ArtsInformation relating to arts education programming, content knowledge, and pedagogy for California educators.
The California Department of Education (CDE) provides leadership, technical assistance, and guidance for teachers, administrators, families, state and local educational agencies, professional organizations, and collaborating partners to implement high-quality, equitable arts education programs for all students, prekindergarten to grade twelve.
Professional Learning during Physical Distancing
The following national resources provide guidance and professional learning opportunities for arts educators during the COVID-19 response.
During the pandemic, some in-person activities associated with performing arts courses (dance, music, and theatre), such as groups practicing and performing, may sometimes not be possible. Despite this, instruction can continue to focus on the 2019 California Arts Standards associated with the artistic processes of creating, responding, and connecting, and students can continue to practice for performances during independent applied learning time. Educators may also consider how to approach rehearsal and performances through shared technology platforms and other innovative approaches. Please note that on October 14, 2020, the California Department of Public Health issued new guidance
to clarify that “outdoor singing and band practice are permitted provided that precautions such as physical distancing and mask wearing are implemented to the maximum extent possible.”
California educators may wish to contact the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Regional Leads at CCSESA Regional Arts Leads and The California Arts Project (TCAP) Regional Sites at TCAP Regional Sites for their county to learn about additional supports for distance learning that may be available in their region.
Distance Learning Resources for Arts Instruction
Even outside of the classroom, students can still be actively engaged in quality arts instruction. For a curated list of distance learning instructional resources in a variety of subject areas, visit the CDE Distance Learning web page under the Content Resources tab.
The California Department of Education (CDE) assists prekindergarten to twelfth grade school districts and county offices of education in the planning and implementation of comprehensive programs in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.
The California Arts Standards provide guidance toward a common goal—for all California students to fully participate in a rich and well-rounded arts education. The standards are comprehensive for all students in pre-kindergarten through grade twelve. They build from grade to grade and embody grade-and age-appropriate key concepts, processes, and traditions of study in each of the five artistic disciplines: dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. They provide important guidance for schools to design and organize teaching and learning; understand and evaluate student learning; and prepare, adopt, or adapt instructional resources. The standards identify the learning outcomes for all students, and they guide teachers to provide a unified quality arts education so that these outcomes are achieved.
While the California Arts Standards map out a pathway for a standards-based arts education in the five artistic disciplines, the California Arts Education Framework provides guidance for implementation of the standards as well as guidance for planning instruction and assessment. It includes models and examples of arts integration, and supports curriculum development and standards implementation within each discipline. Additionally, the framework provides information on supporting arts education in a school or district and criteria for arts education instructional materials adoption.
Preschool Learning Foundations
The preschool learning foundations are a critical step in the CDE’s efforts to strengthen preschool education and school readiness and to close the achievement gap in California. The arts offer preschool children many ways to experience playful exploration, self-expression, creativity, and the joy of learning. The arts also support preschool children’s learning and development in varied and meaningful ways. During the preschool period, the arts are more about the process (in the sense of participation, engagement, and involvement) than about the product, or the end result, of artistic activity. Visit the Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume1, Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 2 (PDF), and Preschool Learning Foundations, Volume 3 (PDF).
Career Technical Education
Arts Media and Entertainment (AME) is one of 15 Career Technical Education (CTE) industry sectors in California. AME programs serve over 281,000 students and are designed to prepare them for careers in creative industries. The four AME pathways include performing arts, production and managerial arts, design, visual and media arts, and game design and integration. AME programs advance the California Arts Standards and include a career readiness component, allowing students to pursue advanced and pre-professional training. Students in AME programs learn industry-standard skills and competencies as they complete a sequential program of study. The AME California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards (PDF) and Academic Alignment Matrix on page 22 of the Model Curriculum Standards illustrate content standard integration in AME programs.
National Arts Standards
The NCAS are housed on a website that is designed to let teachers create their own customized handbooks based on the grade levels and subjects they teach. For each arts discipline, there is a "standards at a glance" page.
Explore the interactive U.S. map on the SEADAE web page to view arts instructional resources state by state.
Information and resources for instructional materials are available on the CDE Instructional Materials web page.
Legislation and Policies Related to Arts Education
There are a number of statutory provisions, policies, and guidelines regarding the teaching of the arts that local educational agencies should be aware of to continue to build strong arts education programs that ensure equitable access to all students. These statutory provisions cover such topics as inclusion of the five disciplines of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts in the curriculum; use of hazardous materials; areas of study; and adoption of standards and materials. Additional information is available below:
- California Education Code (EC) Section 51210 (grades one through six)
- EC Section 51220 (grades seven through twelve)
For further information governing arts education, please see the 2020 California Arts Education Framework, Appendix A, pages 1–9. Topics included here are EC citations for the rationale for arts education, areas of study, graduation requirements, content standards, prohibited instruction, art materials safety, implementation of curriculum, and extracurricular activities.
The California Alliance for Arts Education includes a number of resources for further information on legislation and advocacy, including Research and Resources , California Education Policy , and federal legislation regarding arts education.
Guidelines for Hazardous Materials
A list of art and craft materials that may not be purchased for use in kindergarten through grade six is available from the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) .
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes proper management of waste and residuals from art studios and shop practices in their publication, Environmental Health and Safety in the Arts: Guide for K-12 Schools, Colleges and Artisans .
The California Department of Education (CDE) is supported in their efforts to disseminate pertinent information by the California Alliance for Arts Education (CAAE) , the California County Superintendents Arts Initiative , The California Arts Project (TCAP) , the California Arts Council , and Create CA .
CAEA supports educators by anchoring the elements and principles of design in meaningful instruction.
The CMEA supports educational efforts to promote quality music instruction for the children and adults of California.
The CDEA aims to establish dance as an integral part of all school curricula for kindergarten through post-secondary.
CETA’s vision is for every California student to experience the highest standards of theatre arts education.
The CCSESA Arts Initiative provides arts curriculum support, technical assistance, and professional learning services for teachers, administrators, and community members utilizing the statewide county office of education infrastructure. County superintendents and their staff work with the business and arts communities for a systemic state (research, resources, support) and local (data gathering, education, courses of study, and professional development) approach to increase access to arts education at every grade level.
TCAP is a collaborative, statewide network of classroom teachers and university scholars with the mission of improving teaching and learning in dance, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts. As the state Subject Matter Project for the Arts, TCAP's network of teacher leaders advocate for and strive to ensure access for all California students to a sequential, comprehensive, and excellent standards-based arts instruction and career technical education.
This statewide coalition of agencies and organizational partners is leading an education reform movement that views arts education as an essential part of the solution to problems facing California schools.
The CAAE promotes, supports, and advocates for high-quality arts education for preschool through post-secondary students in California schools. See the Insider's Guide to Arts Education Planning for tips on how to write a district/school arts plan.
The CAC promotes public will and resources for the arts, fosters accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from California’s diverse populations, serves as a thought leader and champion for the arts, and provides relevant programs and services.
In partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Turnaround Arts: California infuses schools with creative resources such as art supplies, musical instruments, and licensing rights to perform school musicals. They mentor principals to lead for change through the arts, and support teachers to integrate the arts into other subjects, like reading and math. They provide funding for schools to partner with local arts organizations, bring teaching artists into the classroom, and connect school teams to arts education experts and networks of peer schools.
The AEP is a national network of more than 100 organizations dedicated to advancing arts education. AEP has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Education since 1995 and is administered by Education Commission of the States.
Promotes and advances theatre education and provides resources for scripts, directing, designing, producing, Shakespeare, dramaturgy, musicals, copyrighting, play writing, and Thespian connections.
Promotes art education through professional development, service, advancement of knowledge, and leadership.
Since 1907, NAfME has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. NAfME’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Core Arts Standards .
NDEO provides professional development, networking forums, honor societies, journals, research, and advocacy tools for teachers, administrators, and students in the field of dance education.
Arts Education Data Project
Create CA , the CDE, and the Arts Education Data Project have joined together in the California Arts Education Data Project to provide a rich and comprehensive source for arts education data at the secondary level. Data from 2013 forward is presented in a visual dashboard format at state, county, district, and school levels. Resources include:
- An Interactive Dashboard
- An Executive Summary
- A 5-minute video on how to navigate the data project
- A Data Tutorial
- A Communication and Action Toolkit
- A Roadmap for School Districts (PDF)
Resources and information that support educator professional learning.
The CDE, the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association and The California Arts Project (TCAP) have collaborated to produce an Arts Standards Webinar Series which may be useful to arts educators to build understanding of the 2019 California Arts Standards as they plan standards-based lessons.
The Arts, Media, and Entertainment career industry sector requires extensive cross-disciplinary interaction through project-based learning that requires both independent work and interdependent management skills for career success. Helpful tools include a matrix that illustrates content standard integration in AME programs.
A searchable database of professional learning opportunities available throughout California and online.
Dedicated to the advancement of arts education through professional development, teacher resources, programs, and recognition of achievements.
Professional learning modules developed by Regional Arts County Leads and arts organization partners. There are 21 modules connecting arts learning to the 2019 California Arts Standards.
Ten modules available in both online and on-site professional learning formats. The 2004 Visual and Performing Arts Standards and connections to Common Core State Standards are thoroughly covered in the online professional learning module titled, “Content Literacy for Technical Subjects,” which was developed by TCAP.
TAG is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives , is a member-driven organization committed to the professionalization and visibility of artists who teach.
Provides professional development support to deepen teachers' knowledge of dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual art and to enhance student success.
Building credibility for music and music education, especially at an early age.
The following websites provide instructional resources to help teachers find lesson ideas for the classroom.
Promotes theatre arts education, supports classroom instruction, and provides higher education resources.
Promotes and advances theatre education. Provides resources for scripts, directing, designing, producing, Shakespeare, dramaturgy, musicals, copyrighting, play writing, and Thespian connections.
An international, nonprofit organization. Their Digital Media Arts web page offers free Career Technical Education curriculum for high school students that includes overviews and tutorials.
Comprehensive lesson plans designed to help teachers engage their students with works of dance, theatre, and music.
Offers a variety of resources and programs for teachers to foster students’ understanding and a lifelong connection to art.
Serving the nation as a leader in arts education.
A performing arts center representing 12 organizations (including Julliard, Metropolitan Opera, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center) and links to examples of kindergarten through grade 12 classrooms across the nation.
Fosters accessibility to the arts in Los Angeles County.
Art collections, including textiles—fiber, yarn, fabric; fashion illustration, paintings, lithographs, photography, ceramics, book illustration, and 150 years of prints of American art.
Features collections in art, music, textiles, photography, architecture, cultures and communities, and advertising.
Artifacts include furniture, cooking wares, clothing, works of art, representing a variety of communities and cultures.
Information for students on arts opportunities located throughout the United States.
Students spend the summer in Boston making music with students from all over the world who share the same passion. For middle school and higher.
Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, the CCA offers a month-long program for high school students who specialize in art, architecture, creative writing, or design.
Idyllwild Arts offers two programs: The Arts Academy provides pre-professional training in the Arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum to a diverse student body of gifted young artists from all over the world. The Arts Summer Program provides arts instruction and experiences to a diverse student population of all ages and abilities.
Supports high school students to receive training in the arts through summer intensive sessions.
Located in beautiful northwest Michigan, Interlochen Arts Camp offers summer programs for grades three through twelve.
Known for their musical theatre programs, MPulse Summer Performing Arts Institutes on the Ann Arbor campus, inspire high school students to exciting new levels of excellence in music performance, music technology, musical theatre, theatre, and dance.
The Summer of Art at Otis is a four-week intensive course aimed at artists in high school or beyond who want to improve their trades.
The Putney School Summer Arts Program, located in southern Vermont, is a three-week program that allows students to dive into any two art forms they love or long to try. Find creative friends, learn from experts, and let your creativity loose, all at a gorgeous boarding school campus.
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