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California, the Arts and the Creative Economy

originally posted on: Huffington Post by John M. Eger
October 05, 2014

For the state that is home to Silicon Valley and high tech invention, to Hollywood and the single largest export in the world: theatrical films, it has always been a mystery why so few dollars were spent on the arts. In fact, the California Arts Council limped along for 11 years on the lowest allocation per capita than any state in America. It has ranked 50th since 2003, except for 2011 when Kansas temporarily eliminated all arts funding.

When it is becoming clear that creativity and innovation are the benchmarks of the new, global, knowledge economy, why you might ask, has California been conspicuously silent about the vital role of the arts. Maybe it was just the extremely poor financial condition of the state which as California’s Controller John Chiang has said, has experienced seven years of “record-high borrowing just to pay … everyday bills.”

Maybe. But things seems to have suddenly changed and the future looks promising.

This week (October 6 &7) the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) will hold another arts training event based on a groundbreaking program called “Creativity at the Core”.

Developed as a result of a grant from the California Arts Council and supplemented by the Hewlett Foundation, CCSESA has modules created by Regional Arts Leads, a member of the Association’s Visual and Performing Arts subcommittee, as part of CCSESA’s Statewide Arts Initiative. The event will be held at the Sacramento County office of Education’s Leadership Institute and include:

• Building Artistic Literacy through Common Core State Standards
• On Stage: English Learners Theatre Arts and Language Development
• Arts Integration as a Model of Rigorous Instruction: Connecting Arts
• Learning with the Common Core State Standards
• Leadership in the Arts and Common Core State Standards

This is just the start of the California’s program to transform K-12 schools using the arts as an integral part of the adoption of the “common core” standards.

Read the story at Huffington Post

Posted in: News

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