Know your Candidates – Read Nevada County Arts Council’s 2020 County & School District Board Survey Results
Nevada County Arts Council is pleased to present summary responses from candidates who, during the 2020 election season, are running for either the Nevada County Board of Education, or for a local School District Board.
Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, says: “As our community members prepare to vote, we encourage everyone to take a moment to read the responses of candidates who have responded to our survey. We hope that their answers provide clarity on their individual philosophies, priorities, and perspectives as they relate to arts education.”
In recent years arts education programs have disappeared at an alarming rate, both statewide and
locally. School board members make the ultimate decision about the fate of all academic programs within their district, while our county board of education provides leadership to support the success of these school districts. This makes it essential for voters who care about arts education to know each candidate’s perspective on the value of arts education.
Donn Harris, of Nevada County Arts Council’s Education Committee, says: “As the ambassador in Nevada County for California Alliance for Arts Education, we thank all candidates who have gone on record with their views about the role of arts education in public schools. Candidates who have yet to respond will appear with “no response” next to their name.”
Harris has recently moved to Nevada County, having retired from his role as Executive Director of Creativity at San Francisco Unified School District, and – before that – Principal of Oakland School of Art, hand-picked for the role by former Governor Jerry Brown, the school’s founder. He is three times Chairman of California Arts Council and a current member.
As Nevada County’s State-Local Partner with California Arts Council, Nevada County Arts Council commits to a policy of access, equity and community engagement, through promotion of arts education projects. Tudor adds: “Then, as a partner with California Alliance for Arts Education we aim to improve teacher preparation, advocate for public funding for the arts, and ensure equity and access to arts education by closing opportunity gaps and eliminating inequities in access to arts education.” As a partner with Create CA, Nevada County Arts Council forms part of a coalition of dedicated and innovative leaders who are paving the way for lasting change for every California student, helping them to reach their full potential by advancing an education model that promotes creativity and the arts for the workforce of tomorrow.
Brian Buckley, Nevada County Arts Council’s Vice-President, says “Our Education Committee is active in all these ways and more – and is directly involved in programming that supports close to 1,000 low income school children each year. This year is highly unusual, due to the pandemic, yet we are pivoting our efforts in taking classroom education online and expanding the scope of our offering. Plus, we have some great new partners this year, including the Friendship Club and its Bright Futures team, which incorporates what we used to know as NEO.”
Early this year, Nevada County Arts Council, together with a cohort of teachers, school district administrators and local arts leaders got together, consulted by California Alliance for Arts Education, to support the development of a Strategic Plan for Arts Education by Nevada County Superintendent of Schools (NCSOS).
This is now complete, and the Council’s Education Committee is hard at work to help NCSOS fulfill the first steps towards implementation of this plan. Regarding the Council’s 2020 Candidate Survey Initiative, community members can read a summary of every response received by candidates at https://www.nevadacountyarts.org/2020-candidate-survey-initiative. Additionally, a full list of the questions asked of each candidate can be found on this page.
Tudor says: “One of my favorite questions relates to the State Education code, which reminds us that schools must provide every K-12 student with a standards-based, comprehensive arts education. So we ask each candidate: “If elected, how will you promote the role of arts education in a complete education for students?”
Harris adds: “All students in California deserve the opportunity to enroll in high quality arts education that provides them with the important skills they need to succeed in today’s competitive workforce. More and more data now points to that simple fact that quality arts education sparks creative thinking and sets up students for success in college, career and life.”
Visit https://www.nevadacountyarts.org/2020-candidate-survey-initiative for more information.