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Statewide Arts Education Survey

December 15, 2015

Launching today Arts Education Census

Many of you remember that in 2008 a statewide arts education census was conducted. At that time the work was lead by the Maine Alliance for Arts Education. Out of that work the Opportunities to Learn in the Arts reported the findings. The full report and executive summary are located at https://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census. At that time PK-12 Visual and Performing Arts Educators were asked to complete a lengthy survey.

It is time to update the information and get a clear picture in 2016 what is happening statewide in arts education. This time every Maine school Principal is being invited to complete the survey. Principals may be asking you (PreK-12 arts teachers) to help complete the survey. I urge you to participate in any way that you can so we can get a complete picture. Our goal is 100 per cent – without every school participating we will not have a complete picture of Arts education in Maine!

Below is today’s news release from the Maine Arts Commission. You can learn more about the census plan and the opportunity that you have to participate at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census. Please email me at argy.nestor@maine.gov if you have any questions.

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The Maine Arts Commission is leading the effort to conduct a statewide inventory of all arts education resources in the state’s 751 PK-12 schools currently recognized by the Maine Department of Education. Data collection has just begun and will continue through May 2016, with the goal of collecting information from 100% of Maine schools.

The objectives and outcomes of the Statewide Arts Education Census include:

  • Identifying the changes in Maine’s visual and performing arts education programs and resources since the 2009 census.
  • Discovering where students have access to quality arts education and where it is unavailable.
  • Development of a comprehensive report to inform stakeholders and policy makers at both the local and state levels.
  • Broad sharing of the census findings so that it can be used to frame conversations, evaluate where programs or program enhancements are needed, and guide policy-making decisions.

This work is an important part of the education initiative of agency’s recently-completed, five-year cultural plan. The education component of the plan will guide and inform the agency’s work in educational collaborations, promoting arts learning and enhancing the quality of arts education throughout Maine.

For the Census, the agency is collaborating with the Maine Department of Education and a steering committee comprised of representatives from the Maine Principals’ Association, Maine Superintendents, Maine Alliance for Arts Education, New England Institute for Teacher Education, Maine Art Education Association, Maine Music Educators Association, cultural and arts organizations, and PK-12 educators. More information about the census can be found at http://mainearts.maine.gov/Pages/Education/Arts-Education-Census.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.

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