Baltimore Arts Education Initiative: Winter Update

On September 28, 2017, Baltimore City Public Schools in partnership with Arts Every Day launched the Baltimore Arts Education Initiative (BAEI), a community supported strategic planning process to increase equitable access to the arts in Baltimore City Public Schools. Since the launch, over 100 parents, students, arts and classroom teachers, principals, representatives of community arts organizations, artists, school district representatives, community members, and city officials have participated in working committees to begin drafting policy recommendations, best practices, and strategies for coordinating efforts to create a viable, sustainable strategic plan. For a list of committee members to date, click here.

We would like to extend a BIG thank you to everyone who has contributed ideas, energy, and time so far! As we round out the very beginning stages of this planning process, here are a few highlights:

  • The timing for this process could not be better. Within the context of the Kirwan Commission, implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act coming into focus, and the newly adopted state regulations for arts education.
  • Our planning process has included a national survey of arts education expansion models from across the United States as we look for ‘what works’.
  • We see a shared sense of purpose, urgency, and vision emerging between the Baltimore City School District leaders and the community of committee members. The level of commitment, engaging discussion, and diversity of experience that each person brings to the work nothing short of inspiring!
  • From the earliest conversations, the planning process has been shaped and influenced by young people from the Baltimore Youth Arts Council, a program of Baltimore Office Promotion and the Arts. This incredibly talented group of high school student leaders serving as committee members and will lead have contributed to the development of the listening session model and will serve as facilitators in the New Year!



In the coming months, committee members will continue to focus on 1) Policy recommendations that align with federal and state regulations and ensure that all students, regardless of where they attend school, have access to a high quality arts education. 2) Instruction and Professional Development that supports rigorous, consistent, culturally relevant instructional programs in Visual Art, Music, Theater, Dance, and Media Arts. 3) In-School partnerships, strategies, and best practices for increasing access to teaching artists, programs, field trips, and performances that support school-day arts instruction taught by certified fine arts teachers. 4) Out-of-School and Summer best practices for leveraging and extending arts access through high quality arts programming in the Out-of-School and Summer time hours. To see a full report of our findings to date, you can see our Winter 2017 Report here.

What’s next?
Do you want to hear more about the work to date, and are you passionate about the arts in Baltimore City Public Schools? You can sign up to serve on a committee, host a listening session or informational presentation for your organization/community. If you are interested, contact Jill Warzer, BAEI administrative coordinator at or Julia DiBussolo, Director of Arts Every Day at  

Listening Sessions: Arts Every Day is partnering with a number of community organizations to host listening sessions on Arts Education. Listening sessions are a great opportunity to share your thoughts, stories, and ideas for the arts in Baltimore City Public Schools. We will also discuss how students, parents, and community members can advocate for arts and education.

Important Dates

Presentation @ Reservoir Hill Improvement Council
Tuesday, January 23, 6:30 PM
Beth Am Synagogue at 2501 Eutaw Place, Baltimore, MD 21217

Listening Session @ Baltimore Center Stage
Thursday, January 25 6-7PM
700 N Calvert St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Listening Session @ City Neighbors Progressive Education Summit
Saturday, January 27 (exact time TBA)
City Neighbors Hamilton Campus: 5609 Sefton Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21214

Listening Session @ Jubilee Arts Baltimore
Wednesday, March 7, 5-6:30PM
1947 Pennsylvania Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217

Town Hall Meeting: Presentation of Draft Recommendations
Wednesday, April 18, 5-7PM
Location TBA

Presentation to the School Board of Commissioners
Tuesday, May 22, 6PM
200 E. North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21202



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