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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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 (www.bigthought.org), 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

From Hip-Hop to Shakespeare: Dallas Blazes Coordinated Trail in Arts Education for City Young People

July 25, 2008

Describes the trend toward coordinated approaches to arts education, with a focus on a Wallace-funded program linking artists, local government, cultural organizations, schools, and parents to bring quality arts education to Dallas' poorest children.

Classroom Examples

Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination

June 18, 2008

Based on site visits, interviews, and literature and document reviews, presents a comparative case study of how six community initiatives were launched to improve arts education through collaboration among multiple organizations and how they evolved.

Classroom Examples; Community Outcomes