Archive for November 8th, 2014


Houston Fine Arts Study Released

November 8, 2014

Community-wide effort

October 20, 2014

Community-wide effort reveals a need for equitable access and recommends action to increase arts education in Houston ISD

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 12.14.45 PMHOUSTON, TX –According to a study released this week by Young Audiences of Houston, Houston Independent School District students who take advanced fine arts courses are more likely to pass the STAAR test in all subjects than a comparison group – and less likely to receive any type of disciplinary action. However, the report states, not all of Houston’s children have the opportunity to access the benefits of the arts and arts education equally – and some are receiving no arts education at all. This information was made public this week thanks to the Arts Access Initiative, the summary of the report is available at Houstonians are invited to learn more about the initiative and to get involved by visiting the website and attending a series of community meetings hosted by Young Audiences of Houston.

30% of HISD schools serving grades K-8 report no fine arts in out-of-school time;
29% of HISD schools serving grades K-8 report employing no full-time fine arts specialists;
92% of HISD teachers surveyed agree or strongly agree that arts have an impact in enhancing learning for disengaged students;
86% of HISD K-8 principals surveyed noted funding as a barrier;
89% of all general classroom teachers surveyed said they wanted arts-based professional development.

In 2013, Young Audiences of Houston in partnership with Houston Independent School District and city leaders established a Community Arts Team (CAT) committee to assess the current landscape of arts education in Houston ISD. This initial (phase 1) planning committee consisted of business, philanthropic, civic, education, arts and higher education leaders across the city. Leaders included Dan Gohl, Chief Academic Officer for HISD, Leslie Blanton, community leader; David Ruiz, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Bank of America; Glenn Bailey, Jr., Manager, Literacy Through Photography at FotoFest; Dr. Danille Taylor, Dean at Texas Southern University; Michael Cardona, Chief Middle School Officer for HISD; Mark Cueva, Manager of Education Initiatives, Department of Neighborhoods, City of Houston; and others.

By studying national data about arts education, anonymized Houston ISD data about current students engaged in at least two years of sequential fine arts instruction, surveys distributed to principals and teachers, and a campus-by-campus inventory, the CAT committee created a series of recommendations for ensuring that all students in Houston ISD have the opportunity to access the cognitive, creative, emotional, and academic benefits of the arts and arts education.

Arts Access Initiative Interactive Maps

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 12.19.21 PM

The result of these recommendations is the Arts Access Initiative, a community-wide blueprint that prepares every child’s support structure in Houston ISD to value and invest in arts education. On October 16, 2014, HISD’s Chief Academic Officer, Dan Gohl, reported to HISD trustees the findings of this preliminary work and that a large number of HISD school principals had requested to immediately increase arts access at their schools.

As part of the outreach to the community about the Arts Access Initiative, Young Audiences of Houston will host a series of meetings that are open to the public to seek feedback and discuss the data, process, and next steps for further input on the plan.
Monday, Nov. 3, at 6:00 PM
Friday, Nov. 7, at 8:30 AM
Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 12:00 PM
All meetings will be held at the Young Audiences offices, 4550 Post Oak Place Dr., Suite 230. RSVP is required to attend. Please email
to reserve your place.

Additional Information:

Information reported by HISD to their trustees on October 16, 2014:
To educate and inspire children through the arts, to make the arts an integral part of the school curriculum, and to advance the field of arts in education through teacher professional development training and community partnerships.
Mary Curry Mettenbrink
Executive Director
(713) 520-9267 ext 109

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