts education providers that serve Siskiyou County were added this April. The directory provides information to schools seeking teaching artists, live arts experiences, field trip opportunities, and more. Go to

Elementary and Middle School Art Show

The collective impact initiative, Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child: Butte County, is in its second year providing support to expand arts education in three Oroville area k-8 districts. This is a partnership with community members and the school districts and is supported by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Oroville Mason’s provided funding for the initiative’s first annual elementary school art show that will be installed at the historic Lott Home during Oroville’s Annual Feather Fiesta street fair on May 4th. Over 200 student artworks and descriptions of the art lessons will allow folks to learn how art is taught in these schools. Each of the nine participating schools has a single subject visual art teacher. Seven of these teachers are new hires at schools that previously had no art teacher. The passage of Prop 28 in 2022 which dedicates funds for arts teachers made this possible.

TCAP Events for Teachers in the Northern Region

The Northern California Arts Project will hold two professional learning workshops in June at CSU Chico. The three day workshops are designed for general education TK-5 teachers who want to teach more visual art or music to their students or to district single subject music or visual art teachers who need to review the fundamentals of teaching to elementary students.

Monterey County Office of Education

Monterey County Summer Arts Institute

This two day workshop is intended to support teachers, TOSAs, and teaching artists with the arts standards and framework. 

Date: June 26 – 27

Time: 8:00 AM – 2:15 PM

Location: Harden Ranch Foundation

Take a look at the Monterey County VAPA Newsletter for more fun videos and arts news going on in Monterey County.

Riverside County Office of Education

1st Annual Arts Lift Conference

The Arts at RCOE (Riverside County Office of Education) is pleased to present this amazing day of arts speakers, presentations, and workshops. This is our first-ever arts conference and we intend for it to be an annual event that enriches the counties of Riverside, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino. Attendees will hear two incredible keynote speakers and have their choice of four different arts sessions. Sessions being offered include visual arts, music, theater, stage tech, dance, mindfulness, poetry, emotional liberation, arts leadership, and arts integration. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are included. There will also be awesome swag and an incredible raffle prize you won’t want to miss! Come spend the day with us deeply involved in the joy and practice of the arts.

Date: July 18

Time: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location: Riverside County Office of Education Conference Center

Registration Fee: $100

Santa Clara County Office of Education

2024 ¡Viva El Mariachi!

The 2024 ¡Viva el mariachi! Showcase outdoors at the Mexican Heritage Plaza occured on Thursday, April 4, 2024, in La Plaza at the School of Arts and Culture. Mariachi groups from Lincoln High School, Alum Rock Union School District, and Alisal Union School District performed along with dancers from Grupo Folklórico de Downtown College Prep Alum Roch High School, Mt. Pleasant High School Las Palomas, and Los Lupeños Juvenil.

Young Artist Showcase Celebration

The Santa Clara County Office of Education announces the 2024 Young Artist Showcase. This showcase is open to public school students, grades Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, in Santa Clara County. This year’s artwork theme, “The Arts are Culture!”, encourages youth to imagine, through the arts and creativity, a place of belonging and valuing diversity through cultural celebration and creative expression. Understanding, belonging, and empathy are important to thrive in a diverse, contemporary world. Artistic expression is a means for expressing ourselves and our values. That expression contributes to the mosaic that is the rich ecosystem of Santa Clara County schools.

Adjudicators chose student artwork to be accepted into the permanent exhibit of student artwork located within the SCCOE campuses, and it will be showcased at the virtual Young Artist Showcase Celebration on May 16, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. The link to the video retrospective and the list of People’s Choice Awardees can be seen here:

Best in Show

Winner Sahana Radharamanan answers questions about her art piece.

Describe what inspired you to create this piece? Was it a personal or social issue?
This, for me was a very personal piece because it showed my culture, how women are expected to cover their faces and be quiet and respectful, and do all the menial tasks.
Explain the ways your artwork changed or evolved from your original idea to the finished place.
At first, I intended for the piece to be in color, but then I realized; putting it in monochrome would carry the intended purpose of this piece.

Santa Cruz County Office of Education

Experience the grandness of 400+ pieces of student artwork hanging in our County Government Building.

Summer Arts Education Institute

Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey County Offices of Education are co-hosting the monthly, year-long Arts Education Community of Practice. Join us for a region-wide sharing of ideas and inspirations!

Link Up

The Santa Cruz Symphony, Carnegie Hall, and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education brought 4000 students to our Youth Concerts in February. Students had the opportunity to practice the selections they had been studying including Toreador from Carmen by Bizet, It Don’t Mean a Thing by Ellington, Cidade Maravilhosa by Fihlo and others.

Steam Expo

The Santa Cruz COE along with many partners hosted our inaugural STEAM Expo on Saturday, March 9, 2024 at the County Fairgrounds!

Excerpt from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and curious community members came out to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds on Saturday for the first Santa Cruz County STEAM Expo. Area schools and local organizations steeped in science and the arts featured interactive activities for young people such as Joby Aviation’s virtual reality test flights to Watsonville High School’s environmental science program, which had a workshop setup for kids of all ages, who were allowed to use power tools to make wooden kazoos.“We use all recycled materials,” said volunteer Robert Guillermo. “We teach the kids about science and how to use tools. They get to make their own kazoos and take them home.” The arts were abundantly evident with numerous stations and exhibits that combined the concepts of art and science.
One of the most popular interactive stations at the expo was one organized by the local nonprofit X Academy, which is centered around robotics and robotics competitions such as the international MATE ROV competition. Cole Williams and Bennet Menzler, both juniors at Santa Cruz High School were volunteering Saturday at the expo and helping young scientists compose submersible robots of their own that they could test in an inflatable pool on site. “We’re helping kids get into the underwater robotics world,” said Menzler. “Working with the younger kids also helps me develop my own interpersonal skills and so do the competitions. It’s pretty awesome.”

Fashion Teens: High Fashion Trash!

Excerpt from the Good Times Santa Cruz

Hundreds of students, teachers, parents and curious community members came out to the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds on Saturday for the first Santa Cruz County STEAM Expo. Area schools and local organizations steeped in science and the arts featured interactive activities for young people such as Joby Aviation’s virtual reality test flights to Watsonville High School’s environmental science program, which had a workshop setup for kids of all ages, who were allowed to use power tools to make wooden kazoos. “We use all recycled materials,” said volunteer Robert Guillermo. “We teach the kids about science and how to use tools. They get to make their own kazoos and take them home.” The arts were abundantly evident with numerous stations and exhibits that combined the concepts of art and science. One of the most popular interactive stations at the expo was one organized by the local nonprofit X Academy, which is centered around robotics and robotics competitions such as the international MATE ROV competition. Cole Williams and Bennet Menzler, both juniors at Santa Cruz High School were volunteering Saturday at the expo and helping young scientists compose submersible robots of their own that they could test in an inflatable pool on site. “We’re helping kids get into the underwater robotics world,” said Menzler. “Working with the younger kids also helps me develop my own interpersonal skills and so do the competitions. It’s pretty awesome.”

Ventura County Office of Education

Prop 28 Across Region 8

The arts have always been a cornerstone of cultural expression and education, fostering creativity and innovation in communities. In Region 8 of the California County Superintendents Statewide Arts Initiative, continuing efforts to ensure comprehensive Prop 28 Art Initiatives are underway. Region 8 encompasses Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties, each with its unique artistic tapestry.

The Prop 28 Art Initiatives within Region 8 have sparked a renaissance, encouraging inclusive and diverse art experiences for all students. From Ventura’s coastal creativity to Kern’s vibrant cultural blend, Santa Barbara’s rich history, and San Luis Obispo’s artistic innovation, the Region has a strong focus on the establishment, development, and integration, of region-wide arts education programs for the schools and the students they serve.

Under state and county leadership, the initiative has introduced multifaceted programs aimed at enhancing arts education. Workshops, exhibitions, and collaborative projects are enriching the lives of students, educators, and communities alike. Through these endeavors, students are not just learning about art but are actively engaged in creating and expressing themselves artistically through their academic curriculum.

Moreover, the initiative has forged partnerships between schools, local artists, and cultural institutions. This collaboration not only amplifies artistic exposure but also provides students with real-world experiences and mentorship, nurturing budding talents and cultivating a deeper appreciation for the arts.

The impact of the Prop 28 Art Initiatives in Region 8 extends beyond the classroom walls. It fosters a sense of pride and belonging within communities, showcasing the transformative power of art in bridging cultural divides and fostering social cohesion.

Brett Taylor, Director of Local District Support Services at Ventura County Office of Education, serves as Region 8’s lead for the California County Superintendents Arts Initiative. His main role is providing information and support to the families and educators of Ventura County, as well opportunities for professional development, guidance, compliance, and partnerships in the region which are pivotal in utilizing Prop 28 funds and the enhancement and development of vibrant and inclusive art programs in schools across the region. Region 8 has built a strong leadership capacity over the last few years and each County in the Region has assigned an educational Art Leader to help spearhead support with Prop 28 strategic planning, cascading state wide and region wide art information, professional development opportunities, and networking for this important initiative. 

In the 2023 – 24 school year, Ventura County hosted Peggy Burt, Statewide Arts Education Consultant and Prop 28 expert in a regional 3 part series on all things Prop 28 funding, information, and planning. Brett Taylor noted that Peggy  “plays an instrumental role in facilitating professional development which has significantly enhanced the understanding and implementation of Prop 28 funding and planning among educators and partners in the entire State. We are fortunate to have her come and share her knowledge with our Region.” Burt’s comprehensive series delved deep into the nuances of Prop 28 funding, offering a wealth of information and strategic planning insights. This series served as a beacon, guiding over 50 eager participants from LEAs throughout Ventura, Kern, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties. 

Burt’s guidance has provided a roadmap for educators, administrators, and stakeholders, empowering them to maximize the potential of Prop 28 funding. The sessions were meticulously curated, covering a broad spectrum of topics vital to understanding Prop 28 and its implications for arts education. Participants were equipped with in-depth knowledge regarding the allocation and utilization of Prop 28 funds by assisting LEAs to develop collaborative strategic plans tailored to their respective educational landscapes and needs of the students and communities they serve. Moreover, the sessions weren’t just about disseminating information; they were platforms for collaboration and networking. Participants had the opportunity to engage in fruitful discussions, exchanging ideas, and forging connections that transcended geographical boundaries. This interconnectivity fostered a supportive network where experiences and strategies could be shared, enriching the collective understanding of Prop 28’s potential to fully integrate art education into the region.

State Partner News

California Art Education Association

Youth Art Month Flag Contest Winner

San Dimas High School junior Peter Fang won the California Art Education Association’s Flag and Banner Program contest with his vibrant depiction of California, earning a spot at the National Art Education Association’s Youth Art Month Museum. Peter Fang’s art teacher is CAEA Member Dominic Black.

Four CAEA Youth Art Month winners were selected to be on display at the YAM Museum at the National Art Education Association Annual Convention in Minneapolis this year:

  • TK–2 Division: Keaton R. Mullen Turkey Trot, Sulphite paper, crayon and watercolor, Gold River Discovery Center Elementary Teacher: Karmala Sherwood
  • 3–5 Division: Isia Lipkin, Heavenly Bull, Mixed Media, Hawthorne School, Teacher: Elizabeth Federman
  • 6–8 Division, Alisa Chao, Silent, Digital painting, Graphic Non-Violence LLC, Teacher: Karim Shuquem
  • 9–12 Division and Overall State Winner, Thu Nguyen, Nostalgia, Mixed Media, La Sierra High School, Teacher Mollie Ganier
Pacific Region Art Educator Award

The Pacific Region Art Educator of the Year Award was presented to CAEA Member, Alyssa Navapanich, at the National Art Education Association Convention in Minneapolis by CAEA member and NAEA Pacific Region Vice President Robyn MacNair and NAEA Pacific Region Vice President-Elect Abi Paytoe-Gbayee

CAEA Awarded Five high School Senior College Scholarships

Duane Hagen Scholarship Recipients

  • Ariana Ruiz, Los Altos High School, Teacher: Christine An
  • Lexine Flores, Los Altos High School Teacher: Christine An
  • Owen Noska, John C. Kimball High School, Teacher: Kimiko Azama

Laurel Burch Scholarship Recipients

  • Alexander Giongco, Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts, Teacher: Glen Weisgerber
  • Nancy Tran, John C. Kimball High School, Teacher: Kimiko Azama
Save the Date!

CAEA Fall Conference is November 8-11, 2024, Hotel Fera – A DoubleTree by Hilton, 100 The City Dr N, Orange, CA 9286

California Educational Theatre Association

2024 Conference

The 2024 Annual CETA Theatre Educators’ Conference is being held in partnership this year with Berkeley Repertory Theatre from October 25 – 27.

Innovation @ the Core of Artistic Creation

As theatre educators, every day we are presented with new challenges to our work and the ways in which we innovate are at the core of our creative process. We find new ways to create productions, we experiment with forms, we innovate in methodology – adapting our practice to serve students (consent-based practices, reimagining the cannon, reframing our standards-based lessons for neurodivergent students, etc.), and empowering our students to find their own voices through artistic creation. 

At this year’s conference, theatre educators are invited to steep themselves in professional development innovation all weekend with exciting workshops, guest speakers and presentations. Don’t miss out! Check with your principal for Prop 28 funds to support your professional development.

CETA Membership 

Berkeley Rep

DIG IN is completely free to educators in any school, college, university, at this time. This resource is useful for VAPA Classes, Humanities, English, Social Studies and it may also be used with the new Ethnic Studies Courses that are already ramping up for the requirement that begins in SY 25/26

California Dance Education Association

CDEA's 7th Annual Dance Festival

CDEA just hosted its 7th annual Dance Festival “CA Daces” on April 19 and 20th. This is a performance festival for their members to celebrate the diversity of dance throughout CA. This year it was hosted by Irvine Valley College. Over 20 pieces were presented in the festival performance, including dance films. There were high school, college, junior college, and professional dance groups represented on the stage. Over the course of two days, there were also dance workshops offered in Aerial dance, hip hop, yoga, jazz dance, ballet, contemporary and modern dance, and Middle eastern Dance.

CDEA Board memebers in the IVC Performing Arts Center(left to right: Danielle Hobbs, Kristin Kusanovich, Joy Veluz, and Ashley Nettles.) Photo Credit: Chris Lewis

A bit more information from the show program:

Irvine Valley College Dance Department in partnership with California Dance Education Association welcomes you to the 7th annual, all sector, all styles, all cultural traditions, statewide CA DANCES—A dance and film festival featuring twelve dances for the stage and six short films. This festival, featuring emerging and seasoned dancers, choreographers, and dance filmmakers, shows us that dance and dance education in California is vibrant, diverse, and inspiring people to express themselves in amazing ways every day. This evening’s concert on the Rezanoor Stage is the culminating event of a two-day festival where diverse dancers from across California have been able to mingle and co-train together in mixed-level master classes taught by the talented IVC dance faculty. Tonight we will learn a little bit about the process of making these dances from our festival guides, who will share a few insights from the choreographers themselves between the works. How did the artists’ intention, experimentation, and exploration lead to the final versions of dances and films we now enjoy? Finally, we wish to honor and lift up dance teachers themselves, who work in public and private schools, studios, professional companies, community settings, and as teaching artists. Dance teachers transform the lives of their students and company members, and we honor all of the teachers who ever helped any dancer take their first steps on a stage, or who helped refine the technique or expression of the most advanced mover with their guidance, feedback, expertise, and care.

Create California


Ask School Leaders: Please Share the Plan

April is Arts, Culture, and Creativity Month! Take the opportunity to remind school leaders how important the arts are to you and the voters of California. Use these steps to affect change at the district and school-site levels to ensure the promise of Prop 28 is fulfilled!

Use the Advocate's North Star to guide your school towards ALL arts for ALL students

You can help shape your student’s school with Create CA’s help! Understand current arts data, make an ask to your school leadership, offer solutions, work with your community and provide our ample resources to decision makers to develop sustainable plans for visual and performing arts courses. Use and share this guide today!

Share the 2024 Create CA Legislative Agenda

The future of California depends on our vision of all students accessing a high-quality, culturally responsive arts education. To ensure all students benefit from arts education’s ability to develop 21st-century competencies, social-emotional skills, and civic-mindedness, we must invest in students, strengthen the teacher pipeline, and address the systemic inequities in public education. Read our advocacy and legislative agenda for 2024 to learn about Create CA’s priorities to further our vision.


Join or Create an Arts Now Coalition in your community today

Become a paid organizer for arts education in your community! Coalition leaders are needed to help support school districts now receiving dedicated funding for the arts from Prop 28 Arts & Music In Schools. Unite your community to support arts education by joining the movement and becoming an Arts Now Leader!

Answer the Student Voices Challenge Today

Answer the challenge! Join Create CA youth in using the NEW resource crafted FOR students, BY students through Create CA’s new Youth Advisory Council. If you believe that students in California deserve access to high-quality, culturally relevant arts education, we’re ready for you! Learn about the challenge and share it today!

Share your Prop 28 Success Story!

We are grateful that Prop 28, Arts & Music in Schools, has passed and will help fund creativity in schools across California. Create CA would love to hear how Prop 28 AMS has improved your school. Tell us about your arts education programming and how Prop 28 is helping to influence your students. Share your Prop 28 success story with and follow the hashtag #Prop28SuccessStory on Instagram!


Celebrate the Accomplishments of the 2023 Student Voices Cohort

Please join Create CA’s current Student Voices Leaders as they present Student-Led Change on May 20th. Leaders will facilitate the session, present the work they accomplished in 2023-2024, and discuss what the future of their work holds. If you’re a student or educator interested in the Student Voices Program, or an adult ally who wants to see the power of youth in action, register here!

May Arts Now Meetup

We want YOU to join the conversation at the May Arts Now Meetup! Come to meet and connect with your fellow arts education advocates. Bring your questions, challenges, success stories and more to this trusted network on May 21st at 11AM. Register here!

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