California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

May 15, 2014Caitlin Fitzwater

Statewide Arts Education Initiative Linking Creativity and the "Common Core" Launches in California

Experts from across California to develop online arts training resources for educators

A project of the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, funded by the California Arts Council and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

SACRAMENTO - On May 14, 2014, arts and education leaders from across the state gathered in Sacramento to launch an innovative arts education program linking arts education with the implementation of new Common Core State Standards.

Education leaders behind the Common Core State Standards have emphasized the need for implementation of critical thinking skills and creative exploration, and cite complementary subjects to achieve this goal - including the arts. The 2014 roll-out of the Common Core State Standards in California is a key time for influencing how arts education is utilized by local school districts, local schools, and individual teachers.

Recognizing this critical change in education policy, the California Arts Council and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation invested funds* to launch a program called "Creativity at the Core: Powerful Arts Teaching and Learning in the Common Core."

"Creativity at the Core" will place discrete arts education and arts integration at the forefront during the implementation of the Common Core for all California K-12 schools - specifically through the creation of professional development modules that incorporate dance, music, theater, visual arts, and other art forms into Common Core instruction. These professional development offerings will help deepen arts teaching and learning in K-12 classrooms during this opportune moment of education reform.

The "Creativity at the Core" modules will be developed through a comprehensive statewide process involving education experts, professional teaching artists, and school administrators. The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) will implement the program and coordinate the modules' creation and public dissemination.


"Creativity at the Core" Regional Arts Partners Announced

Through a system of eleven service regions, CCSESA provides the organizational mechanism for the state's 58 County Superintendents of Schools to design and implement programs to identify and promote quality cost-effective educational practices and services, and provide support to school districts.

The following nonprofit arts organizations will work collaboratively with a service region's designated "Regional County Office Arts Lead" to develop and pilot the "Creativity at the Core" professional arts learning modules and resources.

  • Region 1, North Coast: Humboldt County Office of Education and North Coast Dance
  • Region 2, Northeastern: Shasta County Office of Education and The Music Center (Los Angeles, distance learning model development)
  • Region 3, Capitol: Sacramento County Office of Education and Crocker Art Museum and California Musical Theatre
  • Region 4, Bay: Alameda County Office of Education and Teaching Artists Guild
  • Region 5, South Bay: Monterey County Office of Education and El Teatro Campesino
  • Region 6, Delta Sierra: Stanislaus County Office of Education and Gallo Center for the Arts
  • Region 7, Central Valley: Fresno County Office of Education and Fresno Arts Council
  • Region 8, Costa del Sol: Ventura County Office of Education and Museum of Ventura County
  • Region 9, Southern: San Diego County Office of Education and Old Globe Theatre
  • Region 10, RIMS: San Bernardino County Office of Education and P.L.A.C.E. Performance
  • Region 11, Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Office of Education and Arts for All

"Creativity at the Core" Professional Arts Learning Modules and Resources

California is a very diverse state, and the modules will support a variety of different teaching environments - small and large schools, urban and rural schools, schools with a large number of English language learners, schools with children from lower incomes, schools with other educational needs, and other factors.

All major performing and visual arts education disciplines will be represented and the modules will be available on the CCSESA Arts website for any who desire to view them - teachers, administrators, teaching artists, parents, and the general public.

"Creativity at the Core" Leadership Advisory Organizations

Representatives from the following organizations will serve as advisors for "Creativity at the Core."

"Creativity at the Core" Timeline

The professional arts learning modules will be developed and piloted regionally, and then published by early April 2015.

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Media inquiries for CCSESA may be directed to Christina Marcellus at 916-446-3095.

*One-time California State Assembly Arts Funding: Creativity at the Core is supported by one-time funds from the California State Assembly. In July 2013, the California Arts Council received $2 million in savings from the 2013 State Assembly operating budget. The funds, directed to support arts and arts education programs in California communities via grants or direct services, must be encumbered during the 2013-2014 fiscal year and will not be used for administrative costs at the agency. Funds will be distributed through three competitive grant programs and through special arts education initiatives, resulting from two years of work by a statewide arts education coalition, known as CREATE CA (Core Reforms Engaging Arts to Educate). The California Arts Council is a founding organization of the CREATE CA coalition, which was created to address the full inclusion of arts into the California public education system.


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