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ESSA Stakeholder Engagement: Opportunities for the arts abound

Date: 18 January 2017

As states around the country continue the process of implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a priority of the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) is to ensure that the arts and education communities have the resources necessary to engage in the many opportunities ESSA opens up for expanding arts education for all students. To accomplish this, AEP – along with a group of partner organizations and other arts in education stakeholders – formed the ESSA/Well-Rounded Education Working Group. As a part of the ongoing work of this group we are releasing the latest chapter in our series of ESSA: Mapping opportunities for the arts tomorrow which is continually updated with new chapters exploring the role of the arts within pressing ESSA-related issues.

The latest chapter focuses on a key component of ESSA – stakeholder engagement. ESSA encourages, and in some cases requires, consultation with stakeholders as part of the development of both state and district plans for ESSA. Yet while all states and districts have the same requirements of stakeholders they need to engage, the strategies used vary from state to state and district to district. This new chapter helps readers know where ESSA requires stakeholder engagement, understand the opportunities for engaging the arts in those broader educational priorities and gain familiarity with how individual states and districts approach work with community members.

There are a multitude of opportunities to engage arts in education stakeholders in ESSA implementation. Some early examples include New Jersey inviting more than 60 organizations – including the New Jersey Arts Education Partnership – to participate in a series of ESSA stakeholder focus group meetings and a group of arts education stakeholders across Indiana forming the Indiana Arts Education Network to engage state leaders on the importance of the arts in ESSA implementation.

Are you interested in learning more about the arts and ESSA implementation? If so, follow these three easy steps:

  • First, join us for the 2017 AEP State Policy Symposium in Washington D.C., on March 18 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. This annual event brings more than 100 national leaders from the arts, business, cultural, education, philanthropic and public sectors together for a daylong conversation about the intersection between the arts and education policy.
  • Second, subscribe to the Arts Ed Digest, AEP’s biweekly newsletter, which provides updates on all the developments of the arts in education community including new releases from AEP and our 100 partner organizations.
  • Explore the other arts in education resources available on the AEP website.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2017 AEP State Policy Symposium in March! Make sure to keep your eye out tomorrow for the new chapter of ESSA: Mapping opportunities for the arts

Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits