Spotlight on Santa Cruz County
The Santa Cruz County Alliance for Arts Education believes that every student deserves an equitable quality education in the arts. In order to best prioritize funding and to leverage more support for arts education, they decided to complete a comprehensive assessment of all arts programs school-by-school, district-by-district, including all credentialed arts specialists and all community arts programs and individual artists. This effort was fully staffed by Arts Council Santa Cuz County. Community partnerships were invaluable in this process – they partnered with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to help disseminate the survey to school and district administrators, and a local university to get intern researchers to support the collection and analysis of the data!
About the Santa Cruz Alliance for Arts Education
The Santa Cruz County Alliance for Arts Education is a county-wide advocacy initiative led by Arts Council Santa Cruz County, in partnership with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education and represents a cross section of community interests including business, community, parent, education and arts organizations. The mission of the Alliance is to empower local community members to preserve and expand arts education in Santa Cruz County public schools with the idea that a united message conveys that an investment in arts education is an investment in the well-being of the larger community. The Alliance works to ensure equity in access to arts education for all K-12 students by closing the gaps in opportunity, particularly in under-resourced schools that serve low-income students and English Language Learners.
“We knew there were a lot of incredible arts education programs and arts experiences happening in the schools throughout the county, through credentialed school programs and various arts organizations and individual artists”, said Sarah Brothers, Arts Education Director for Arts Council Santa Cruz County. “However, there had been a limited picture of what is actually happening in each district and school.This data allows us to see where there are programs and where there are gaps to fill. We can use the results to prioritize funding and leverage further support.”