East Bay families and neighbors are invited watch a four-year-old dance troupe, get their hands dirty with arts projects and enjoy traditional food, all while sharing their vision for change in public schools. This unique forum celebrates art, while asking parents and the community to collaborate on priorities for education reform and share their experiences and opinions with policymakers.
This authentic gathering is part of a state-wide effort to build support for arts education and arts-integrated education as a solution to many of the challenges facing schools today. The effort is led by a state-wide coalition of advocacy groups which includes Alameda County Office of Education’s Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, Justice Matters and Los Cenzontles. Aligning with a national effort led by the Americans for the Arts Action Fund’s 50 State in 50 Days initiative the coalition seeks to build awareness of the important role of the arts in our communities.
"Community arts are a priority in our work towards racial justice in local schools and on a national level. Our art and story-telling projects are a relevant and tangible way to raise consciousness and empower students, families and teachers,” said Olivia Araiza, executive director of Justice Matters.
As part of The Time Is Now initiative, state-wide coalition partners are urging the U.S. Congress and State Legislature to support the following policies and priorities for education reform:
- Strengthen schools through arts learning and arts-integrated education.
- Develop balanced assessments that value individual student growth and account for the overall quality of the learning environment provided for each student.
- Provide equitable funding and school improvement models that value innovation and quality.
- Provide authentic, accessible opportunities for parent, student, and community engagement and input.
- Support educator professional learning communities that continually strengthen teaching and learning.