State Policy Pilot Program Summit – Denver, CO – November 2017
In 2014, Americans for the Arts launched the State Policy Pilot Program (SP3). After three years, five convenings, many reports, grants, and technical assistance—the program has concluded, and arts education policy has advanced in ten pilot states.
Each state team within SP3 was different, facing unique challenges and successes and ultimately pursued diverse policy goals during the three-year program. Whether developing an existing program or embarking on a new policy endeavor, the pilot cohort tackled complex and intriguing policy objectives throughout the program, and key themes could be observed.
During the three years of SP3, the political and educational landscape shifted with: the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), changes in the presidential administration, and state educational leadership. The strategies and tactics implemented by SP3 teams had to remain agile and responsive.
This summit tacked these overlaying themes along with deep dive sessions into key policy initiatives and advocacy strategies which could be replicated across states.
States Of Change Symposium – Washington, D.C. – March 2016
The symposium was intended for members of statewide organizations, as states are often isolated in their efforts to support arts education. Co-hosting the event provided an opportunity for state leaders to share knowledge and network among their peers. This strategy helped to share best practices across the states through a national network of arts and education experts. State arts leaders, as well as representatives of community-based and out-of-school time programs, gained insights from policy experts through indepth workshops that include reports, case studies, and other tools that they could learn from and replicate in their home state in support of dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts education.
The symposium’s title, "States of Change," was timely in 2016. With shifting federal priorities, increased state autonomy, and diverse communities and school systems, the education ecosystem was becoming more dynamic and complex. Aligning national, state and local efforts to advance the arts in education, however, is known to make this ecosystem more powerful than the sum of its parts. Leaders took time to consider the role and contributions of the arts in shaping education reform efforts