Arts Education as an Effective Response to the Covid-19 Crisis
Covid 19 has impacted our student populations in a multitude of ways including increasing isolation for students already marginalized by recent family immigration, English not being their native language, and cultural and social stigma due to their immigration status. Students impacted by food insecurity and those in the foster care systems have also needed to examine what it means to “shelter in place”. The role of arts education has taken on a new level of importance as schools and communities have urgently sought methods to increase student belonging during the pandemic. The current study provides data-driven results to equip school districts with evidence to improve social emotional learning in high trauma schools in times of crisis – a clear direction for educating our students for tomorrow.
Ivonne Chand O’Neal Ph.D. is the Founder and Principal of MUSE Research, a creativity and arts research firm providing arts impact assessment, research design, and arts and culture evaluation services for multinational companies. She also currently serves as Senior Research Fellow for Creativity Testing Services, a creativity assessment firm examining creativity with such organizations as Red Bull, Lego, and Disney. Prior to her current position, Chand O’Neal has served in a number of positions in the arts and culture sector including, Chief Research Strategist for Crayola, Director of Evaluation and Outcomes for VSA: The International Organization on Arts and Disability, and founding Director of Research and Evaluation for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where she created the Center’s first comprehensive research agenda of over 25 research studies designed to examine the impact of the arts on society on local, national, and international scales,. Her work has been featured by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Washington Post, and various news outlets. Her work in creativity research also led to her term as Associate Curator for the Museum of Creativity where she led in the development of exhibits and interactive experiences designed to make the public more creative. Chand O’Neal earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology with emphasis on creativity, arts integration, impact of the arts and culture sector on society, and program evaluation from Claremont Graduate University. She sits on the Board of Directors for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and the Editorial Boards of the Creativity Research Journal, and the Arts Education Journal. She also serves on the Research Advisory Board for the University of Pennsylvania’s Human Flourishing Initiative, the AP Research Development Committee for the College Board, and has worked actively with the entertainment industry (Disney Channel, NBC, TNBC) to increase creative thinking skills in educational television programs for children and teens. She has published multiple books and is currently working on a book series entitled, The Arts and Human Flourishing: New Approaches for Measuring Impact, A 3-Volume Compendium, focusing on .Social Emotional Learning (Vol. 1), Marginalized and Vulnerable Populations (Vol. 2), and Creative Placemaking (Vol. 3) (in press, Springer).
Lauren Shelton is the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the Chula Vista Elementary School District. Mrs. Shelton has a strong background in arts education and arts management. She has been a classroom teacher, music director for the San Diego Children’s Choir and Girl Scouts San Diego, and began the Community Opus Project with the San Diego Youth Symphony in 2010. Mrs. Shelton is implementing the return of the visual and performing arts to the Chula Vista Elementary School District using the district's investment of $18 million dollars to employ 94 arts teachers. She also serves as faculty for the Longy School of Music of Bard College Masters of Arts in Teaching program at the Los Angeles Campus. Mrs. Shelton is a member of the Arts Empower Steering Committee, the Chula Vista TedX Committee, and serves on the advisory board for Arts Bus Xpress. Lauren Shelton holds a California Teaching Credential, California Administrative Credential, and completed her Masters in Educational Leadership with a focus on Arts Integration and Common Core Standards Implementation with honors. In June 2015 she was a recipient of the Yale School of Music Distinguished Educator of the Year Award and most recently received the Outstanding Administrator Award from the California Music Educators Association at the state and local level.