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 the Sonoma County Office of Education, Creative Sonoma, several school districts across the county, and arts teachers, administrators, organizations, and community advocates. For more information about the AEA or any of the Working Groups below, email


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

Arts Education Leadership Development Cohort:  Join us to develop a cohort of rising arts education leaders! Develop your knowledge and understanding of arts education in five monthly sessions and earn a certificate of completion. Topics in the series include arts education standards, integration, valuing, funding, access and equity. Sessions are FREE and will be held on the 2nd Thursday of the each month, August 13-December 10. 2020, 3:00-4:00pm PT via Zoom. Attendance requested at all sessions. Encouraged to participate: Sonoma County classroom teachers, arts and culture organizations, teaching artists, Curriculum & Instruction personnel, or leaders of parent support groups. Register HERE.

Arts Communication & Advocacy Working Group:  This group of arts education supporters (parents, teachers, students, community members) will organize community resources and messaging to build public will for arts education. MORE INFO COMING SOON!

Arts Teaching & Learning Working Group:  Education Leaders including Arts Education Framework Planning Grantees have organized to develop a professional learning community around arts integration and develop professional development to support arts integration and social emotional learning.

Arts 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


July 27-28, 2020: iAspire Arts Integration Summit

The second annual iAspire Arts Integration Summit (see and share the flyer HERE) will be held virtually on July 27-28, 2020, with an in person follow-up date to be scheduled in Sonoma County in the fall. You may register now for three days of exciting, hands-on professional learning in arts integration. This training is appropriate for all elementary teachers as well as for teaching artists and cultural arts/museum arts educators. Learn more HERE. 


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. 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 Fora 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