Advocates took to City Hall in Los Angeles last week in hopes of raising awareness for arts education in public schools. In order to keep arts programs alive in classrooms, the “Arts Matter” campaign has set out to fundraise a total of $4 million.
“Here in the world’s creative capital we should ensure all of our students receive a comprehensive, integrated arts education,” the campaign’s leader told the Los Angeles Times. “I think we owe it to the parents to bring this back to the schools.”
The struggle to keep arts alive and well in public school systems is not unique to Los Angeles. Vans is now in its fourth year of promoting the importance of arts in schools with its “Custom Culture Mission.” The company describes this program as aiming to have high school students “embrace their creativity and draw attention to the importance of art as an integral part of our schools’ focus in the face of shrinking budgets.”
Beyond Los Angeles education officials and shoe companies, there is a strong awareness campaign taking place on social media channels. In fact, I found links to the above two initiatives through the Twitter hashtag #ArtsMatter.
— LACMA (@LACMA) January 9, 2013
I’m happy to report that there are plenty of organizations taking to Twitter and Facebook in hopes of keeping arts in schools.
I was recently asked to speak with Lincoln Center Institute (LCI) about the social media landscape in relation to arts education. While researching for my discussion with the educational arm of Lincoln Center, I decided to assemble a few tips for those interested in joining the arts education conversation on Twitter.
Arts Education Social Media Resources:
Twitter Accounts to Follow
I have created this Twitter list for you to either follow or pick and chose those you are interested in directly following: http://twitter.com/SimsJames/arts-education
For a broader education group of Twitter users, try here: http://wefollow.com/interest/education
Below you will find a list of active hashtags used for education-related chats on Twitter. For a more complete list, look here: http://edudemic.com/2012/09/twitter-hashtags-now/
#artsed – Arts education chat
#afterschoolworks – After school programs
#4thchat – Fourth grade teachers chat on Mondays at 8pm ET
#cpchat – Connected Principals
#cr8edu – Creative education ideas/stories/resources
#earlyed – Early education
#edapp – Educational apps
#edchat – Global education discussions
#edreform – Educational reform and change
#edtech – Technology for educational purposes
#musedchat – For music educators
#profdev – Teacher development
Social Media Strategy
Time must be dedicated to researching and developing a proper social media strategy for your organization. Begin by observing the hashtag conversations and following like-minded individuals on Twitter (links above) to see how they are using social media. The hardest part is getting started, so get to it!