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For Immediate Release

Creative Sonoma Announces Grant Awards to Six Public School Districts

Funding Provided by the Hewlett Foundation and the California Arts Council

November 02, 2023

Creative Sonoma is pleased to announce that $35,000 in grant awards have been awarded to six
public school districts in Sonoma County to support access to more arts education by creating a
district-wide Strategic Arts Plans or producing Student Arts Showcases. These grants, from Creative Sonoma’s Arts Education Framework Grants Program, will allow districts to get the help they need to make arts education an essential component of their work to create a better future for their students. Planning grantee school districts are Geyserville, Healdsburg, Old Adobe, and Waugh. The districts awarded Showcase grants are Sonoma Valley and Windsor.

“There is significant evidence indicating that an arts-rich education improves student outcomes,”
said Supervisor Chris Coursey, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “These grants offer access to both funding and professional services to help school districts be intentional about incorporating arts into their student’s curriculum and overall school experience.”

Planning grantees each received $8.000 to write a customized Strategic Arts Plan with a district
leadership team and utilize arts education consultants. Their work will be based on the countywide
arts education master plan, “The Sonoma County Arts Education Framework.” Showcase grantees
each received $1,500 to produce an in-person Student Arts Showcase, featuring student work in the arts and utilize local artists in the Showcase.

In all, thirteen Sonoma County school districts will have created arts plans that chart a course for
more sequential, comprehensive arts education. Arts education is mandated by California Education Code for grades 1-12. (Sections 51210, 51220) Discrete art learning is a high school requirement for admission to University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) as the “F” requirement in A-G.

Districts with arts plans will be better prepared for new arts education funding coming in 2024. Prop 28, legislation known as Arts and Music in Schools, was passed by California voters in November 2022. Approximately $9.5 million will be allocated to Sonoma County public schools every year.

Prop 28 will be the largest investment in arts education in the United States. The funding will
be used for supplemental arts programs to address current gaps in instruction, not to
replace current funding sources, and will come with annual accountability measures.

This is the fourth round of funding that has provided grants and professional consulting to
county schools and districts and has impacted over 24,000 students. Additionally, Creative
Sonoma and the Sonoma County Arts Education Alliance are actively engaged in providing
networking, trainings, and information services to schools, parents, and the arts community
to ensure that all students in Sonoma County have access to arts education.

Creative Sonoma is a division of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board, and is dedicated to supporting and advancing the creative community of Sonoma County. Please visit for more.


Debbie Yarrow