Revitalizing Arts Education Through Community-Wide Coordination
2008, 108 pages. RAND Corporation, 1776 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90407, 310-451-7002, www.rand.org
Arts education in the nation's public schools has been declining for a generation, undermined by factors ranging from the state budget crises of the late 1970s to current school reforms that focus on reading and math. In a number of urban areas in recent years, arts learning advocates have sought to counter this trend by forming coordinated networks of schools, cultural organizations, funders, local government and other groups to work in common to revive arts education. These efforts are fragile and vary widely from city to city, but when well planned and executed, they show promise toward achieving the goal of more arts education for more children. This RAND study, commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, examines six such initiatives in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles County, New York City and the Oakland-Berkeley area of California. It details common strategies they have used and discusses conditions that have helped and hindered their effectiveness.