case study: collective action in lansing, michigan

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From Americans for the Arts 2014 Annual Convention #AFTACON


  • 1. CASE STUDY: COLLECTIVE ACTION IN LANSING, MICHIGAN A M E R I C A N S F O R T H E A R T S C O N V E N T I O N 2 0 1 4 Deborah E. Mikula Executive Director, Arts Council of Greater Lansing Barb Whitney Program Manager, Arts Council of Greater Lansing Mitchell Robinson Associate Professor & Chair, Music Education Department Michigan State University

2. WHAT WE BELIEVE All children deserve access to high- quality, sequential arts instruction in school. The arts are essential to a balanced education. To prepare children to succeed in the 21st Century inclusion of the arts is critical and essential. The arts help students to become creative thinkers, creative makers and creative responders to the world around them. The arts help students achieve high academic performance and the skills necessary to compete in the New Economy. Arts in school helps advance students motivation to learn, reduces dropout rates, and increases community volunteerism. 3. OUR COMMUNITY Lansing Total Population: 121,000 Children ages 5-14: 15,000 Race: White 62%, African American 20%, Hispanic 10%, Asian 4%, Other 4% Enrollment in LSD: 2005 15,000, 2014 11,900 Household Income: Out of 51,500 total households, close to 50% make $35,000 or less/annually. Poverty: 100% free or Figures from 2010 Michigan School District Demographic Profiles 4. T H E S I T U A T I O N In Spring 2013, the Lansing School District faced a $13M deficit and eliminated 87 FTEs; 27 of these were elementary Art and Music teaching positions thus eliminating ALL elementary Art & Music Teachers. This decision was made by the teachers union, school board and district administration. 7 consultants were placed in the newly created Innovative Arts and Fitness program (4 are art/music related) with a goal to create curriculum for and train classroom teachers to integrate art as the only means of arts instruction. Part of the Districts redesign included an assumption that community arts organizations would provide more arts education programs with no additional resources and no advance warning. 5. T H E A R T S C O U N C I L S R O L E To lead, advocate for, and advance arts and culture in the Capital Region. To serve as a convening agency To provide connection and communications with the regional arts community and the community-at-large To research, facilitate and build consensus about best practices, solutions and models. 6. S H A R E D L E A D E R S H I P Certified Arts Educators Certified Non-Arts Educators Community Arts Providers 7. S H A R E D L E A D E R S H I P I M P O R T A N C E O F I N T E R S E C T I O N Between Certified Arts Educators and Certified Non-Arts Educators (classroom teachers) Between Certified Non- Arts Educators and Community Arts Providers Between Community Arts Providers and Certified Arts Educators. 8. S H A R E D L E A D E R S H I P T H E B E N E F I T S Sequential, standards- based arts curriculum Deep expertise and professional experience Standards-based connections between the arts and other content areas. 9. A R T S E D U C A T I O N E C O S Y S T E M T I E R S O F I N F L U E N C E All policy and funding decisions should be made with the view of how it will affect a students learning experience. Build more effective relationships in school, community and state that will allow arts education to thrive. The Arts Education Field Guide by Americans for the Arts and its Arts Education Council 10. A R T S E D U C A T I O N E C O S Y S T E M - S P H E R E S O F I N F L U E N C E Students are the primary stakeholder at the center of the ecosystem Illuminates possible relationships between stakeholders. Allows recognition for current relationships and opportunities for new connections. The Arts Education Field Guide by Americans for the Arts and its Arts Education Council 11. T H E I S S U E S Coalition Building Message Crafting Media Coverage Policy Implications 12. T H E C O A L I T I O N And. . . Capital Area Music Teachers Association Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum Wharton Center for the Performing Arts Art Serve Michigan Michigan Art Education Association Michigan Chapter of American String Teachers Association Michigan Music Teachers Association Mid Michigan Orff Schulwerk Music Association Partnership for Music Education Policy Development Weddings & Funerals. . . Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, Reach Art Center, Lansing Art Gallery, Happendance, The Mason Orchestral Society, Absolute Gallery, All-of-Us Express Childrens Theatre, Children's Ballet Theater of Michigan, MSU Department of Art & Art History, MSU Residential College for Arts and Humanities 13. M E S S A G E C R A F T I N G The Arts Council of Greater Lansing believes in the benefits of an arts education and advocates for access to the arts for all students. Access to the arts creates a positive school culture and positions students for higher achievement. We believe that all students deserve a holistic curriculum- based arts education provided by certified arts specialists, working in tandem with certified teachers and community arts providers. 14. M E S S A G E C R A F T I N G : S H O R T T E R M G O A L S Begin dialogue with district officials re: restoring elementary arts positions Grow the table Engage the community Develop a communications plan Continue with messaging 15. M E S S A G E C R A F T I N G : L O N G T E R M G O A L S Work on state mandate for K-5 music and art requirements Reinstate sequential curricular music and art classes, delivered by certified, qualified arts educators Increase visibility of Lansing School District arts programming (i.e., festivals, performances, exhibitions) 16. M E D I A C O V E R A G E Web page articles and statements Lansing State Journal editorials and opinion pieces Facebook posts and links to other opinion pieces WKAR-Current State radio segment NAMM SupportMusic Forum at Everett High School 17. P O L I C Y I M P L I C A T I O N S Engage LSD leadership in dialogue about their plans for delivering arts instruction in the schools Clarify roles of certified arts educators, certified non-arts educators and community arts providers Need for policy- oriented professional organization Work towards K-5 art & music mandate for Michigan 18. C U R R E N T P R O G R E S S I N T H E L A N S I N G S C H O O L D I S T R I C T BABY STEPS FOR NEXT SCHOOL YEAR: 4 of the innovation team members in Arts and Music will return to the classroom (21 schools, in rotation with other team members.) Coordinate grant requests and community arts organization involvement and relationships. Build curriculum for classroom teachers to incorporate art into the classroom. 19. C U R R E N T P R O G R E S S I N T H E L A N S I N G S C H O O L D I S T R I C T SILVER LININGS AND CONNECTIONS Identified many new community art partners who worked with specific age groups within the school day. Received donations of materials and dollars to supplement. Incorporate arts activities in regular lesson plans. 20. A R T S C O U N C I L N E X T S T E P S . . . Create an Arts Education Alliance Support Youth Arts in our Schools Billboard Project Work with our statewide advocacy organizations (ArtServe Michigan, Michigan Youth Arts, Michigan Afterschool Alliance) Provide scholarships $5,000 for low-income students to attend summer art classes and camps Produce and distribute a Young Creatives Program guide highlighting arts education opportunities for youth during school, afterschool and throughout the summer. Identify and leverage new funding and resources to supplement and enhance work within the schools. Work in partnership with the Lansing School District to create a new model. 21. Q U E S T I O N S . . . Our schools, teachers, and students might be a lot better off if schools embraced the idea that education means learning what to do when you don't know what to do. Elliott Eisner, 2005 (1933-2014) 22. F O R M O R E I N F O R M A T I O N A N D C O N V E R S A T I O N ARTS COUNCIL OF GREATER LANSING 1208 Turner Lansing, MI 48906 517-372-4636