| May 25 Symposium:
4 Days Left to Register!
Arts|Learning is thrilled with our largest registration ever for our May 25 Symposium: Arts--The Creative Core. Don't be left out! You can still register here for May 25 until Sunday, May 22.
We are excited that our renowned panel will also feature MA State Representative Alice Peisch (Wellesley) who is the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education for the Massachusetts Legislature. She joins MA Secretary of Education Paul Reville, Lesley University Provost Martha McKenna, and MA Cultural Council Executive Director Anita Walker. This panel will discuss the Massachusetts implications of Scott Shuler's and Rebecca Fay Squire's presentation on the CT Common Arts Assessments earlier that morning.
Why is this topic so timely? MA currently has pending regulations regarding an overhaul in the teacher evaluation process. These are slated to be approved by the MA Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in June. As part of the new evaluation process, each teacher will have to show evidence of student learning, growth, and achievement in every subject area, including the Arts. This means that the state now needs valid measurements in the arts for arts teachers to be fairly evaluated.
We hope arts educators and school administrators will attend to learn about the groundbreaking work being done in Connecticut in the area of music and visual arts assessments. There are still a few slots available to attend the full day conference ($30), or the morning portion only (sorry, but the lunch has been oversubscribed and no longer available). Register now!
Critical Advocacy Alert!
Senate Ways & Means Budget Proposes Another Major Cut to Arts & Cultural Funding
The Senate Ways & Means Committee today released a proposed state budget for the coming fiscal year that would significantly cut state support for the arts, humanities, and sciences through the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC).
Senator Eileen Donoghue of Lowell will file an amendment to restore MCC funding to this year's levels. The MCC asks that its advocates contact their Senator as soon as possible and urge them to support the Donoghue amendment.
The Senate Ways & Means Committee recommends $7.45 million for MCC for fiscal year 2012. That would cut $1.65 million, or 18 percent, from the agency's current budget and would represent a cumulative cut of 41 percent to arts and cultural funding since 2009.
Combined with reduced federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Senate Ways & Means proposal would translate into severe cutbacks in MCC support for the nonprofit cultural sector. If applied to specific programs, it could, for example:
- Eliminate 70% of funding for Local Cultural Councils
- Cut grant levels in half to nonprofit organizations in MCC's Cultural Investment Portfolio
- Wipe out MCC's budget for the Adams Arts Program for the Creative Economy, and all of its investments in education through programs such as YouthReach and the STARS Residencies.
Senator Donoghue is Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. Last week she urged those who care about the arts, humanities, and sciences to advocate for public funding through MCC so that her amendment to restore that funding can generate enough support to succeed when the full Senate debates the budget next week.
"Contact your state Senators and let them know how important arts and cultural funding through the Mass. Cultural Council is to your work and your community!" she said. Find out who is your state Senator.
Study: Arts Integration a Key to School Reform
WASHINGTON (AP) - A study by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities says arts education is an effective tool for school reform, even as arts education funding has declined.
The "Reinvesting in Arts Education" study released earlier this month examined recent data from schools in Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Chicago and New York City. It finds integrating the arts with other subjects is particularly effective at raising achievement in math and reading.
In the report, Education Secretary Arne Duncan writes that data demonstrates arts education improves achievement in other subjects. Visual arts instruction improves reading, and learning to play a musical instrument can improve math skills. Students engaged in the arts also had higher attendance rates.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funded the report.