Arts Education is a Key Piece to a Student’s Education
Changes in federal law under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) direct states to restructure their accountability and assistance systems for schools and districts. Under the current system, Massachusetts determines school quality almost exclusively by standardized test scores in English/Language Arts, Math, and Science as well as graduation rates. ESSA challenges states to better assess schools’ ability to teach the ‘whole child’ with additional metrics. This provides the Commonwealth an opportunity to join other states by including access and participation to arts education in its assessment system.
#ArtsEdChat was a Success: Keep the Conversation Going
On December 14, educators, artists, and arts & cultural leaders and supporters engaged in an online twitter chat to discuss why arts education matters and how Massachusetts can boost arts education in its schools.
The conversation was so vibrant that within minutes, #ArtsEdChat trended nationally.
Investing $16 Million in State Arts Funding
Arts, culture, and creativity have a powerful impact on our communities. That’s why when we advocate for an increase in state funding for arts and culture, we’re not just asking for an investment in our cultural institutions and artists, we’re asking for an investment in a healthy, vibrant, and equitable Massachusetts.
As Governor Baker and the MA House and Senate prepare to release their budgets in the new year, we want to make the case that arts and culture are worthy of investment as a core state service.
Funding Arts Education with Title I
Introduced fifty years ago, as a piece of the 1965 Civil Rights legislation signed by President Lyndon Johnson, Title I has been a key tool for state and local educators to improve student achievement in under-resourced districts and schools across the nation. The goals of Title I are bold and powerful -- improve learning and mastery of subject matter, improve school climate and culture, and increase parental and student engagement.
While the majority of federal Title I money has been funneled to English and Math programs, recent programs in California have invested in arts education to effectively meet Title I goals.
MASSCreative Leadership Council Gathers for Retreat
In November, MASSCreative’s Leadership Council came together for its 2nd Annual Leadership Council Retreat, bringing together more than 40 leaders from across the Commonwealth to help MASSCreative build the strongest statewide grassroots arts and cultural advocacy network in the country.
The Leadership Council consists of thought and advocacy leaders from all regions of the Commonwealth who not only engage their networks in action, but understand the potential of building a broad based movement for arts, culture, and creativity. As regional leaders and connectors, the Council works to win bold campaigns for the larger arts and cultural community.
Creative Placemaking in Memphis, TN
MASSCreative has partnered with the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) to work with the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) and Americans for the Arts to engage in an intensive, one-year program to build knowledge and advance creative placemaking in their state or region.
Creative placemaking is a strategy to shape, reshape or preserve communities and local economies by intentionally leveraging the power of arts, culture, and creativity.
MASSCreative Hires Political Director to Lead Advocacy, Policy Initiatives
This September, as part of its long-term growth strategy, MASSCreative hired Andre Green as the organization’s first Political Director. Green brings 15 years of experience in education, operations, technology, data analysis, and advocacy to MASSCreative. He most recently served as senior project manager for the On Solid Ground Coalition, leading the coalition’s efforts to develop comprehensive solutions to increase housing stability and economic mobility for low-income families in Massachusetts.
Help Build a Vibrant MA: Join MASSCreative
The end of the year is always a great time for reflection. While 2016 certainly showed us that we have a deeply divided country, it also reminded us that arts, culture, and creativity can shape and strengthen the future of our cities and towns.
As we reflect on 2016 and look to 2017, please consider supporting MASSCreative with a personal contribution of $25, $50, $100 or more.