Archive for May, 2010

The Art of Beer: How One Business Brews Creativity

May 26, 2010

By Chris Cochran, Community Affairs, Stone Brewing Co.

Located in a unique facility that you must see to appreciate, the Stone Brewing Co. is known for making big character beers and for doing so in a very uncompromising manner. When visiting our brewing complex it’s easy to understand the influence of the arts just by looking around. From the eclectic architecture to the incredible food to the amazing beers, the work of creative minds is evident.

Did the welder building the brewery think that was going to be his career when he was eight? Doubtful. Did the chef think when he was ten years old that he’d be creating unique, organic items for a cutting edge restaurant later in life? Probably not. Did the architect grow up thinking he’d win design awards for creating one of the most challenging projects of his life? Dubious. And did the brewer sit in school dreaming of how he’d create the next great beer recipe? Unlikely.

What all those people did do was attend a school that had art programs and art classes. Art programs are vitally important to schools and to education because they do much more than simply teach people how to paint, draw or weld. They nurture creativity, problem solving, and innovation. These skills can lead to a variety of careers, and at the same time they shape our community and enrich our lives.

Currently many art programs in our school systems are in jeopardy of being cut back, or eliminated altogether. As local communities struggle to find a voice, and struggle to make ends meet, it is a shame that one of the things that could come to the rescue down the road is being taken away. But there is hope. Hope in you, in your neighbor, and in your neighborhood businesses and organizations.

That’s why the Stone Brewing Co. supports local, regional, and national non-profit organizations, including many within the arts and education realms. If you’re a patron of the arts in the San Diego region, or work in education, then you’ve probably been to an event that was serving donated Stone Brewing beer. Last month, Stone was proud to partner with the California Alliance for Arts Education to host an event for Escondido parents, teachers, art, business, and community leaders. These kinds of creative partnerships can build support for the arts.

We’re glad to be a part of a community that appreciates creativity and we hope you’ll join us in working to keep it that way. We all have the ability to demonstrate our support of the arts…we all have a voice…make your voice heard!

What Exactly Does the Superintendent of Public Instruction Do?

May 13, 2010

The Survey: This month, the California Alliance for Arts Education conducted a survey of candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction. It asked candidates to respond to go on record about a variety of issues related to arts education, including access, assessment and workforce preparation. The survey is intended to provide voters with information about how these candidates might impact arts education policy and implementation as superintendent. As we work to get the word out, many people have asked us, a little shyly, what does the State Superintendent of Education actually do?

California’s Education leadership is set up a bit differently than many other states’ and bears explanation. In most states, there is one elected official who oversees policy and administration, but in California there are two separate offices:

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is elected on a nonpartisan ballot for a four year term, runs the Department of Education and reports to:

The Secretary of Education, who is appointed by the Governor and serves as his primary education advisor and a member of his cabinet. The Secretary of Education works with the State Board of Education to develop the Administration’s education policy initiatives and is responsible for spearheading all Administration-sponsored legislation for education. The State Board of Education has eleven members, including one student member, all appointed by the Governor.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction, who is elected on a nonpartisan ballot for a four-year term, runs the Department of Education, which implements education policy, overseeing California’s more than 9000 schools. As such, the Superintendent and the Department of Education are closely connected to what actually happens in classrooms.

As the highest elected education official, the Superintendent brings a mandate from the public on education issues, with broad powers to intervene in failing schools, set and enforce curriculum standards and interpret education law. Their leadership on particular education issues can help pave the way for their successful implementation and success in local districts.

The Superintendent also serves as an ex officio member of governing boards of the state’s higher education system. The current Superintendent of Public Instruction is Jack O’Connell.

The Election: The primary will be held June 8, 2010. Assuming there is a runoff for this office in the November election, the Alliance will continue to raise arts education as a priority issue in this election in a variety of forums. We will keep you informed as we move forward with those efforts.

More Questions? If you have a questions about the survey, the SPI or the election, post them below and we’ll do our best to answer them.