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Before You Vote Tomorrow!  Find Out Where OC School Board Candidates Stand on the Arts:  Results of Survey by California Alliance for Arts Education Published


With the passage of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the role of local school boards has become even more important. They now determine the extent to which students have access to arts education. In preparation for the June 3 election, the California Alliance and Arts for LA have surveyed school board candidates in Los Angeles and Orange County to discover where they stand on the role of arts education in our schools. Read the survey results before you vote on June 3.

Longtime OC Arts Education Leader Jim Thomas Retires

The following is a tribute to Jim Thomas by Joe Landon, Executive Director of the California Alliance for Arts Education:
"There are those among us who light up the sky with their passion for the work, their understanding of the educational process and their ingenuity in creating change within large institutions, including county offices of education and school districts. Jim Thomas is one of those people. Jim has been the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Orange County Office of Education for the past fourteen years. He will be "graduating" in June, though the official description says he's "retiring."
I had the opportunity to attend the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators (OCMAA) Awards, where over two hundred people filled the Samueli Theatre at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, to celebrate the exemplary work being done by teachers in schools throughout the county. I was there to accept, along with Pat Wayne and our Orange County Alliance for Arts Education coordinators, the Chairman's Award for advocacy work promoting arts education. This event, like so much of what is related to arts education in Orange County, was the creation of Jim Thomas. It grew from his understanding that we all thrive within the recognition of a community. Jim has created a countywide community that elevates the mission of arts education.

That community has fostered the formation of twenty-two district-based local advocacy coalitions and prompted the majority of districts in the county to adopt arts plans. Jim looks for every opportunity to support sequential, curriculum-based, high quality arts education and for every chance to imbed arts education with arts integration learning opportunities, including Common Core and Title I programs. Jim describes leadership as what happens when a group of people decides to move forward together. He brings people together, not for his own recognition, but to empower those around him. 

Those of us who have had the opportunity to work with Jim will miss the camaraderie, the easy laughter, and Jim's deep appreciation for what the arts can contribute to the life of every student. For inspiring us along the way, Jim, we thank you."



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Laguna Art Museum Receives Recognition for Arts Education Programs

Laguna Art Museum's Education Department has received special recognition from The Association of Art Museum Directors.

The Association of Art Museum Directors (which represents 240 art museums across the United States, Canada, and Mexico) has released Next Practices in Art Museum Education, a resource that compiles information about AAMD member museums' most innovative approaches to engaging the public with the arts through diverse learning opportunities. The publication features 100 case studies of next practices in educational programming that AAMD member museums have designed and implemented, and features Laguna Art Museum's Young Artists Society Gallery. The resource underscores the many forms art museum education can take, and provides practical and inspiring ideas for future programming at institutions worldwide.


"At their core, museums are educational institutions that play a unique role in complementing and extending their regions' educational resources for children, students, and adults," said Chris Anagnos, Executive Director of AAMD. "With the publication of Next Practices, AAMD presents case studies of innovative educational programs developed by our members as a resource for the field, educators, civic leaders, and the public. Education is central to our field, and we are so pleased that Laguna Art Museum is committed to fostering innovative programming to engage and inspire the Orange County community."


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