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Knowledge From the Field

Arts Education for All: Lessons From the First Half of the Ford Foundation's National Arts Education Initiative

Published: June 2009

Publisher(s): OMG Center for Collaborative Learning

Author(s): Spilka, Gerri; Meg Long

Funder(s): Ford Foundation

View Report (36 pages; 558KB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Arts Education


This report presents an overview, key successes and challenges of nine grantees of the first half of the Ford Foundationís National Arts Education Initiative, focusing on grantee capacity, partnership development, strategic communications and integrated arts education programming.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+By using a citywide, socioeconomic and diversity equity framing, grantees have been able to move fragmented arts education programs to a systems-change framework, facilitating the mobilization of a broader group of grassroots organizations and education policy advocates.

=Though grantees intellectually understood the value of advocacy and building public good will early on, it was not until they made the shift to thinking at a systems level or building equity for their programs that they began to think about policy change and the need to build advocacy skills.

=Effective partnerships typically have tiered levels of engagement with clear accountability guidelines, where grantees frequently oversee the day-to-day partnership activities, communication and strategy planning

=Common planning time, where both arts-based and non-arts-based instructors share lesson plans, coordinate on approaches and concepts covered, and align goals served as a key success factor for integrated arts education programming.

Geographic Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Arts Education; Quality Education; Education Systems-Change, Education Advocacy, Education Partnerships.

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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