California Arts Council

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Arts Education Touted at Capitol Hearing 
Arts Council Chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver and other notable speakers testify

Published: 04-19-2012

It was standing room only in the conference room where Arts Education was discussed at the Capitol on April 18, 2012. Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Chair of the California Arts Council and co-Chair of the CREATE CA initiative, testified about the stressed circumstances of arts education in the state--and about the potential for a major turnaround for the arts and arts education.

"The Arts, Creativity, and Innovation in the 21st Century Classroom: How to Paint a Canvas for Success" is the name of the hearing convened by Senator Curren Price, Chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts. Representatives of the arts, education, business, and workforce preparation testified and gave the Legislature more background on the importance of the arts and creative sectors to the state. (Agenda of the hearing is below.) 

"The Council's goal is to establish arts education in all schools, for all students, everyday," said Shriver. "It is the public schools that have lost arts education, which is why the American Civil Liberties Union calls this the civil rights issue of our time."

Shriver went onto point to recent studies indicating the benefits of arts education in improving academic achievement, test scores in non-arts subjects, and interest in a continuation of education by young people. "It is clear that arts education is improving academic performance, keeping kids in school, and setting them on a trajectory to college and careers," she said.

Further, Shriver emphasized the importance of a creative education for the workforce of the future. "We need to stay with what made America great--our ingenuity, our creativity and our bold innovations," she said. "Bubble tests will not be enough."

Cal Channel live-streamed the event -- check out to see about future broadcasts and web-viewing.

The legislative information hearing and Shriver's testimony are one of a series of arts and arts education advocacy activities that the California Arts Council and other arts advocates have led or participated in recent weeks. 

For example, CREATE CA -- a joint project of the California Arts Council, California Department of Education, California Arts Education Association and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association -- recently convened close to 200 educators, business representatives, and arts supporters in Coronado to explore how to enhance and grow arts education in K-12 California schools. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the Arts Education Task Force at the Coronado event, and plans for the creation of Blueprint for Creative Schools: How the Arts and Creative Education Can Transform California Classrooms. SEE CREATE CA PRESS RELEASE

Testimony from Shriver is available on the California Arts Council website. The agenda for the legislative hearing and the speakers who presented is below.



April 18, 2012 - 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

I. Welcoming Remarks and Introductions

II. Panel 1: The Arts, Creativity, and Innovation in the Classroom 

  •  Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Chair-California Arts Council
  • Craig Cheslog, Principal Advisor to California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson-California Department of Education
  • Elda Pineda, Senior Education and Program Manager-P.S. ARTS

III. Panel 2: Education, Innovation, and the Workforce

  • John M. Eger, Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Director of the Creative Economy Initiative-San Diego State University
  • Sarah E. Murr, Community Investor, Arts and Culture-The Boeing Company
  • Ted. M. Kahn, Ph.D., CEO, Chief Creative Learning Strategist and Careers Coach-DesignWorlds for Learning, Inc. and DesignWorlds for College & Careers

IV. Panel 3: Allen Elementary School: Demonstration of Arts Integration

  • Susan Courey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor-San Francisco State University
  • Endre Balough, Co-founder-Toones Academic Music
  • Kit Cosgriff, Principal-Allen Elementary School
  • Gina Grites, Third Grade Teacher-Allen Elementary School

V. Panel 4: Measuring the Benefits of Creativity

  • Dan Hunter, Founding Partner-Hunter Higgs
  • James C. Kaufman, Ph.D., Director, the Learning Research Institute and Professor, Psychology-California State University San Bernardino
  • Joe Landon, Executive Director-California Alliance for Arts Education

VI. Public Comment

VII. Closing Remarks

VIII. Adjourn