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Using Data to Increase Access and Equity in Arts Education: A Funders Briefing on the California Arts Education Data Project

Thursday, June 1, 2017 -
8:00pm to 9:15pm UTC
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Philanthropy California (Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers and Southern California Grantmakers) invite you to participate in an interactive webinar exploring the powerful role of new statewide data in increasing equity and access to arts education across the state. The California Arts Education Data Project, which reports and analyzes school-level data on arts education courses in grades 6–12, is a joint effort of Create CA (California’s statewide arts education coalition), the California Department of Education, and the Arts Education Data Project.

During this webinar, private and public funders will explore the Data Project’s first-of-its-kind suite of tools, which identify what’s working and where gaps exist, and their potential impacts on arts education funding strategies, including:

  • Jason Spencer, Principal Advisor to the State Superintendent, will navigate through the interactive, online mapping dashboard created to analyze school-level data on arts education courses and middle and high school enrollment across the state.
  • Pat Wayne, Program Director, Create CA, will share the tools and resources that support school districts in exploring and improving their data.
  • Denise Grande, Director of Arts Education for LA County, will preview survey results from the LA County Arts Commission’s countywide data initiative, the Arts Education Profile, which enhances existing state level data and will serve as the new baseline for measuring arts education in LA County over time.
  • Jessica Mele, Program Officer in Performing Arts at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will identify and analyze trends in the data that can inform arts education funding strategies.

We also encourage participants to engage in the conversation by sharing their comments and questions in real time @NorCalGrant #NCG2017.


REGISTER NOW! After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have any questions, please contact Karla Mercado at or (213) 680-8866 ext 216.


Denise Grande is Director of Arts Education at the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. She develops strategies for bringing about systemic change in school districts to implement quality K-12 arts education in LA County. She oversees a 100+ partner coalition and cultivates partnerships to expand support in all areas. Grande represents Arts for All locally, which provides specialized coaching services to school districts. Previously, Grande was Director of Programs and Strategic Partnership for the Metropolitan Opera Guild at Lincoln Center. During her 20 years at the Performing Arts Center of LA County, she helped lead program design, implementation, research, and evaluation. Grande received her B.A. from UCLA in dance and was a Coro Fellow through California Arts Council’s Arts Leadership Fellow Program.

Jessica Mele is a Program Officer in Performing Arts at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She manages a diverse portfolio of grants, with a particular focus on arts education advocacy and policy. Previously, Mele was Executive Director at Performing Arts Workshop, an arts education organization in San Francisco. During that time, she was also an active arts education advocate, serving on the executive committee of the Arts Provider’s Alliance of San Francisco, the steering committee of the Alameda Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, and the national advisory council of Teaching Artist’s Guild. Mele holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and French studies from Smith College and a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jason Spencer is the Principal Advisor to State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson. He holds a Master’s of Public Administration from USC and Bachelor Degrees in Sociology and Political Science from Sonoma State University. Spencer started his career in the Legislature as part of the Senate Fellows program in 2006. In addition to serving on then-Senator Torlakson’s legislative team, he was Senior Policy Advisor to the Superintendent during his first term as State Superintendent. Spencer has also served as Executive Director of the 501c3 Vasconcellos Legacy Project and has worked for a private firm lobbying for informal science education institutions and other education sector non-profits. He has a personal passion for the Arts and is a longtime advocate for more Arts education in California schools.

Pat Wayne is the Program Director of CREATE CA, California’s Statewide Arts Education Coalition. CREATE CA works to ensure all students are able to reach their full potential by advancing an educational model that promotes innovation and creativity. Prior to joining CREATE CA, Pat served as Deputy Director of Arts Orange County, the county-wide arts council. She has held the positions of Manager of Community Programs for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Deputy Director of the Columbus Arts Council (Ohio), and Managing Director of MoMing Dance Center (Chicago) and Merrimack Regional Theatre (Boston). Wayne has a teaching credential and a Master’s degree in Performing Arts Administration.


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