Improving the arts education ecosystem in Napa Valley is a reality thanks to a small group of visionaries. It took five years of hard work for the Arts Council Napa Valley Education Alliance, ACNVEA, to achieve an important paradigm shift. We are happy to report that TK-12 arts education is visibly changing in Napa County.
By creating an innovative private/public partnership, students’ lives are transforming through the arts. The video tells the story. Napa students share their stories of what access to arts education has meant for their lives. The arts have simply been transformation for them. The quest to equitably and sustainably improve the state of arts education for all students is happening because the Arts Education was created and is now being implemented in Napa County.
“Do what is good for all children,” was the mantra this mighty little group, the ACNVEA, chanted as they crossed hurdle after hurdle. Through their vision and diligence, minds have been changed. Many in the community warned that the idea was far-fetched. After all, California is ranked 43rd in the country in public education and is referred to as the “Mississippi of the West.”
Against these odds, hopeful signs are appearing everywhere thanks to their hard work. This month, a successful fundraiser was held for Arts Council Napa Valley Education Alliance with the generous support from Senator Bill Dodd. At the event, the community spoke by opening their wallets to support TK-12 arts education in schools.
Also, the Arts Education Master Plan is being implemented in the largest and most economically disadvantaged school district in Napa County, the Napa Valley Unified School District. With a private/public financial agreement, NVUSD partially funds a Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Chuck Neidhoefer, who is spearheading the plan. For the first time, NVUSD has a point person to sustain and grow equitable arts education opportunities for students. And here’s a tip – there’s more really good news coming very soon from the NVUSD about arts education.
Besides that, the Napa County Office of Education has initiated a unique arts education opportunity by partnering with Nimbus Arts in St. Helena. They are delivering programming to provide arts experiences that many of the county students have never dreamed of being able to participate in.
All this has become possible with the help from our funders: Festival Napa Valley, Arts Council Napa Valley, Napa Valley Education Foundation, Napa Valley Community Foundation, Sato Family Foundation, Notes for Education, Art Association Napa Valley, Napa Valley Community Projects and the California Alliance for Arts Education.
Be part of this transformation. Join us with a free membership and see how you can help to move the initiative even faster. Also, check out the inspirational video! For questions, thoughts and input, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Thou hast seen nothing yet.” ― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote