Arts Education News: November 2021

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

This newsletter includes:



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 the work of Cheryl Coldiron’s visual art classes at Adele Harrison and Altimira Middle Schools in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District for November 2021.

Students studied artist and art theoretician Piet Mondrian, then listened to jazz and each created an 8X10 painting about the rhythm they felt. The paintings were then combined and hung as a masterpiece.

Congratulations, Adele Harrison and Altimira Middle Schools!

Learn about the Student Arts Spotlight and share your students’ accomplishments HERE.

Poetry Out Loud

When Amanda Gorman spoke at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, people around the nation were exposed to the power of poetry, and saw how much skill and creativity it takes to bring a poem’s words to life. For more than 15 years, Poetry Out Loud™ has given millions of high school students a similar platform through a national poetry recitation competition.

Poetry Out Loud—presented in partnership with California Poets in the Schools, National Endowment for the Arts, and Poetry Foundation—is a national arts education program that encourages the study of great poetry by offering free educational materials and a dynamic recitation competition for high school students across the country. Since the program began in 2005, more than four million students across the country have participated in Poetry Out Loud.

Sonoma County High Schools and organizations that wish to be part of the official Poetry Out Loud program should contact Sonoma County POL Coordinator Jodi Hottel ( by December 10, 2021 to participate. CalPoets will work with interested schools and organizations to include them in the official Poetry Out Loud program. Schools and organizations that are not in the official program may conduct their own contests using the online resources.

Parent Ambassadors for Arts

Join the network of Sonoma County parents who are learning, discussing, and advocating for arts education for their child. Whether you are new to the arts or a seasoned advocate, join the parent dialogue on November 10, 2021 at 7pm with interpretation in Spanish and English. José Soto, Luther Burbank Center Music Specialist, and Dianna MacDonald, California State PTA Legislative Advocate will be among facilitators for this inspiring and fun virtual meeting.

  • Learn more and register HERE.

iAspire Arts Integration Professional Learning Network

A new opportunity is coming to Sonoma County! iAspire (internet-based Arts: Successful Pedagogy through Integration, Research and E-learning) is now offering a Professional Learning Network to support teachers in utilizing arts integration in the classroom. Arts integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives of both.

Professional development and instructional coaching will be facilitated by teacher leaders from the experienced Windsor Unified School District iAspire team through virtual and (eventually) in-person sessions. Starting November 9, 2021!

  • Learn more and register HERE.



California Educators Together in Arts Education

Use California Educators Together’s community of practice website. Join statewide interest groups in Arts Education and STEAM, as well as Social Emotional Learning Theme: The Arts. 

  • Explore the resource from the California Department of Education HERE.

Music Education and Social Emotional Learning: The Heart of Teaching Music

Dr. Scott Edgar discusses how music education offers social emotional support to students. Don’t miss this powerful discussion!

  • Listen to this podcast from Music Ed Forward HERE.




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