A monthly spotlight on ideas, strategies, and resources to support and advocate for arts education in Sonoma County.

This blog includes:

  • Sonoma County Resources and News
  • General Resources and News


Student Arts Spotlight

Student Arts Spotlight shares the good news of the arts making a difference in students’ lives in a monthly feature. The Sonoma County Arts Education Alliance is pleased to share, Simply Strings, a program of the Santa Rosa Symphony at Sheppard Elementary School in the Roseland District.

2023 marks the 10th year of the Simply Strings program at Sheppard Elementary, building and shaping the lives of students in the Roseland community. Students are constantly working to improve their technique and musicality through curriculum that includes pre-orchestra, musicianship, visual arts and string ensemble classes ranging from 1st through 8th grades as well as high school mentors. Simply Strings is a great way to provide students with a safe space to be creative and express themselves through both visual and performing arts. Congratulations!

Learn about the Student Arts Spotlight and share your students’ accomplishments HERE, or browse the archive of past Spotlights HERE.

AEA Mix and Mingle – Resolve to Connect with Others!

Get to know fellow arts educators and advocates. Find out what’s going on in your region and throughout the county. Currently over 50 folks have registered for this January event – don’t miss it! Learn more HERE

A Support Group Just for School Arts Educators!

The January 25th meeting will focus on how School VAPA Leaders can connect identified needs with new and emerging funding sources. Special focus will be given to working with district and site admin around conversations, plans, and actions pertaining to Prop 28 and other funding sources. Cohort members will have an opportunity to share what is happening in their districts. Learn more HERE

Digging into Prop 28: Questions to Ask about This Historic Funding Initiative

The passing of Prop 28 by California voters this fall means new, ongoing funding to supplement funding already in place and build infrastructure for arts education opportunities for all K-12 students. Details about what this means for schools are forthcoming from the state, but school communities are urged to get started with planning! The Arts Education Alliance offers ongoing support with consulting, planning, and resources. Check out this list of Questions and Discussions to get the conversations rolling by clicking HERE

Attend a Recitation Showcase of Local High School Poets!

The community is invited to the 2023 Sonoma County Poetry Out Loud Finals. Listen and watch as finalists from 10 local high schools compete to be named Sonoma County winner! The event will be held in the newly renovated Stevenson Hall at SSU. Join SSU representatives for a campus tour immediately following the Finals to learn what the university has to offer! Free to the community – no tickets or registration needed. Learn more HERE

State of Arts Education 2023: Inspire! Celebrate! Connect! Now an Annual Event!

Join the Arts Education Alliance in celebrating the Sonoma County arts education community! This free event will include student performers, presenters, and features of progress made, as well as essential information about the changing landscape of programming and funding. Registration will be available by 1/12/23. Check back!


“Using Theatrical Activities to Teach Problem-Solving”

Read this article from Edutopia about how students can participate in collaborative and engaging activities that promote critical thinking skill development HERE

Trust Kids! Stories on Youth Autonomy and Confronting Adult Supremacy

Reference this book to learn about reframing attitudes about relationships between adults and the children. How can adults allow children to grow as independent thinkers and be included, loved, and cared for in just ways. Learn more about this book HERE

Visit the Creative Sonoma Arts Education page to learn more about arts education projects and opportunities in Sonoma County.