Archive | May, 2011

Educator’s Guide now Online!

31 May

We are excited to bring this upgraded tool which will help make bringing the arts to students even easier. In addition to saving a lot of trees, this online guide gives us the flexibility to add new artists, programs and additional information throughout the year. It also is available to anyone with access to a computer, allowing us to reach more teachers, administrators and parents than ever before.

Young Audiences, much like other organizations, is continually responding to community needs and the constantly changing environment in which we work. After decades of printing thousands of copies of our Educator’s Guide at great expense to send to schools each year, we have decided to go “green” and publish our Guide online only. By going online, we will also be able to provide every teacher, administrator and parent group the Guide in our ten-county region.

The Online Guide can be found here


House Committee to Vote on Termination of Arts Education Program

23 May

The House Education & Workforce Committee has just scheduled a meeting on Wednesday morning to vote on legislation that would terminate the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education. Oregon’s member of Congress, Rep. David Wu, is on that committee and can help prevent that from happening.

Last month you might recall that vigorous grassroots advocacy successfully rescued the Arts in Education program and helped secure a $25 million budget for arts programs across the country. This legislation scheduled for a vote on Wednesday (HR 1891) is even more serious because it would permanently terminate this federal program by stripping it out of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act.

The lead sponsor of this bill calls the Arts in Education program “unnecessary” and “inappropriate.”  We think that the arts have too often been shoved to the margins when our schools need them most.  Don’t let HR 1891 further narrow the educational opportunities of our nation’s students.

Please take two minutes to send a quick customizable message and call on Rep. David Wu to work against this effort to terminate the Arts in Education program.

Help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today — it’s free and simple.

source: Americans for the Arts

The Right Brain Initiative wins support from the National Endowment for the Arts

19 May

The Right Brain Initiative, a local arts education partnership led by the Regional Arts & Culture Council, has received a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant is one of 1,145 being awarded for a total of $88 million as part of the federal agency’s second round of fiscal year 2011 grants. This is Right Brain’s first investment from a federal agency since the program first launched in January, 2009.

“NEA research shows that three out of four Americans participate in the arts,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded in this round will ensure that Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts.”

The Right Brain Initiative is working to ensure that every student in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties’ K-8 schools benefits from a high quality arts education. “We focus on pairing teachers with artists to integrate the arts into other core subjects,” said program manager Marna Stalcup. “This NEA grant will specifically be used to support professional development programming serving 180 teachers and artists next school year.” Stalcup said that an additional 100 educators will be served at Right Brain’s annual summer seminar, Imagine This!, taking place in June, 2012.

The Initiative’s professional development programs are led by Deborah Brzoska, a teaching artist of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington., D.C., and a long-time educator within Portland Public Schools.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams congratulated RACC on receiving this grant. “In the spring of 2008, The Regional Arts & Culture Council articulated a vision for helping students do better in school through integrated arts education, and we lent our support,” he said. “The city remains one of The Right Brain Initiative’s most enthusiastic investors, including $50,000 in my proposed budget for FY12. This grant from the NEA leverages the city’s investment and will help our students and teachers achieve even more.”

Currently, with an annual budget of approximately $800,000, Right Brain serves 10,500 students in 25 schools across 4 school districts (Hillsboro, Gresham-Barlow, North Clackamas and Portland Public Schools.) At full scale, the program will serve more than 110,000 students. About half (51%) of the program’s funding comes from local government agencies including the City of Portland, Clackamas County, Multnomah County, the Oregon Arts Commission, and each participating school district. The rest comes from private sources, including corporations, private foundations and individuals.

The Right Brain Initiative is a sustainable partnership of public schools, local governments, foundations, businesses and the cultural community. The program’s goal is to achieve a measurable impact on learning by integrating the community’s arts and cultural resources into the education of every K-8 student in the Portland metropolitan region’s school districts. The Right Brain Initiative is a program of the Regional Arts & Culture Council, with Young Audiences of Oregon & SW Washington serving as Implementation Partner. Read more at

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is the local arts agency for Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties, providing grants for artists, schools and nonprofit organizations; conducting workplace giving for arts and culture (“Work for Art”) and other advocacy efforts; presenting workshops and other forms of technical assistance; providing printed and web-based resources for artists; and integrating art into public spaces. Online at

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

source: Regional Arts and Culture Council

Americans For The Arts – Update

2 May
With a recent budget victory, high visibility on Capitol Hill, and three new arts education reports being released, arts education advocates are gathering momentum to impact education policy nationally.On April 15, Congress and the president approved the FY 2011 appropriations bill which included restoration of the federal Arts In Education program – the only education program to be restored from being cut or terminated earlier in the year. This is a huge victory!  This was directly following a successful grassroots advocacy campaign by 550 advocates from across the country who joined actors Alec Baldwin, Hill Harper, Kerry Washington, and Kevin Spacey during the national Arts Advocacy Dayon Capitol Hill to support the arts and arts education.Last week, Americans for the Arts published its National Arts Policy Roundtable final report which captures the recommendations from an event co-convened at the Sundance Preserve by President and CEO of Americans for the Arts Robert L. Lynch, and Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute.  Officials from both the U.S. Department of Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities participated in the National Arts Policy Roundtable. The report identifies four key recommendations, including the need for increased research, strong public policy support, and better casemaking efforts from the field.These recommendations arrive at an important time. The chairmen of the House and Senate education committees in Congress have promised action soon on the reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind). Most immediately, the need for increased federal research cited in the National Arts Policy Roundtable recommendations will be answered, in part, by two new federal studies being released this week:

Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics is  releasing the preview of a study on the national status and condition of arts education — it has been almost a decade since the last one was published!  The full study is scheduled to be released by the end of 2011 and will be a key measurement of access to arts education.

Later this week, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is set to release their study    “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools” which will promote successful arts education models and best practices as identified by this committee appointed by President Obama and chaired by the First Lady.

The momentum that has been built by recent advocacy on Capitol Hill and the boost from these national studies will serve the arts education field well as Congress considers education reforms later this year. Americans for the Arts will keep you informed on policy developments and call on advocates to take action when needed.


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