The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) today announced the receipt of a $1 million arts education grant. Funding from the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant will create a regional Community of Practice for school district educators and local arts organizations in Sacramento County. It will help local districts implement Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) education for all students.
“Research shows arts education is closely linked to so many things we want for our children and expect from our schools: better student performance, social and emotional development, and civic engagement,” said Sacramento County Superintendent David W. Gordon at a news conference held at Sacramento City Hall. “Our students have a demonstrated need for more access to arts education, and this grant will improve access.”
The California Department of Education (CDE) grant marks a significant early success for the Sacramento Arts Education Consortium, a partnership formed last spring by Superintendent Gordon, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, all county school superintendents, the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission (SMAC), and the non-profit group Friends of SMAC. The consortium was established to provide ongoing support to school districts in their implementation of arts education.
“Our children have a need to express themselves through painting, dance, acting, singing, and other art forms, but they have far fewer opportunities to do so than many of us had in our youth,” Mayor Steinberg said. “If we don’t expose them to these experiences and provide instruction in the various disciplines, they won’t grow up to be the artists, creatives, and art patrons of the future.”
The Community of Practice will develop and host workshops and training seminars and provide professional development and mentoring support. District lead teachers will earn a VAPA credential authorization. Arts organization directors will develop their capacity to provide more teaching artists and arts experiences for schools.
“Arts education is essential to developing the next generation of artists and arts audiences,” said Dr. L. Steven Winlock, Executive Director, SCOE School of Education. “Through this collaborative effort, we will build resources to support the implementation and promotion of arts education in schools.”