The Arts|Learning Networking and Advocacy Division is dedicated to providing information, resources and programming that will help you advocate for the arts in your community, whether it be across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or in any other state or region of the United States. Here is an overview of some of our current advocacy projects.


Arts for All Coalition

A|L is proud to be the lead organization in a collaborative that received three years of funding (2014-17) from the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) in the “State Policy Pilot Program” (SP3). This project is continuing as the Arts for All Coalition. Other partners include MASSCreative, The MA Cultural Council, the Boston Public Schools, EdVestors, and the Mass. College of Art and Design. Supporting partners include MassINC, Project LEARN, and Young Audiences of Massachusetts.

Significant impacts from our advocacy work include the following:

  • Inclusion of Arts Education participation data on all public school profile “Report Cards” starting Winter 2019
  • Revision of the Arts Curriculum Framework to be completed by June 2019
  • Creation of a full-time Arts Content Lead Specialist at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Revitalization of the Arts Education Advisory Council, which advises the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education on Arts Education issues

Revised Massachusetts Arts Curriculum Framework
On February 12th, 2019, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the release of the draft 2019 Arts Curriculum Framework for public comment. It has been almost 20 years since the state’s arts standards were last revised in 1999, and the new draft makes several important changes. Specifically, it:

    • Recognizes media arts as a discipline alongside dance, music, theatre, and visual arts;
    • Utilizes a new organizational structure that:
      • Is consistent across disciplines, supporting integration,
      • Integrates content from the 1999 framework’s Connections strand into the discipline-specific standards,
      • Includes standards for artistic practice aligned to the National Core Arts Standards;
    • Provides more detailed learning expectations, with two-year instead of four-year grade spans.
    • Adds guiding principles focused on engaging students and ensuring exposure to wider range of cultures and styles.

The Department wants to hear from you! Please review the draft and provide comments using this survey. Email Craig Waterman with any questions. The survey closes April 23, 2019.

Networking and Advocacy Committee Work
With the announcement of the Jonathan Rappaport Legacy Fund, the A|L Networking and Advocacy Committee is hard at work planning a celebration in honor of Jonathan. Additional information will be available soon.

The A|L Networking and Advocacy Committee is also making strides with its plans for the 2019 Champions of Arts Education Advocacy Awards. Nomination forms, advertising opportunities, and other information will be shared soon!

Arts Education Advisory Council (AEAC)
Several members of the Arts|Learning community have been significantly involved with the AEAC since its inception and have recently taken on the task of assisting with the review of the revised MACF. You can learn more about the council and its work on the DESE page dedicated to the Arts Education Advisory Council.

Video Resources

For some great video resources, please see Arts|Learning’s video webpage.