Update on Arts Education Teams: Community Discussions & Workshops

Mon, 01/30/2012 (All day)

As the Advocacy Manager of Arts for LA, I am tasked with reaching out to grassroots stakeholders, connecting with local leadership, establishing networks of arts advocates and creating a plan of action to increase support for and access to the arts. This year, we are taking the team initiative to seven additional communities.  Here is an update on that process.

In the past three months, I have been meetings with parents, educators, artists, non-profit staff and other stakeholders from Boyle Heights, Watts, Pomona, Long Beach, Lennox, Lawndale and Wiseburn. The goal of my outreach efforts was to understand the local context in regards to arts & education, and identify individuals, opportunities & potential strategies that can help increse arts education in those communities. The intention is always to acknowledge, build upon and support the great things that are already happening in each of those neighborhoods.

Boyle Heights, culturally rich with several organizations actively engaged in community-building, faces a deficit in arts education inside its schools. We will be convening a series of discussions/workshops to develop a community plan and project to increase access to arts education. Dates have already been set. Click here to view & RSVP.

Long Beach, while blessed with world-class cultural institutions, committed leadership and an active and robust PTA, still, like all school districts, has unequal access to arts education. We will convene parents, artists and other stakeholders at the Museum of Latin American Art to discuss collaboration to achieve more equitable arts education. Dates have already been set. Click here to view & RSVP.

Watts, with its brilliant arts centers and visionary arts leaders, struggles to shake its negative stereotypes and highlight all of the good and beautiful found in the neighborhood. We are in discussion with local leaders to produce a convening that will strive to connect and spread the word of the great arts projects underway and discuss how to increase arts education in local schools.

Pomona, armed with a recently passed Public Art ordinance and an Arts Education Plan, is ready to become an even greater cultural hub and expand arts education. We will be hosting a series of workshops to discuss the state & importance of arts education, and develop a community plan that strives to flesh out a role for the active Pomona PTA, local artists and arts organizations, and other stakeholders in supporting and implementing the arts education plan. Dates have already been set.  Click here to view & RSVP.

Lennox, with several groups and organizations working in conjunction with the school district and the county to expand access to the arts for the entire community, is developing a series of capacity-building workshops to develop new arts leaders. Arts for LA is a proud partner in that effort. Dates will be set shortly.  Please click here if you are interested and we'll follow up when the dates have been scheduled.

The Lennox, Wiseburn, and Lawndale school districts, all part of the Takepart initiative that has brought more arts to students though collaboration and committed leadership, are co-producing a joint community arts festival to celebrate the arts in their schools and communities in June. Arts for LA, as a Takepartner, is joining PS Arts in their family arts nights to reach out to parents and raise awareness of the importance of the arts in school. Arts for LA will also have an arts advocacy table at the community festival.

It’s been a busy few months. If you are interested in participating, please RSVP for the workshops here or email me at aflores(at)artsforla.org.

- Abe Flores, Advocacy Manager, Arts for LA