The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange


September 9, 2013
originally posted by Arts for All

Boeing-Funded Initiative is First of Its Kind in the Region

Leaders from Los Angeles and Orange County’s arts, education and science communities have established the Arts and STEM Collaborative for 21st Century Learning. The purpose of the initiative is to explore how representatives from two counties and multiple content areas can work together to transform area schools into creative incubators. The Boeing Company invested $75,000 to support this regional effort. A report will be released in December documenting the work accomplished in 2013 and highlighting findings relevant for the field.

“Boeing continues to inspire the engineers and scientists of tomorrow through innovative initiatives and programs designed to help them prepare for technical jobs and careers,” says Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager, Space & Intelligence Systems and chief executive officer, Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. “Quality STEM and arts education for all students will help develop the skills and creativity we need in the future workforce.”

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, through its arts education initiative Arts for All, Arts Orange County, Los Angeles County Office of Education and Orange County Department of Education are leading the collaborative.

“This joint effort breaks new ground in our region,” says Denise Grande, director of Arts for All. “Members of these diverse communities rarely have the opportunity to talk with one another about their work within schools, to examine specific strategies that might be transferable or to explore ways in which resources might be shared to leverage greater impact on student learning,” states Grande. “We are grateful to Boeing for initiating this innovative approach to a regionalized STEAM effort.”
To date, participants in the collaborative include representatives from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, California Science Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Art Center College of Design, Science OC, Cal State Fullerton, OC STEM Initiative, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine, Beall Center for Art + Technology at UC Irvine and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Representatives from State Senator Carol Liu’s office and The Boeing Company also sit on the committee.

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) currently rolling out across the country emphasize the need to build students’ critical thinking skills. These new standards offer a key opportunity to re-imagine how the arts and science might contribute to advancing education through real world project based learning. Both content areas are tied to leading industries and technologies that shape our world and can benefit students in preparing for college, careers and civic engagement. This project offers an opportunity to pool intellectual capital from each subject matter group with the aim of making a larger impact on broad scale educational change.

The first convening of the group last May focused on identifying common outcomes and/or measures of success for students. Additionally, subcommittees were formed and tasked with exploring how arts/STEM concepts and practices align with Common Core State Standards; examining how arts/STEM initiatives might support other statewide priorities; and building public awareness of the potential impact of a strong arts/STEM curriculum.
Arts for All, an initiative of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, supports Los Angeles County public school districts’ efforts to implement arts education through policy development, strategic planning, grants to improve teaching and learning, advocacy, research and partnerships with funders committed to arts education. The goal is to strengthen and sustain high quality arts instruction and integration as students prepare for college and the 21st century workforce. There are currently 52 school districts and two Los Angeles charter school networks participating in this countywide initiative established in 2002 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. For more information, visit

Arts Orange County was established in 1995 as the nonprofit, countywide arts council of Orange County, California. The council’s dedicated staff and Board of Directors support a vision to establish the county as one of the top creative communities in the nation. To that end, Arts Orange County serves as a resource and advocate for the arts community, as a catalyst for leadership on arts issues, and as a sponsor of programs and services which enhance public awareness of arts activities and promote the development of the arts and arts education.
The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is the nation’s largest regional education agency. Under the leadership of Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Arturo Delgado and the County Board of Education, LACOE supports 80 public school districts and numerous other agencies in ensuring educational excellence for the region’s two million preschool and school-age children.

The Orange County Department of Education strives to make a difference in Orange County schools through world class resources, services and opportunities for parents, educators, students and community members.

Posted in: News