Arts Education

Creative Sonoma supports arts education through a variety of initiatives, grant programs, and research. Watch the above video to learn more about the impact of arts education in our local schools, and explore the many resources listed on this page to learn more, or to get involved in ensuring all local students have access to arts education. The following Sonoma County resources are listed on this page:


Sonoma County Arts Education Alliance

The Arts Education Alliance (AEA) is a collaborative venture with representatives from Creative Sonoma, Sonoma County Office of Education, school districts across the county, arts and nonprofit organizations, arts teachers, teaching artists, classroom teachers, and arts advocates throughout the community. For more information about the AEA or resources provided by the AEA, email


  • MEETUP for Sonoma County District and School Administrators, Curriculum and Instruction Directors, Trustees. Learn about promising practices from others in the county and network to discuss strategies to use the arts to address school priorities. Next meeting is April 7, 2021, 4:00-5:00.  



The current goal of the AEA is to develop and support arts education in four areas: 

Leadership Development Cohort: From August-December 2020, this cohort developed knowledge in critical areas of arts education advocacy, as well as increased their network of support and resources. Projects and goals have been developed by individuals of the Cohort that will be implemented January-June 2021. These projects and goals support the work of the AEA and the Arts Education Framework. A list of the Cohort can be found HERE.

Advocacy Team:  This group of arts education advocates (artists, arts orgs, parents, teachers, business and community members) are organizing community resources and messaging to build public will for arts education. The team has begun bi-monthly meetups for school/district administrators and created the Student Arts Spotlight, good news feature highlighting students in the arts. A Plug ‘n Play curated list of online arts activities is available for any teacher or administrator. The Advocacy Team offers presentations for parent/community groups and consultations with schools and school districts. A list of members is HERE

Arts Education Teaching & Learning Working Group:  Education Leaders including Arts Education Framework Planning Grantees organized to share understanding and develop lessons using arts integration and develop professional development to support social emotional learning, as well as distance learning. A list of participants found HERE

Arts Education Funding:  Learn about creating sustainable funding for arts in the schools through the Local Control Funding Formula. Presenters include Peggy Burt from Mindful Strategies and consultant to California Alliance for Arts Education and Dr. Jennie Snyder, deputy superintendent for Sonoma County Office of Education. View June 9, 2020 webinar recording HERE.



As part of the last regional meeting of the California County Superintendents Educational Service Association (CCSESA) , the Director of the California Music Educators Association presented its work in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health on guidance for outdoor singing and band practice.  It included a study and analysis of aerosol flow for all instruments, singing and reading,

CSSESA also presented Considerations for Visual and Performing Arts in the Age of Covid 19.  In addition, CSSESA provided resources for supporting Social Emotional Learning (SEL) through the arts. In addition CSSESA provided information about how to use Title I, II, and III dollars to support arts education and arts integration. Participation the CSSESA Rural Arts Network (CRAN) provided specific modules from Creativity at the Core for supporting arts education in rural networks, specifically Module 21.


Professional Development 

The 2020 two-day virtual iAspire Summit that brought together 70 participants from four Sonoma County school districts to deepen their knowledge of arts integration and pivot to distance learning this fall. Read more about it HERE. A 2021 iAspire Summit is in its planning stages. 


Arts Education Framework

Based on assessments of the state of arts education in Sonoma County schools, the Arts Education Alliance has created the Sonoma County Arts Education Framework, released in December 2019. The Framework is the result of research, analysis, discussion, and collaboration to provide increased and improved access and equity to arts education to better the lives of Sonoma County TK-12 students, and is now available to schools to utilize and customize through a Framework template. Click HERE to learn more and to download your copy of the Framework.  


Creative Sonoma, as part of the Arts Education Alliance, invites any Sonoma County public school or school district to apply for a planning grant to receive customized consultation in the development of a strategic plan to increase access and equity in arts education. Funds will be awarded for consultation, planning, implementation, and associated activities to take place during February 1 – June 30, 2020. Click HERE to learn more about the grant.


Arts Education Research Reports

Through grant funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Arts Education Alliance commissioned research on the state of arts education in Sonoma County during 2016-2018. The research from the following reports led to the development of the Sonoma County Arts Education Framework in 2019. 


Arts Now Communities

Arts Now communities are coming to life throughout Sonoma County! Launched by the California Alliance for Arts Education, this campaign shines a light on districts and counties that are working to improve the quality of students’ educations through investments in the arts. Arts Now provides advocacy tools, facilitation, and funding to improve arts education in your district or region. Sonoma County is organized as an Arts Now county, utilizing support and advocacy from the CAAE.

Sonoma County Arts Now communities include:


Grants to Support Arts Education

Creative Sonoma’s Youth Impact Grants program is a consolidation of the former Summer Arts Youth Program Grants (SAYPG) and the former Arts Education Innovation Grants (AEIG), and continues to be funded through a partnership between the County of Sonoma and the Community Foundation Sonoma County.


Teaching Artist Residencies for Schools

Creative Sonoma offered free teaching artist residencies to Sonoma County K-12 public schools through December 2019. The residencies were based on best practices of trauma-informed arts instruction to build resilience and encourage empathy. To read more about the program, click HERE