In recent years many school districts have had to restructure their arts curriculums to meet the growing emphasis on standards that is central to most school reform. This unique collection is meant to assist educators, policymakers, grantmakers and other stakeholders by focusing on the potential benefits of arts education for students and communities alike, and providing examples of creative ways school districts are handling their constraints.

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Foundation Funding for Arts Education: An Update on Foundation Trends

April 10, 2015

To document the size and scope of arts education grantmaking by US foundations, Foundation Center and Grantmakers in the Arts collaborated on a 2005 report. The report examined foundation grantmaking for arts education between 1999 and 2003 and represented the most comprehensive analysis of foundation arts education support available. This new report updates the analysis of foundation arts education funding through 2012 and illustrates how support for arts education has evolved during a period of pronounced economic volatility and dramatic political and technological change.

Funding Trends

Annual Arts in Schools Report 2011-2012

September 6, 2013

Data from the 2006-12 Annual Arts Education Surveys and other NYCDOE databases for 2006-12 have yielded valuable information to school leaders, teachers, parents, and community-based organizations to expand students' access to and participation in the arts. Under the leadership of Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott, the NYCDOE maintains a strong commitment to arts education for all students. The success of our endeavor to build the quality of arts instruction and equity of access across all schools, as articulated in the Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, will depend on our continued collaboration with the arts and cultural community, the higher-education community, and other city and state agencies. Working with the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the arts and cultural community, and the higher-education community, along with school leaders and parents, the NYCDOE is fully committed to supporting quality arts education, even in the face of the most severe fiscal crisis in 40 years, and will continue to:ensure student achievement in the arts;support school leaders to plan and provide comprehensive, sequential Blueprint-based instruction for all students;build capacity of teachers to deliver quality teaching and learning in the arts; andsupport all schools to meet ArtsCount/NYSED requirements.The Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP) -- within the Office of School Programs and Partnerships, Division of Academics, Performance, and Support -- continues to analyze arts education data to refine and develop strategies to address the findings of the Annual Arts in Schools Report and support arts education citywide.

Funding Trends; Program Models

What School Leaders Can Do to Increase Arts Education

September 28, 2011

Learning in and through the arts develops the essential knowledge, skills, and creative capacities all students need to succeed in school, work, and life. As the top building-level leaders, school principals play a key role in ensuring every student receives a high-quality arts education as part of a complete education. In a time of shrinking budgets and shifting priorities, what can school principals do to make and keep the arts strong in their schools? This guide offers three concrete actions school principals can take to increase arts education in their schools: A -establish a school-wide commitment to arts learning; B -create an arts-rich learning environment; and C - rethink the use of time and resources. Each action is supported with several low-cost or no-cost strategies that other school leaders have used and found to be effective -- whether it's beginning an arts program where none exists, making an existing program stronger, or preserving an arts program against future cuts. While many of the strategies are drawn from elementary schools, they are likely to be applicable in a variety of grade levels. Mounting research evidence confirms that students in schools with arts-rich learning environments academically outperform their peers in arts-poor schools. Where the arts are an integral component of the school day, they positively impact student attendance, persistence and engagement; enhance teacher effectiveness; and strengthen parent and community involvement. Research also shows school principals serve as the primary decision makers as to whether and to what extent the arts are present within a school. The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) prepared this guide, with support from the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). The increasingly critical role of school leaders, along with the growing body of evidence on the benefits of arts learning, summarized most recently in a new report published by the PCAH prompted the development of the guide. AEP staff reviewed the relevant literature as well as conducted personal interviews with school principals and with practitioners who work closely with principals. School principals and other leaders interested in increasing arts education in America's schools can adopt any of these actions and strategies one at a time or implement several at once. When taken together as part of an overall approach, however, their effects are more likely to be cumulative,

Funding Trends; Program Models

Chicago Arts Partner Study: Theatre and Literary Arts

August 25, 2011

In summer 2010, the Chicago Community Trust commissioned four nonprofit arts organizations, including the League of Chicago Theatres, to work with arts educators and develop practical and actionable recommendations that will enable arts partners to serve more Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students -- and serve them better -- through arts education. Over the past year, the theatre and literary arts education communities have contributed countless hours and numerous invaluable insights, many of which are reflected in this report. This study asked a few straightforward questions: What is the capacity of Chicago's theatre and literary arts partners? What will enable arts partners to increase that capacity, and what is getting in their way? How can supports -- new or existing -- be created, adapted, expanded, or simply better distributed to give arts partners new tools and techniques? Through an extensive survey, interviews, and numerous group convenings, this study came at those questions from a variety of angles. And strikingly, the copious amounts of data generated and the extensive conversations all pointed to a few basic ideas.Fundamentally, the ability of theatre and literary arts partners to develop new programs depends on the relationships they have built. And their ability to sustain successful programs, too, depends on the relationships they have built. What is the biggest constraint to their capacity? Those same relationships. This becomes particularly true in an environment in which resources are constrained -- the single most effective step that individual theatre and literary arts partners can take is to concentrate on the relationships they are building with principals and teachers and with their contacts in the district office. When working with high schools, where challenges and distractions are even greater, these steps become ever more critical. Theatre and literary arts partners already know that principals and teachers are critical to their success. We recommend that:Arts partners work closely with principals and teachers to understand schools' priorities and goals prior to pitching potential program offerings. Many groups have found that customizing or semi-customizing their programs after such a conversation leads to a better and longer-lasting fit with the school. Arts partners may want to reach out to other school stakeholders such as resource coordinators, curriculum coordinators, parents, and local school councils, among others, to conduct a needs assessment. Theatre and literary arts partners should also take advantage of the wealth of information that existing "matchmaker" organizations know about schools. Similarly, when they find a "true believer" -- a principal, teacher, parent, student that can enthusiastically engage others about the impact of the organization's arts programs and/or the field -- that person should be enlisted immediately as an advocate to his or her peers. Lastly, the theatre and literary arts education community should work together to share their successes and strategies on an ongoing basis.Funders assist by providing information about local needs and introductions to key leaders in communities. Funders should also support training for arts partners in developing and sustaining effective partnerships.CPS help arts partners make connections with principals and should facilitate opportunities for supportive principals and teachers ("true believers") to share their arts education experience with their peers.These critical relationships and partnerships can help theatre and literary arts partners weather a complicated set of challenges within schools. Some arts partners have described CPS as a place of tremendous uncertainty, where a sense of being in "survival mode" prevails. In this environment, where principals and teachers are under pressure to improve test scores and academic outcomes, translating the value of arts programming can be difficult: effective tools do not yet exist; arts partners do not have access to the data that could help them make their case; assessment and evaluation can be difficult and frustrating for all concerned. To ensure that theatre and literary arts partners can build successful, sustainable programs for CPS students, we recommend that:Arts partners evaluate and measure programs based on the priorities and goals they jointly establish with school leadership, so they can then demonstrate progress according to the schools? needs. Arts partners should share program evaluations with all stakeholders, including teachers and students, and could engage these stakeholders in focus groups to deepen their understanding of program impact. The theatre and literary arts partners also expressed a strong interest in working together, across organizations, to share and learn from each others approaches to assessment.Arts partners, funders, and CPS generate greater awareness of the assessment tools and supports that currently exist for arts partners because a large number of providers do not know about current resources in Chicago. Arts partners, funders, CPS should also collaborate to demonstrate arts program effectiveness in terms that matter to school leaders, such as the linkages between these programs and academic outcomes.Funders provide resources for deeper, quantitative studies of program effectiveness, especially in academic terms. Funders should also enter into a dialogue with arts partners to establish effective approaches to assessment that will meet both the funders' needs and the schools' needs, without being burdensome for arts partners.CPS enhance the Chicago Guide for Teaching and Learning in the Arts to include the supports that theatre and literary arts partners say would most enable them to expand capacity: best practices in developing and continuing relationships with principals and teachers; guidance on translating the impact of theatre and literary arts programs to Common Core standards and academic outcomes; and comprehensive approaches to assessment. CPS should also complete the sections still in development, such as the literary arts chapter, and ensure greater awareness of the Guide among classroom teachers and arts partners. Active users of the Guide could be enlisted to train non-users.Meanwhile, the field as a whole -- arts partners, funders, CPS, and stakeholders -- needs to continue working together to transform policy and support for arts education. Everyoneshould engage new CPS district leadership and push to establish changes in policy that will lay the groundwork for stronger arts education in schools, including graduation requirements, structural support for arts education, and training requirements for principals and teachers. It has never been easy to work with large districts like Chicago Public Schools, which itself faces many challenges in trying to help its students succeed personally and academically. And it is to the credit of arts partners that they choose to bring their dedication, passion, and ingenuity to a task that is simply so challenging. The data that follow paint a vivid picture of these challenges. The recommendations will absolutely require hard work by many parties -- but the heartening news is that they are attainable. Part of the solution is in helping people better relate to each other in creative ways.

Funding Trends; Program Models

Wallace Foundation 2010 Annual Report

June 27, 2011

Contains board chair's message, farewell letter from founding president, mission statement, summary of grantee perception reports and comparative performance analysis, program information, financial overview, grants list, and lists of directors and staff.

Funding Trends

Collaboration Paints a Bright Future for Arts Education

February 1, 2011

In July 2010, working with a nonprofit organization called Big Thought, officials at the Dallas IndependentSchool District embarked on an approach to summer school they hoped would change the image from one of punishment and failure and engage kids. The idea was to support teachers, artists, and others to replace worksheet-style instruction with teaching animated by music, visual arts, dance, and theater.The new arts-rich summer school program that resulted is just another sign of Dallas' initiative, spearheaded by BigThought (, to bring together schools, cultural organizations, and others to restore high-quality arts instruction to the many classrooms from which it has long been missing. "What's the goal of education: to assess kids or prepare them for life?" asks Craig Welle, executive director of enrichment curriculum and instruction for the Dallas Independent School District. "If you've taken the arts out of the education system, you are no longer preparing kids for life."This report talks about the history of arts education funding and the success of the Dallas initiative.

Classroom Examples; Funding Trends

Lloyd A. Fry Foundation 2010 Annual Report

January 25, 2011

Contains board chair's message, executive director's message, program information, grant guidelines, grants list, and lists of board members and staff. 2010 financial statements available at separate link.

Funding Trends; Program Models

Research Findings to Support Effective Educational Policymaking: Evidence & Action Steps for State, District & Local Policymakers

September 30, 2009

Synthesizes Wallace's research findings on educational leadership, out-of-school time learning, and arts education. Presents evidence-based policies and practices critical to the success of educational reforms at the local, district, and state levels.

Funding Trends; Program Models

Arts Education for All: Lessons From the First Half of the Ford Foundation's National Arts Education Initiative

June 1, 2009

Provides an overview of an initiative to expand access to integrated arts education with partnership building, advocacy, and strategic communications activities. Discusses Ford's theory of change, challenges, lessons learned, and case summaries.

Classroom Examples; Funding Trends

State Arts Policy: Trends and Future Prospects

November 17, 2008

Examines how some state arts agencies are expanding their mission, strengthening their ties with state government, and utilizing policy tools beyond grantmaking. Outlines possible changes to the distribution of state arts resources and other implications.

Funding Trends; Program Models

An Unfinished Canvas: Allocating Funding and Instructional Time for Elementary Arts Education

May 7, 2008

An Unfinished Canvas found that California's elementary schools face unique challenges inproviding all students with sequential, standards-based arts education. In particular, elementary principals identified inadequate funding and insufficient instructional time as significant barriers to the provision of arts education. For this study, we sought to further understand the impact of funding and time on elementary arts education. To do so, we examined the allocation of funding and instructional time in 10 schools across five states (Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and California).

Funding Trends; Program Models

Assessing Learning Through the Arts

February 20, 2008

Within the past several decades, the emphasis in public education nationwide has steadily moved away from arts-rich and creativity based learning toward more standardized, test-based learning. In recent years, budget cuts and the "No Child Left Behind Act" have pushed the education climate even further toward high-stakes testing, narrowing curriculum. In line with this, Washington State has enacted the Washington Assessment of Student Learning standards, shifting local schools' priorities toward meeting test-based standards. At the same time, public education in Washington state faced significant budget cuts. By 2005, Washington ranked 42nd in the nation in public education spending.Public schools have had to cut many rich program offerings including in-school arts classes. In 2005, nearly 60 percent of Washington State principals reported one hour or less of music instruction per week in their schools. Worse yet, 60 percent of Seattle Public School elementary schools offered no visual arts program that same year.During this time, several existing organizations in King County and countless more practitioners were growing to meet a new demand for the arts gap through diverse, innovative programming both in and out of the school day. Seattle's nonprofit arts education organizations were natural advocates for more creative learning opportunities but remained somewhat disconnected from each other, lacking a cohesive, persuasive message to more effectively advocate for arts education. In response to these challenges, among others, seven of these regional nonprofit youth arts education organizations formed the Seattle Arts Education Consortium (Consortium), a collaborative, two-year project, in the summer of 2005.Reflecting on the work of the last two years, the Consortium offers several key findings and lessons learned related to both the process and the product. These findings may be an excellent resource to any group starting a similar process and especially for arts education programs hoping to elevate the rigor and public understanding of their programs' impacts. This report will also be useful to foundations interested in encouraging collaborations among their grantees.The sections that follow include descriptions of the process, outcomes and findings for each project activity including: Evaluation Planning & Implementation, Professional Development for Teaching Artists, Arts Education Communications & Messaging as well as What's Next for the Consortium.

Funding Trends; Program Models; Student Outcomes