Recognizing the Work of Becca Belleville, Arts Every Day’s Baltimore Arts Education Initiative Manager

Throughout the twenty months the Baltimore Arts Education Initiative Manager position has been in existence a substantial amount of work has been accomplished to further arts education accessibility for all Baltimore City Public Schools’ students. In partnership with the district, Arts Every Day has made significant strides in policy, programmatic, and community work that we can proudly say would not have been possible without the BAEI Manager.

  • The Fine Arts Plan was adopted by the district in 2018 and as a result, budget guidance was changed at the district level in early 2019 ensuring more students will be taught by certified arts educators in their respective schools.
  • The BAEI Manager partnered with Baltimore City Public Schools Office of Human Capital and the Office of Fine Arts to create and support a recruitment plan for arts educators. The work was successful in filling all vacancies for the 2019-2020 school year (a record which had not been accomplished in years prior), created higher education partnerships for future recruitment, changed recruitment and hiring practices at the district level, and aided in the creation of supports for conditionally certified arts educators to become traditionally certified and stay in the classroom with proper supports.
  • Arts teacher support was identified as a priority which resulted in collaboration with the Mentor Office in Baltimore City Public Schools to design and facilitate an AU granting professional development for first through third year arts educators in Baltimore City Public Schools that was a hybrid model requiring online and in-person participation. That model has since been adopted by the district moving forward.
Becca Bellevile at an arts teacher recruitment event
Arts teacher recruiting event
  • Aiding conditionally certified teachers in certification was identified as a priority and thus a partnership with higher ed, Baltimore City Public Schools, and arts organizations began to identify and create pathways for arts teachers to obtain the necessary credits to receive their standard professional certificate and remain in the classroom beyond their conditional licensure. 
  • Using staffing data from the 2018-2019 school year, the BAEI Manager was able to synthesize the numbers to reveal arts access numbers related to staffing and student enrollment, breaking down what access in hard numbers and percentages. The information was communicated to the community through a beautifully designed poster by Arts Every Day’s Communications and Development Coordinator Betty Gonzales. 
  • The Next Up! series was created in partnership with R. House to highlight the voices of local independent youth musicians and reveal the Arts Access Data. A youth curator, John Tyler, was hired to recruit and schedule other youth musicians for the R. House concert which took place on November 14, 2019 and will continue in the 2020-2021 school year.
  • The MECU Arts Challenge Fund, communicated and managed by the BAEI Manager, awarded $60,000 in arts supplies over the past two years to a total of 47 schools, 44 teachers, and 18,135 Baltimore City Public Schools’ students.
  • The BAEI Manager aided the Baltimore City Public Schools’ writing team in creating a visual arts curriculum that is student centered, culturally relevant, standards-aligned, and flexible centered on the Studio Habits of Mind and arts skills acquisition.
  • The need for student and teacher facing resources for the arts was identified. The BAEI Manager worked with over 18 artists and musicians to create 163 Jumprope videos teaching discrete arts skills in an accessible format designed for both teachers and students.
  • Highlighting local contemporary artists in student friendly language and formats was identified as a priority and thus the Baltimore Artist Series was born. Funded by the Deutsch Foundation, The Baltimore Artist Series profiles seven contemporary visual artists and musicians who live in, or lived in Baltimore, through a series of short, classroom friendly videos and teacher formatted one pagers. The artists are diverse both as people and their practices in order to illustrate how diverse the arts are in Baltimore.
Becca with Challenge Fund recipients
Delivering Challenge Fund materials to music teachers
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