Arts Education News: May 2023

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

This newsletter 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 Technology High School’s Theater Arts Department production of Guys and Dolls. Tech High School is in the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District. Students worked together to produce a musical comedy. Theater arts contributes to a positive and caring community and allows individuals to develop their leadership skills, confidence, empathy, and creative critical thinking. Congratulations, Teacher Emily Walters and Tech HS Theater Arts Students!

Eight dancers  standing in a line on a stage wearing short yellow dresses with their arms raised.

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

Updates, Recommendations, and Resources

Update: Governor Newsom presented May budget revisions that include cuts to the Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Block Grant. The Block Grant is one-time funding and different than Prop 28 funding. Newsom proposed that funding for Prop 28 will offset the cut to the Block Grant. The Block Grant can be used for many purposes other than arts and music.

Recommendations for School Communities to prepare for Prop 28: 

  • Inventory current arts education programs to establish a baseline
  • Focus on Prop 28 specifics while keeping the bigger picture in mind
  • Begin discussions and planning for how your school will use this ongoing funding
  • Engage with parent and community to build equitable, sustainable programs 

Use the resource: Thanks to Prop 28 School Districts Need Arts Teachers to learn about multiple avenues for hiring arts teachers.

More updates are available HERE.

Prop 28 Funding Information for School Visual and Performing Arts Leaders

School visual and performing arts education leaders are invited to join meetups of the School VAPA Leaders Cohort. This Cohort strives to create a safe, supportive, and collaborative environment for experienced and developing school arts education leaders. The next virtual meeting is May 24, 2023. Learn more HERE.

Congressional Art Contest Held

Student artists from Sonoma County participated in the annual 4th District Congressional Art Competition held at the Steele Lane Community Center. The Sonoma County finalist, Catherine Li, will go on to compete in the final judging next week. The winning work from the region will be hung in the Capitol. Li’s work is shown above.

Networking Event for Arts Education Advocates

RSVP now for the next AEA Mixer and meet and connect with folks interested in arts education! Find out more HERE.

General Resources and News

Local Teacher Featured in Podcast

Michelle Talbot, 5th grade teacher at Marguerite Hahn Elementary School is featured in the Education Beat podcast about the benefits of continuing to read aloud to students. Benefits include supporting social emotional learning, developing language, and providing avenues for using spoken word.

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