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2021 NJ School Board Candidate Survey
For the 7th year, Arts Ed NJ has offered all candidates for School Board the opportunity to share their views about arts education with voters in their district as a public service as part of the Arts Ed Now campaign.

All school board candidates in the state have received an invitation by mail and several email communications. 

See where YOUR School Board 
Candidates stand!
A statewide network of organizations, including Arts Ed NJ, ArtPride New Jersey, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Art Educators of New Jersey, New Jersey Music Educators Association, Dance New Jersey, Speech and Theatre Association of New Jersey and many others will promote the link to thousands of prospective voters. 

This will provide voters an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of each candidate’s views on arts education. 
YOU Can make an impact on arts education funding in your district!

School Boards are getting ready to meet to plan the 2022/23 budgets NOW, so get ready to advocate for your programs.

Get the NEW School Budget Process Guide to start your plan today:
  • Get Tips and Reality Checks that will help you along the way
  • Step-by-Step roadmap of actions
  • Sample timeline you can follow to stay on track
I Support the Arts and I Vote!

View survey responses for insight on candidates' positions on arts support
It's not too early to think about what decisions you will make in November when all New Jersey legislative seats, including governor, are looking for your vote.

Each year, ArtPride distributes surveys to all incumbent legislators and challengers in order to inform New Jerseyans about the candidates' positions on the arts. More than 75candidates have respon ded to our 2021 survey, including Governor Murphy. The answers reveal their positions on future state arts support, as well as their personal involvement and support for the arts all over the state.

From our Friends at ArtPride NJ
On Oct. 15, 2021, the Arts Education for All Act (H.R. 5581) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). Additional original sponsors include Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Teresa Leger Fernández (D-NM), both ardent arts and culture champions. This legislation is endorsed by Grantmakers in the Arts, National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), Americans for the Arts, the Arts Action Fund, and nearly 300 other organizations. Read the press release from Rep. Bonamici as well as a bill summary and the full text of the legislation.

The Arts Education for All Act, the broadest arts education policy bill ever introduced in Congress, includes key provisions that will support and encourage the offering of arts education and programming experiences to Americans including our youngest learners, K-12 students, and youth impacted by the juvenile justice system. Crucially, the bill also will include provisions that would allow for rigorous arts and arts education research to be carried out to further inform how elementary and secondary education in our country can be improved. 

Mount Holly School District

"Theatre is back stronger than ever! It's great to have students back in school, and I'm thrilled that they get to experience theatre class in person. We've taken quite a pause but now I'm back full force teaching theatre at the middle school, directing the holiday show at the elementary school, and working as the company manager of the fall musical and spring play at the high school.

My middle school students are currently exploring the parts of a stage and have been practicing using stage directions to navigate their classmates through a “minefield.” My cast of 3rd and 4th graders have started working on the holiday show Crazy Carols! Rehearsals for Pippin have been in full swing since September and we just concluded our Krispy Kreme fundraiser (yum!) I can’t wait to start working on my middle school’s spring musical Willy Wonka Jr!"

Abigail Gardner
Middle School Theatre Educator/Musical Director
Mount Holly School District
New Brunswick High School
What an exciting year so far! It is so great to be back in person teaching this year. I just transferred to the High School from the Middle school this year. I love being able to see my previous students and having them back in my class. Being able to see the students create and have engaging conversations in class is so important and meaningful.

Danielle Fleming
Art Educator/Art Club Advisor
New Brunswick High School

Instagram: @nbhs_ms.fleming
1 month done… 9 more to go! Our first month has been full of so many wonderful traditions and experiences.

Check out our:
♦️ Back to school boomies
♦️ Human knot community building
♦️ Goal setting celebration
♦️ Master class with our partners @trentonartsatprinceton
♦️ New dance attire (with sewing support from Ms. Ciobanu )
♦️ Return to technique classes
♦️ Dance III’s tradition: Advice video for Dance I

Make sure to follow us on all of our social media pages to witness our work!
P.S. We love being back in our beautiful home, the dance studio!

Elizabeth Rose Zwierzynski B.F.A., Ed.M
Dance Educator
Visual & Performing Arts Academy
Call for Photos: 
NJ Arts Student & Arts Educators
Interested in sharing your story?

Don't forget to TAG @artsednj in your social posts!
Amplifying the voices of arts educators and providing the space for community, support and creativity.

Check out our Student Voices Roundtable Series!
Our 1st Arts Educator Roundtable!



Performing Arts Aerosol Study: A Conversation on Mitigations for Fall 2021
Join Save The Music Foundation and the Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional Learning for the free webinar series Student Empowerment Through SEL in Music Education about embedding social emotional learning into the music classroom. The next episode is on November 10 (registration required).

“SEL For Equity & Vitality Through Music Education”
Wednesday, November 10 at 7-8 pm ET
Featuring Dr. Connie McKoy and Mickey Smith Jr.
When we look into a music classroom or musical learning space, what are the signs we can look for to know students are engaged and getting what they need to become empowered to express, create, and just be? In this episode, Dr. Connie McKoy and Mickey Smith Jr. will explore creating spaces for music education where the signs to look for are vitality, equity, joy, and student empowerment. They will share and discuss models for making these social and emotional outcomes intentional, embedded, and sustained routines and learning community practices.
Webinars are free to attend and tailored for music educators but are also relevant for student musicians, parents and families, as well as music education advocates. All those interested in social emotional learning in music education are welcome to join. 

Registration is required to attend each webinar. A certificate of hours for professional development participation will be made available for attendees after each session. 

Learn more about the Student Empowerment Through SEL in Music Education webinar series and watch past episodes on demand.

After a successful inaugural year with nearly 2000 students and schools from all 21 counties in the state participating, we are happy to announce our return with our upcoming Winter Festival!

We will once again be in collaboration with Music For All, Competition Suite and the Wisconsin Music Educators Association who were so very integral in the successes of our first year's events! We are proud to have them back on board as we look to continue to grow and improve for our students and music educators! Additionally, we will be working with many of New Jersey’s leading state, regional and local music education non-profit organizations!

As we gathered feedback from our student participants, music educators, parents and adjudicators, we are making updates and revisions in our registration process, repertoire list availability, scholarship opportunities, rules, guidelines and event information! 

The site will be available on October 1st for educators and students to review with enough time to prepare for the registration and submission process.

Here is the timeline for the Winter Festival:

  • 11/19 - 12/20 : Registration Period
  • 1/3/22 - 1/16/22 :Student Videos and PDFs Uploaded to Competition Suite
  • 1/17/22 - 1/31/22 - Adjudication Period
  • 2/1/22: Ratings and Commentaries Released on Competition Suite

Here is the timeline for the Spring Festival:

  • 3/14/22 - 4/15/22: Registration Period
  • 5/1/22 - 5/15/22: Student Videos and PDFs Uploaded to Competition Suite
  • 5/16/22 - 5/31/22: Adjudication Period
  • 6/1/22: Ratings and Commentaries Released on Competition Suite

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Dennis Argul, Director of the NJ State Solo and Ensemble Festival, at:
The performing arts are engaging and entertaining—for the performers and audience! Speech, debate, music and theatre—the performing arts are full of spirit! Like this post to thank the state associations that sponsor these events. #HSActivitiesMonth
The Arts Professional Learning Institute (APLI) application is now open to teaching artists and arts educators/administrators or live or work in NJ.

This paid opportunity provides professional learning that is arts-based and focused on inclusion of all students. Application is due November 19.

Apply now for your chance to attend workshops on mental health for the creator/educator, how to talk about race in the classroom, creative play for all ages, and more.

Guidelines and workshop descriptions available at
SAVE THE DATE for our 3 day teaching Artists convening Our Shared Future
On Dec. 7-9, 2021, you’re invited to a free virtual event designed for, by and with teaching artists. Co-hosted by the Teaching Artists GuildArts Education PartnershipNational Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Education and Hewlett Foundation, “Our Shared Future: Imagining a New Landscape for Teaching Artists” will feature sessions that dig into the current realities and hopeful futures of teaching artistry. Registration opening soon.
Award-Winning Artists on the Essential Role of Arts in Education
Versatile actor/director/producer Tony Plana and country music superstar Trisha Yearwood contribute to October’s ASBJ with insights on the importance of the arts in schools. Plana discusses how the performing arts help students handle social-emotional issues. Yearwood recalls her musical journey and the impact of music education.
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