Sign In
The Santa Clara County Arts Education Initiative

Mission: Artspiration is committed to shared leadership in advocating, empowering, and supporting sustainable arts education to develop the creative capacity of each student and educator in Santa Clara County public schools.

Partnering with public schools, arts organizations, and the greater community to foster equitable and transformative education through the Arts.

Posts are for informational purposes only. The views expressed herein are those of the presenter/partner; they do not necessarily reflect the views of the SCCOE. Any questions/comments related to the content should be directed to the original source. ​



                        Dear Arts Colleagues and friends,

                        This year has been a whirlwind of changes and unusual circumstances: an international pandemic, distance learning, 
                        fires, heatwaves, as well as social, economic, and political upheaval. It is under these circumstances that I want to give you
                        the status report of sorts on the progress of Artspiration since I landed in the position.

                        It has been a busy time at the Santa Clara County Office as we negotiate support for schools, particularly as it relates to 
                        distance learning. Some of the tasks that were accomplished include:

                                     ·       renewing the Hewlett Foundation grant that supports the programmatic work of Artspiration;

                                     ·       starting a strategic plan convening in June with a mixture of teachers, administrators, funders and arts
                                             organization to examine and extend the last year of the previous plan with a strong racial equity focus with 
                                             support for Title I districts; 

                                     ·       forming an Arts Education Leadership Council to include a wide range of stakeholders to support 
                                             and inform Artspiration and will be convened three times this year;

                                     ·       convening a new team of professional experts, all of whom have strong arts practice and arts 
                                             integration; (Please see their bios under the About Us tab)
                                                                             o   Justin August, Data and Arts Education Research

                                                                             o   Aimee Espiritu, Arts Equity

                                                                             o   Katherine (Kati) Silva, Spanish Bilingual Arts Integration and Restorative Practice

                                     ·       finalizing a new module for CCSESA Arts that will be published with resources for educators and 
                                             refreshing a published module on culturally responsive pedagogy;

                                     ·       forming a strong alliance between the arts leads of CCSESA region 4 and 5 to plan some 
                                             cross-regional work this year;

                                     ·       holding a 5-day Arts Equity and Transformative Teaching workshop and learning module took place
                                             with schools and arts organizations in June to form a Community of Practice to support the new strategies
                                             this year;

                                     ·       starting three new communities of practice this year. (Look for more information below!)

                        Additionally, the Marion Cilker Conference for the Arts in Education has been redesigned, and will be going online
                        this year on November 6 and 7 from 8 am-1 pm.  In this worldwide health crisis, issues of social justice, economic
                        instability, and racial inequities have come into sharp relief in recent months.  We are at an inflection point in imagining
                        new ways in approaching our work as educators. We have designed guidelines to address the conditions of the new
                        environment of learning and teaching by curating sessions with a strong focus on social emotional learning for teachers
                        and students, integrated learning, inclusion, and culturally responsive teaching through the arts. Come away with new
                        strategies to energize your work and engage your students in the virtual classrooms.

                        I look forward to continuing to serve you in this work around arts education! These are the key events that have taken 
                        place in the previous semester and moving into this semester. Please do contact me if you have any questions, concerns,
                        ideas and topics for discussion, new strategies in teaching and learning! Have a great year and know that I and my team 
                        are here to support you in your work!

                        Be well and stay connected!

                        Sofia Fojas
                        Arts Coordinator

Upcoming  Events  


Come and join us in a new community of practice! 

All are welcome: teachers, administrators, teaching artists, arts organizations, and arts allies serving the young people in Santa Clara County. Through the Artspiration Community of Practice, we will engage with each other around specific topics impacting our lives to improve teaching and learning in a virtual world. 

Topics include ways to include new CA Arts Standards and Framework; social emotional learning and the arts; unpacking racism through the arts; arts and the Black Lives Movement; and, indigenous ways of knowledge and learning. We see the arts as a tool for healing, connecting to self and community, increasing student engagement, and nurturing creativity. The Arts are essential!

For more information and the flyer, click on the image above or go to

To REGISTER, please click here, or the use the following link,


Cilker Conference 2020 - Save the Date.pdf

CAEA Virtual Gathering 

FREE Webinar June 30.JPG

Join the CAEA Virtual Conference on November 4–7, 2020. and supercharge your superpower in teaching visual arts.

For more information, please click here or use the link: For access to the CAEA website and 

to register for this event, please use the following link:

FREE Webinar June 30.JPG



Can band and choir rehearsals be conducted in person if students meet outdoors, wear masks, and remain socially distant while playing or singing?


Response: At the present time, the guidance remains accurate and reflects the best science that we have available.  



      • Do not allow electives and extracurricular activities in which physical distancing (at least six feet) and face covering
        use cannot be maintained at all times.
      • Do not allow aerosol generating activities, including in-person choir, band, and vocal cheerleading activities
        (cheers and chants)due to increased risk of disease transmission 

        As there is not sufficient science around aerosol-generation of band and choral activities, both indoor and outdoor
        activities are prohibited at this time. We will continue to review additional science related to this topic and adjust
        the guidance as appropriate. 

        In-person choir, band, and vocal cheerleading activities must be modified to eliminate in-person singing, playing of
        wind instruments, cheering and chanting. We encourage schools to consider arts activities such as choir and band
        rehearsal usingZoom or other distance learning platforms that allows students to participate in separate spaces
        employing a flipped modelwhere practice is done at home or using distance-learning technology and in-person class
        time is used for non-aerosol generating arts activities (such as rhythm study, music theory, music history, composition,
        analysis, and more) may be done in person in classroom settings that comply with the guidance on classroom settings.  

Counties on the Move: Arts Education for All Students

CCSESA Counties on the Move.JPG

The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA) Statewide Arts Initiative believes that the visual and performing arts are an integral part of a comprehensive curriculum and are essential for learning in the 21st century. All California students - from every culture, geographic region and socio-economic level—deserve quality arts learning in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts as part of the core curriculum. Every student needs and deserves a high-quality education in the visual and performing arts. This publication is a celebration of progress in improving and increasing arts education throughout California through the 58 county offices of education. It is intended to provide a glimpse of the excellent work being done on behalf of students in California’s public schools. The document also serves another purpose. Along with snapshots of how county offices are supporting arts education, the information reveals the statewide arts education network and supporting infrastructure needed to provide leadership training, program planning, curriculum, professional development, and resources in arts education. Written in their own words, these short descriptions reveal different approaches in reaching our diverse student populations in California. For more information please click here or use the following link

NAfme Logo.JPG

CDE 2020-21 Guidance for Arts Education

Please see the CA Department of Education Arts Education Guidance 2020-21 document for information and resources to determine how to safely provide arts education in alignment with the California Education Code. For access to the document, please click here or use the following link:

Performing Arts Aerosol Study - Preliminary Findings

Initial results of an aerosol study commissioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS),
the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) and more than 125 performing arts organizations yielded 
preliminary data and considerations that could help prevent the cancellation of performing arts activities in the future 
amid the Coronavirus pandemic.To view the full article and information, please click on the link:

Arts Distance Learning & Updates  

NAfme Logo.JPG

FALL 2020 Guidance for Music Education

With recent direction to cancel bands and choir until futher notice, educators are finding new and creative avenues to to teach. We would like to share some resources for PreK-12 school administrators and music educators seeking to provide meaningful music instruction for students of all ages and grade levels during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this unique time, music educators are modifying their practices not only in teaching, but in classroom orientation, cleaning, spacing and management. It is understood that, as trained professionals, music educators want to offer the very best instruction so all students can learn and grow in their knowledge, understanding, and love of music. This guide asserts that music educators can still do that, but also acknowledges that how we deliver teaching may be different than in the past. Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education: Fall 2020 Guidance for Music Education (PDF) NAfMe COVID-19 Resources: NFHS Performing Arts COVID-19 Resources: NAfMe and NFHS Updated Guidance Info:

Remote Learning Toolkit.JPG
National Art Education Association (NAEA)

Representative from every NAEA division and membership at large have collected, curated, and shared strategies, approaches, lessons, units and and tools to support you as we are face with the challenges of and opportunities for distance learning and preparing for the 2020-21 school year.
NAEA Remote Learning Toolkit

EdTA has reviewed multiple guides, studies, and expert resources and synthesized them into a series of suggestions for the reopening of theatre classrooms and facilities. This document offers recommendations for how theatre educators can continue to provide meaningful theatre education experiences for their students in the COVID-19 era, as well as programmatic guidance for state, district, and school decision makers who are tasked with deciding how education will be delivered to students in the 2020-21 school year and beyond. It represents the best guidance available at the time of writing.

Educational Theatre Association.JPG


The Nationial Dance Education Organization (NDEO) provides opportunities for professional development trainings, networking forum, resources, and tools for educators and administrators in the Art discipline of Dance. As we navigate through this time of COVID-19 and the social justice movments, NDEO offers various webinars, reading materials, and virtual meetings to support and respond during these challenging times. For more information, please use the link. COVID-19 Online Offerings :


CDE Distance Learning Guidelines: Effective Strategies and Opportunities to Access Federal Relief Funding: Custom Face Masks for Brass and Woodwind Players:


                    The following statement of support for arts education has been reviewed and endorsed by national organizations.

It is imparative that all students ave access to an equitable delivery of arts education that includes
dance, media arts, music, theatre, and virtual arts that supports their education, social, and emotional
well-being, taught by certified professional arts educators in partnership with community arts providers

For more information, please click on the flyer below.
Arts_Education_Is_Essential unified statement.pdf



                 The following message is from CreateCA, for more information please click the hashtag image above or
                 use the hyperlink below.

                 Art gives all of us the power to make meaning. Through stories, we understand how small details come to 
                 represent big ideas. This week, as part of Create at Home, we’re giving you the tools to make sense of your 
                 world with art.

Screen Shot 2019-11-20 at 4.07.26 PM.png

#CaArtsEdChat on Twitter 

Every Wednesday at 4:00 P.M. 

Join @PCrooks_VAPA and arts education experts from across the state for a Twitter Chat every Wednesday from 4:00 PST. We are growing a statewide virtual professional learning community for educators, artists, and others passionate about arts education. Let’s chat about the new state arts standards, best practices, and the great things happening in your classes. If you have never Twitter Chatted, here is the helpful website with instructions. 

the arts matter.

Film by Iris L., 10th Grader at Silver Creek High School, East Side Union High School District 

First Place Winner of the Student Voices Campaign  

il and mad.jpg

Iris L. with Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Superintendent of Schools


Read this article:

  • By Gary Waddell, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent of Equity, Educational Progress and Public Affairs 
  • for the Santa Clara County Office of Education.


Untitled Document