2021 Grants Challenge

Global Arts Professional Development Series: Using Teacher Development to Increase Student Success

We believe teachers who are constantly inspired to learn make the best educators, however, there is a severe lack of access to high-quality professional development for all educators. A grant from LA2050 will fund our Professional Development Series outright, providing free workshops for all. Our series consists of 17 biweekly workshops on Friday afternoons throughout the academic year, as well as a five-day Summer Seminario that brings back our most effective presenters from the year’s workshop series.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

There is a severe lack of resources dedicated to teacher development. Professional development for teachers is often an afterthought or only offered because it is a requirement. We want arts educators in Los Angeles to have access to a variety of relevant continuing education workshops to support their teaching practice.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Our Professional Development Program provides a collaborative space centered around teaching and learning. As a staff of educators ourselves, we understand firsthand the impact a teacher can have on their students. It is our objective to create an environment that recognizes and encourages teachers’ continual learning. Global Arts Professional Development Program workshops focus on educational psychology, musical excellence, and social justice, and are led by world-class presenters from varying backgrounds. Our workshops provide engaging and edifying material, as well as tangible tools that attendees can take into their classrooms and apply immediately. Since we launched our program online in September 2020, we have served over 100 educators in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), and Venezuela.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 500

Indirect Impact: 100,000

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Global Arts envisions an accessible, long-term professional development program that improves the academic lives of the teachers and students of LAUSD. LAUSD is the 2nd largest school district in the nation with over 35,000 teachers. The 2019 Teacher Strike opened the public’s eyes to the conditions in our school system; educators demanded development opportunities and conducive learning environments not only for their students, but for themselves and other educators. Unfortunately, nationwide only 29% of teachers are highly satisfied by professional development offerings, and this concern trickles down as it directly affects students' learning. This effect can be seen in LAUSD’s high dropout rate of 13.6%. The success of our program will manifest itself in reinvigorated LAUSD educators and lower student dropout rates across the district.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

At the end of each workshop, surveys are distributed to all participants. These surveys have provided us with qualitative feedback about attendees’ perceived effectiveness of the workshop and their desire to return for future workshops. All participant comments allow Global Arts staff to make adjustments to the topics presented and the workshop format, as well as to identify potential returning presenters. Additionally, we also use workshop registrations to monitor the number of attendees, attendee retention, school or organization affiliation, and how many attendees we can project to see the following year.

Which of the LEARN metrics will you impact?​

Arts education

Enrollment in afterschool programs