LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Advancing Educational Equity through the Arts

Idea by P.S. ARTS

P.S. ARTS promotes educational equity by providing professional development to emerging educators and artists to deliver arts instruction in systemically under-resourced public schools. We provide access to creative industry employment for Teaching Artists, as well as high quality, trauma-responsive, culturally relevant arts education for youth. A partnership with LA2050 will support Teaching Artist recruitment, training, and placement and the facilitation of high-quality, arts education programs for 35,000 youth.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

K-12 STEAM Education

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

Central LA

San Gabriel Valley

South LA

West LA

South Bay

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

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

88% percent of California schools fail to provide arts education. Students affected by poverty, students of color, English learners, and those with disabilities particularly benefit from the arts, yet they are least likely have arts opportunities in school due to systemic disinvestment. Students with an arts education are five times less likely to drop out of school, four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, four times more likely to receive a bachelor's degree, and 30% more inclined to pursue a professional career. With the passage of Proposition 28, California public schools are required to use public funding to develop arts programs. While Prop 28 brings opportunities for investment, the demand for practicing artists who are trained educators exceeds the number of teaching artists available. With our experience providing arts programs and robust professional development initiatives, P.S. ARTS is uniquely positioned to help schools harness this opportunity.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

P.S. ARTS' wrap-around arts education services include arts instruction; arts-based educator training; and community arts events, which work in conjunction to reduce barriers and increase opportunities for students living in communities affected by racism, trauma, and systemic disinvestment. Over the next year, P.S. ARTS aims to increase our service population from 30,000 to 35,000 students. To support this growth, P.S. ARTS is committed to growing our faculty by creating career pathways for aspiring teaching artists with an eye to increasing BIPOC and LBGTQ+ representation in public education. Our three-tier approach includes 1) compensated training for new teaching artists to immediately teach at partner schools, 2) compensated continued professional growth for existing faculty through a peer-specialist coaching model, and 3) providing arts integration training for credentialed classroom teachers. Compensated training opportunities include the following: - The Teaching Artist Training Intensive trains prospective faculty in the P.S. ARTS methodology and curriculum as well as Social Emotional Learning, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, and classroom management. - The Coaching Intensive trains experienced P.S. ARTS faculty around best practices for working with adult learners, curriculum design, and feedback and review. - The Arts-Integration Training Intensive engages classroom teachers through understanding and connecting arts standards with academic disciplines.

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

In the short term, P.S. ARTS aims to meet the increased demand for in-school, after-school, and summer arts programming; professional development for educators; and social justice-oriented community arts programs in Los Angeles. We support LA County schools' ability to meet the state mandate for public schools to provide arts education programs for students. In the long-term, we envision an equitable education system where all children receive access to arts programs regardless of their background or where they live. Beyond cultivating an appreciation for the arts, P.S. ARTS encourages students to explore the human experience and their own cultural and personal identities through artistic inquiry and expression. Participation in P.S. ARTS programs fosters social emotional health, readiness to learn, and academic achievement, preparing students for navigating life in the 21st century.

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

The 2022 pilot of the Teaching Artist Training Intensive engaged 22 trainees and 19 were placed into teaching positions. Building on this success, our other initiatives will launch in 2023-2024. Over 90% of P.S. ARTS students demonstrate proficiency on CA Visual and Performing Arts standards. On Average, Black and Latinx students attending P.S. ARTS schools score eight percentage points higher in English and 11 percentage points higher in math than their counterparts. Teacher ratings of students' social emotional learning in P.S. ARTS classes are higher than the district-wide average. Our evaluation focuses on wellbeing, social emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching strategies, and engagement and academic performance. Tools include: Student Learning: - Social Emotional Learning Assessment - Arts Learning Assessment Program Quality: - School Feedback Survey Teaching Artist Performance: - Mid-residency Check-in - Site Visit Observation Guide - Annual Performance Review

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

Direct Impact: 200

Indirect Impact: 35,000

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

The schools we serve are our most critical partners. In addition to meeting P.S. ARTS' basic partner school expectations - a dedicated arts space and access to every child - our schools' leadership supports arts integrated learning and close collaboration between P.S. ARTS Teaching Artists and school faculty. Rather than provide a prescriptive program, P.S. ARTS offers a programmatic framework that can be tailored to meet the needs of our school partners depending on their preferred goals and outcomes. Frequent communication and active collaboration between P.S. ARTS and school leadership ensures that we remain connected and relevant to our service population.