Bay Area Coalition “Creative Impact” Promotes Arts in Public Schools

Craig Cheslog

In response to lack of resources and high-stakes testing that have pushed the arts out of most public schools, Bay Area arts and education organizations have created an innovative coalition, Creative Impact, which on Sept. 13 will kick off a yearlong celebration of art in education throughout the Bay Area. The alliance is endorsed by Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Tom DeCaigny and Alameda County Arts Commission Executive Director Rachel Osajima and includes a variety of high-profile arts organizations, including American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cal Performances, KQED, San Francisco Ballet, and San Francisco Opera. The coalition also includes the San Francisco Unified School District and the Alameda County Office of Education. “The creativity of California’s students and educators is an all-too-often untapped resource. We are working with artists and the arts community to engage each and every student, and to restore the joy of teaching in our schools,” says Craig Cheslog, principal advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction at the California Department of Education. “This is an equity issue. In affluent communities, parents are paying to assure a complete, engaging, and inspiring education. It is our job to assure that what is best for children in our most affluent communities is best for each and every child,” said Malissa Ferruzzi Shriver, chair of the California Arts Council. Creative Impact has planned a series of activities, including family-accessible events, to celebrate the third annual National Arts in Education Week, September 9-15, with the ultimate goal of building broader support for education through the arts. Scheduled events include: During National Arts in Education Week, Creative Impact will also launch a year-round online calendar (www.artiseducation.org/calendar) that will be the go-to place to find arts education activities across the Bay Area.
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