Making Arts Education a Cleveland School Board Priority

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/26/2007 - 14:57.

I received a very thoughtful message today from the consultant working on the Arts Education Strategic Plan for the Cleveland Municipal School District, Dawn Ellis, suggesting that now when the mayor is in the process of appointing new school board members is the time to make sure all candidates are concerned about arts education, or find candidates who are. Of the School Board members I know, I'm sure they are very concerned about arts education, but Dawn raises an example where a community - Miami - stepped up to focus additional school board attention on arts education and it paid off... so let's take this as good advice. Know anyone who would be a good candidate? Here's the advice from Dawn on this:

t just came to my attention that the Cleveland school board is going through a major shift and has to fill a number of seats by mayoral appointment.  This is a tremendous opportunity for arts education advocates and people who value young people.  Take a lesson from Miami, Florida, where arts education advocates cultivated a board member to run who was a fervent arts education supporter.  Make sure the mayor’s office has names and interest in serving from some people familiar with the power of arts education in young peoples lives; they had a slim pool to pull upon at last report.

Cultural community representatives, former arts educators, and business representatives:

Please put the word out through your networks to identify the Cleveland residents among the people involved in arts education, arts in education, arts in higher education, arts in business who fit the bill, and might be willing to be considered to serve.  Perhaps one of you might be willing to serve?  It is the policymaking board that will make the difference.

You are needed, and soon.  Contact the mayor’s office for more information on how to put your name into consideration.

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Great news

So many worthy names come to mind for this work - our leader at Ingenuity - James Levin, a visionary and bright attorney who recently won the Governor's award for his many years of service with Cleveland Public Theater and NEO  comes to mind immediately - as does Santina Protopapa of Progressive Arts Alliance, who I helped incept her 501C status as nonprofit while MBA student at Case.  Both are vested in helping the underprivileged through creative media and performance.  Santina has done fantastic work with many urban underprivileged schools including Shaw High in East Cleveland.   I'll check in with her as I suspect she's already board involved.  Someday i would love to work toward such board involvement as well - anything but boring to me!

Our own REALNEO stars would be contending contenders to contemplate - RealNEO wizard, founder, business partner and friend Norm Roulet and Dance Diva / Arts Prize artist Susan Miller both come to mind as well.


I would but I'm moving to East Cleveland

Not that "they" would ever seriously consider me, I would certainly step up to work for the School Board, but I'm moving out of Cleveland to East Cleveland. I think Levin and Protopapa are each excellent suggestions. Interested that in the lead editorial today the PD not only trashed mayor Jackson but all current school board members - the PD isn't very specific in their attack... just stuff like "the board in recent years has proved ineffectual at best". I'd love to know what the editors suggest for the sachool board to do, and who the PD thinks would be good candidates... the people I know on the board are very dedicated and serious about their work for the community and they deserve more appreciation and respect.... but that is just my opinion.

Disrupt IT

probably a tough nut to crack

I am having a hard time thinking of an artist who is an arts educator, living in the city of Cleveland, who has kids in the CMSD or even one who is familiar with k-12 issues whose kids are grown. The only person I could suggest and strongly is Mary Beth Matthews, b ut she lives in the Heights and she is teaching at Max Hayes. She would be great... Parents of CSA kids who are involved maybe... It will be a lot easier when the city annexes the inner ring...
Can't wait to see who they find; I'll be edified.

Great but can't

Mary Beth would be great but she can't serve for 2 reasons.  She is an employee of CMSD, and she is a resident of Celveland Heights.

What's next--CMSD October meetings

From yesterday's PD 9/30

Cleveland's school construction plan is on the agenda at community forums to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Michael J. Zone Recreation Center, 6301 Lorain Ave., and on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy Recreation Center, 17300 Harvard Ave.

The proposed changes also will be discussed districtwide in meetings at K-8 buildings on Wednesday, Oct. 10, and at high schools on Thursday, Oct. 11.

The Board of Education will vote on the recommendations in December, and approval from the state is anticipated in February. Work could begin on Segment 5 in May.