Create CA: A Blueprint for Creative Schools

California’s statewide arts education coalition, Create CA, is a new collective impact organization focusing on advancing arts and education through multiple initiatives, partnerships, and projects. These programs include Creativity at the Core—professional learning modules for teachers to incorporate creativity into the Common Core curriculum requirements—and the Arts Ed Data Project, a part of the National Arts Ed Data Project that seeks to gather information on the status and condition of arts education across the country. The data will be analyzed and disseminated by each participating state to support arts advocacy and creative education in state education systems. Their mission is to bring high quality arts education to each California student every day and provide each student with the skills and education to become an essential part of the creative workforce.

Create CA’s most recent project, A Blueprint for Creative Schools, results from the work of over 100 contributors over two years studying the influence of the arts in education at every level. The blueprint lays out a strategic plan for incorporating the arts into curriculum across the state, supported by national data and research. The plan displays the importance of equity and access of arts education, while incorporating the four C’s of 21st century learning into the education policy: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

The seven focus areas of the blueprint include:

  • Supporting the arts curriculum
  • Enhancing educator quality, preparation and professional learning in the arts
  • Producing high quality arts assessment, research, and evidence
  • Ensuring equity and access
  • Strengthening collaborative partnerships
  • Expanding the role of business and industry in the creative workforce
  • Providing funding for the arts

Some of the recommendations presented by the Blueprint include creating a 21st century model for visual and performing arts standards and curriculum, developing an “arts report card” public reporting system for school districts, and forming data collection mechanisms to review and address equity and access when implementing the suggested arts policies. These recommendations are just a few of the many recommendations set forth by the Blueprint to improve arts education in California.

On March 3rd and 4th, Create CA and the Fresno County Office of Education co-hosted a new statewide summit on arts, education, and the economy with presentations from local leaders, updates on Create CA projects, and motivating keynote speeches by Yvette Jackson, Nirvan Mullick, and Robert B. Morrison. Multiple sessions were held throughout the two-day summit regarding topics such as collaborative art, incorporation of STEAM, equal access to the arts for students, professional development in the arts, and much more.

Photo Caption: “Arts, Education and Education Equity Leaders meet in San Jose to advance equity and access for arts education”