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Plan for the Artistic Literacy Consortium
Creatively Innovating Alabama's Future

 

Created by the Arts Education Leadership Team,
a partnership between the Alabama State Council on the Arts and
the Alabama State Department of Education.

Endorsed by:
Alabama State Council on the Arts and
Alabama State Department of Education
Alabama A+ Education Partnership
Alabama Arts Alliance
Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts
Alabama Public Television
Alabama School of Fine Arts

SHARED MISSION
To provide fully funded high-quality arts education that enlightens, inspires, and develops in every Alabama student the creative and innovative thinking necessary to ensure college and career readiness.

GOALS
1. Build expectations for the arts to enhance economy, community, and quality of life.
2. Provide both virtual and actual access and equity to quality arts learning for all students.
3. Advance arts education opportunities to facilitate college and career readiness.
4. Employ the arts as a catalyst to create and maintain an engaged school and community environment.

MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS
This plan calls for the participation of multiple, diverse stakeholders, working locally and statewide, to make measurable progress toward the mission and goals of the Artistic Literacy Consortium.
Members are asked to align efforts and track progress through participation in a shared evaluation system.

STRUCTURE FOR IMPACT
The proposed structure requires a robust partnership between the State Department of Education and the Alabama State Council on the Arts in regional collaborative centers, providing grass roots support that maximizes the availability of resources from cross sector stakeholders at every level. Centers should be strategically placed to ensure equity of access and quality. The ability to work in collaboration with established in-service centers, higher education, and other forms of academic support will strengthen the impact of these centers. The use of these resource centers should be open to all regional schools and community organizations seeking support for arts education programming and initiatives.

Recommendations

Regional Artistic Literacy Resource Centers
Centers should be strategically placed to ensure equity of access and quality. The ability to work in collaboration with established in-service centers, higher education, and other forms of academic support, including but not limited to AMSTI and ARI could strengthen the impact of these centers. The use of these resource centers should be open to all regional schools and community organizations seeking support for arts education programming and initiatives. Resource Center personnel should collaborate to create and maintain resources to be used by schools and communities. These centers should strive to increase possibilities for seamless arts experiences for all young people, at school, at home, and in their communities, through school programs, after school programs, community arts programs, and even virtual environments.

The State Department of Education should guarantee at each resource center…
- at least one full time qualified curriculum specialist for each of the five arts disciplines of dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts.
- at least one STEM collaborator (curriculum specialist in math and/or science) with considerable experience in STEM initiatives.
- at least one CTE collaborator (curriculum specialist with considerable leadership experience in Career Tech programs and initiatives).
- facilitated collaborations between Resource Center personnel, local organizations appointed by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and other regional support centers established by the ALSDE (i.e in-service centers, birth to career centers, higher education partners, etc.)

The Alabama State Council on the Arts should...
- appoint a major arts organization for each regional resource center to collaborate with ALSDE personnel, using their expertise and contacts to develop community partnerships, programming, professional development and resources.
- support collaborations between ALSDE personnel and communities.
- connect regional artists and organizations to schools by training resource center personnel.
- provide training and consulting services to aid in the use of the shared evaluation system, required of all programs and initiatives that receive funding through the Artistic Literacy Initiative.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO LEAD STATE AGENCIES
In order to move toward regional support for arts education, the following are priority recommendations from the Arts Education Leadership Team to the Lead State Agencies. The purpose of these recommendations is to build a network of efficient and effective partnerships to lay the ground work for collective impact toward quality arts learning for every Alabama student.

Alabama State Legislature
It is recommended that the Legislature provide additional funding to the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama State Department of Education specifically to support the implementation of the Plan created by the Arts Education Leadership Team. Funding should be phased to provide incremental increases for the first five years of the Plan, and for maintenance of the Plan thereafter, until every student in the state of Alabama has access to fully funded, high quality arts education that enlightens, inspires, and develops the creative and innovative thinking necessary to ensure college and career readiness.

Alabama State Council on the Arts
It is recommended that the State Arts Council…
- provide personnel to lead and facilitate the operations of the Artistic Literacy Consortium.
- establish a shared evaluation system, and a practice of collecting qualitative and quantitative information to be shared among Consortium membership.
- provide leadership to a broad, diverse and cross sector membership within the Consortium for collective impact.
- identify organizations with an interest in taking a leadership role regionally, while advancing the mission of the Consortium. Organizations should work systemically to gather regional support and cross sector partners to work locally toward Consortium goals.
- create new and expanded grant funding programs to 1) support the creation of a regional infrastructure, 2) encourage local innovative projects, initiatives and research in order to enhance arts education, 3) engage local artists and arts organizations in training programs that enhance standards-based instruction, 4) facilitate private sector partnerships that participate in on-going planning and that provide matching financial support for arts education statewide.

Alabama State Department of Education
It is recommended that the State Department of Education...
- continue to provide leadership and personnel for the operations of the Artistic Literacy Consortium.
- conduct research to track return on investment through a system that collects information about access to and quality of arts education in all Alabama Schools. This system should include the ability to identify correlations between the arts and academic success.
- recognize the arts as integral to the education of every student by exploring ways to 1) revise and update the Alabama Course of Study: Arts Education, including recommendations for assessments in the arts, 2) add statements to the Alabama's strategic plan and the administrative code, that recognize the value of arts education for every student, and create guidelines for developing strong arts programs, 3) reinstate an arts graduation requirement. A one credit minimum is recommended, 4) revise and update the Alabama Core Teaching Standards to include artistic literacy as a strategy for teaching and learning for all teachers, 5) revise and update the arts requirements for programs that prepare K-6 teacher candidates, and establish guidelines for the arts in early childhood education programs as well as programs for teacher candidates in PreK-12 in specific fields of study.
- explore possible collaborations between personnel leading initiatives in the Arts, STEM and CTE and investigate how new collaborations may enhance regional support provided to Alabama schools.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STAKEHOLDER GROUPS

Local Government and Local School Boards
It is recommended that local policy makers recognize the need for every student to receive a high-quality arts education by including a focus on providing fully funded high-quality arts education for every student in planning and budgeting.

PreK-12 Schools
It is recommended that all schools adopt the Consortium mission to provide access to high-quality arts education for all students, while including arts learning as part of school improvement planning.

Business Councils & Chambers of Commerce
It is recommended that Business & Industry in Alabama collectively design and implement a funding program that aligns with the goals of the Artistic Literacy Consortium and supplements government funding for arts education. Small

Businesses (local)
It is recommended that small local businesses find ways to support arts education in their community schools through involvement in planning and implementation of specific arts programming, and by providing resources to enhance that programming.

Large International, National and Statewide Industries (with the ability to create regional and/or statewide impact)
It is recommended that large industries partner with multiple regional and statewide arts education initiatives to create meaningful impact toward fully funded high-quality arts education programs for all students, with a specific focus on areas that are currently under-funded and at risk.

Organizations
It is recommended that community and cultural organizations support and supplement, not replace, arts learning for Alabama students in local schools by providing resources, expertise and programming that is developed in collaboration with school personnel and that is aligned with the rigor provided by arts standards and assessments. It is also recommended that community and cultural organizations include collaborations with schools as an essential component of strategic planning and general operations, and evaluate impact according to goals and shared measurement system established by the Artistic Literacy Consortium

Families and Students
It is recommended that families and students help to identify needs within neighborhoods and communities and work toward advocating for, planning for and implementing increased access to high-quality arts programs for schools in the community at large.