Arts Education Alliance

The Sonoma County Arts Education Alliance (AEA) is a coalition working to improve the lives of Sonoma County students through equitable access to high quality arts education. 

  • Members include representatives from arts organizations, certificated arts teachers, teaching artists, schools and districts, parents, businesses and nonprofits, and other interested Sonoma County residents.
  • Members participate in various ways and capacities, which are described below under AEA Committees and Working Groups. 
  • Sign up for the mailing list to receive updates about local arts education, advocacy, and opportunities to participate!


Parent Ambassadors for Arts:  September 29, 2021 or November 10, 2021

Join our Parent Ambassadors for Arts dialogues to learn why arts education offers unparalleled opportunity and benefits for our children. These meetings occur quarterly and will provide you with information and tools to help YOU make a difference.

INTRODUCTION:  Presented in SPANISH (with simulcast English interpretation):

  • September 29, 2021, 6:00pm with José Soto, Music Specialist and Director of the Youth Mariachi Ensemble, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts; Yuliana Camarena, Early Education Manager, La Luz Center; and the AEA Advocacy Team


  • November 10, 2021, 7:00pm more tools and continuing the conversation with the AEA Advocacy Team.


Click on any of the following groups and initiatives to learn more about what they do and who is doing it!

The AEA Steering Committee oversees the broad agenda and actions of the coalition. It sets priorities, evaluates opportunities and needs, and develops plans to achieve the objectives. Feel free to contact any Steering Committee member for more information by clicking on their names:

  • Ashleigh Worley, Director of Education & Community Engagement, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts. Areas of Expertise: Arts Integration, Professional Development, Program Development, Cross-Organizational Partnerships, Arts Education services for schools and families
  • Dan Blake, Managing Director, Educational Support Services, Sonoma County Office of Education
  • Debbie Yarrow, Arts Education Manager, Creative Sonoma. Areas of Expertise: School Arts Programming, Advocacy, Community Arts Partnerships, Professional Development
  • Elizabeth Robertson, VAPA Facilitator/ 3-8 Music Teacher, Windsor Unified School District. Areas of Expertise: Arts Integration, Music Education Curriculum and Program Design, Arts Teacher Coaching, Evaluation and Mentoring, iAspire Arts Integration, Arts Advocacy
  • Karen McGahey, Educational Consultant. Areas of Expertise: Arts Education, Equity, Arts Education Strategic Planning, Administrative Support for Arts Education
  • Nikko Kimzin, Arts & Equity Consultant, Kimzin Creative. Areas of Expertise: Theatre, Arts Integration for English Language Learners (ELL), Culturally Relevant Arts Programming for Latinx Communities, Non-profit Operational and Programmatic Culture and Policies
  • O’Meara Cover, Real Estate Development, Arts Education Advocate. Areas of Expertise: Visual Thinking Strategy Facilitation, Arts Education Advocacy, Art Show Productio

This group of arts education advocates (artists, arts orgs, parents, teachers, business and community members) organize community resources and initiate messaging to build public will for arts education. The Advocacy Team offers presentations for parent and community groups, as well as consultations with schools and school districts.

  • The current focus of this group is to connect with parents to share the importance of the arts in children’s lives.
  • A list of current advocacy team members is HERE

Education leaders meet monthly to develop and organize curriculum, lessons, and strategies in arts integration, social emotional learning, and distance learning.

  • This group is planning quarterly Administrators’ Meetups for School Year 2021-22 for school district administration teams. 
  • A list of group members is HERE

Through this working group, several cohorts of leaders in local arts education have been created:  school and district administrative teams, education leaders from arts organizations, and a cohort of community advocates that completed an AEA mini-course in arts education support.

The AEA provides consultation and offers presentations to school, district, parent, and community groups about options to financially support and sustain arts programming in the schools. 

  • Learn about creating sustainable funding for arts in the schools through the Local Control Funding Formula and Title Funding. An example of this work can be found in this AEA June 2020 Webinar found HERE.
  • For general information on local funding and other resources, explore more HERE.

If you would like more information on any of the above committees or groups, please email


After two years of research and collaboration across our county, the AEA released its Sonoma County Arts Education Framework in December 2019. The Framework is a tool for schools to increase equitable access to arts education throughout our county. 

  • The Framework is a FREE resource and includes a customizable Framework template.
  • Click HERE to learn more and to download your copy of the Framework.

Implementing the Framework

The AEA, in partnership with Creative Sonoma and the Sonoma County Office of Education, has been able to offer grant funding and consultation for local schools and districts to implement the Framework. Click on either of the titles below to learn about those programs. 

Guerneville and Horicon School Districts were selected to receive this award, funded by the California County Superintendent Educational Services. The districts are tailoring strategic plans utilizing the arts to address district priorities utilizing the arts. Learn more about the award HERE.

Learn how three grantees implemented their arts education plans as a result of this grant, funded by the Sonoma County Office of Education, HERE.