From DALE DAVIS, ATA Executive Director:
The Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is the legislative vehicle which will carry the stimulus package money into our schools. Unfortunately, ESEA, the precursor to No Child Left Behind, lacks specific language to guarantee that Arts Education will get its fair share. According to Bill Cleveland, one strategic move is to push for new language to be inserted into ESEA in order to ensure that Arts Education and Teaching Artists will not be left out in the cold.
Bill Cleveland's strategic recommendations, which are outlined below, benefit Teaching Artists. They benefit the education of all children in this country. We need to spread the word and become advocates for ourselves. We can't afford lobbyists and we do not, as of yet, have a national body to represent Teaching Artists specifically, so we must take up the ball.
FROM BILL CLEVELAND:Strategies for including Arts in Education specific language into the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA)
In the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) that was amended to become No Child Left Behind and is the prime vehicle in the Recovery Bill for Education spending, I found a section that deals specifically with Art Education. It is Title V Part D Subpart 15 section 5551 of ESEA (see below). If we can convince a Representative or Senator to drop $300 million into the Recovery bill referencing this part of ESEA it would open the door to ARTISTS WORKING IN SCHOOLS!
To my mind the tack should be that the arts are a proven strategy for the retention and academic advancement for high risk students. There is an existing highly professional experienced community of artist-educators across the country who are shovel-ready to go in and make a difference in even the most difficult school environments. All that would be needed in terms of legislation is a short paragraph inserted in the Department of Education section of the Bill. Something along the lines of:
Inserting language on page l58 line 13
"Provided further, That $300,000,000 shall be for Arts in Education Programs under section 5551 of Subpart 15 of Title V of ESEA. This funding shall remain available through September 30, 2010."
WHAT CAN WE AS TEACHING ARTISTS DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Contact your Congressional representative and ask for his / her support for the recommendations for language to be inserted into the Elementary and Secondary Education Acto of 1965 (ESEA.)
Contact Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter, Co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus
Contact Arts Caucus Members of the 110th Congress.
Write an e-mail or letter to your senators.
Make a phone call to Capitol Hill!
Thanks to Nick Rabkin, Michael Nolan, Bill Cleveland, Arlene Goldbard, and Linda Frye Burnham for alerting us and keeping us informed ! Now we, the 15,000 to 20,000 Teaching Artists in this country (Eric Booth,"The Emergence of The Teaching Artist, Art Times, May 2003) and those who support our work have an opportunity to have our voices heard!
Yes we can!
The Association of Teaching Artists
(1) National Campaign to Hire Artists to Work In Schools
Community Arts Network, December 11, 2008
National Campaign to Hire Artists to Work in Schools
212 Elsie Street
San Franciso, California
(2) National Campaign to Hire Hire Artists to Work in Schools on Facebook
(3) Americans for The Arts Policy Brief to Obama's Transition Team
(4) San Francisco Arts Commission Inside/Out Blog
Campaign to Hire Artists In Schools, Nick Rabkin
(5) The Reading Room, Community Arts Network
The New, New Deal Part 2 - A New WPA for Artists: How and Why,Arlene Goldbard