Published: July 29th, 2020

ADE Releases “Arts and Physical Education Re-Entry: A Disciplined Approach to Active and Creative Learning”

In an effort to provide discipline specific guidance to arts and physical education content areas, ADE is excited to share that “Arts & Physical Education Re-entry A Disciplined Approach to Active and Creative Learning” has been released to be shared with the field! This document will be posted to ADE’s COVID19 Guidance and Suggestions Webpage in the upcoming weeks.

Over 85 arts and physical education practicioners from across the state created this guidance to provide content specific information & resources to the state. The document offers an in-depth look at arts & physical education re-entry considerations and builds upon early “AZ Arts and Physical Education Re-entry Guidelines” in the Roadmap for Reopening Schools released May 1st. Thank you to those who lent their expertise so that schools can intentionally plan for student and staff safety in arts and physical education programs in the upcoming year.


Posted in Spotlight, What's New In The Arts? | Tagged , , , , , |
Published: July 14th, 2020

LEA Applications to administer the State Seal of Arts Proficiency are now open!

LEA Applications to administer the State Seal of Arts Proficiency in the 2020-2021 School year are now open on the State Seal of Arts Proficiency Website.

The State Seal of Arts Proficiency celebrates students who demonstrate high levels of proficiency in the Arizona Arts Education Standards and promotes students’ college and career readiness, including preparation for active participation in Arizona’s creative industries sector. The seal is awarded to graduates who meet the minimum pathway requirements outlined in Arizona Administrative Code R7-2-321.

2020 LEA Applications to administer the State Seal of Arts Proficiency are due Tuesday September 15th by 11:59pm. Every LEA who wishes to participate must apply. LEAs who administered the program last year must resubmit materials yearly. LEAs will be notified of application status by Thursday October 15th at 8am. Questions? Email [email protected].

Thank you for considering implementing the Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency Program at your LEA. While there are many uncertainties this upcoming school year, student creativity & self-expression remains unwavering!

Take good care of one another,

ADE Arts Education

*State Seal of Arts Proficiency Design by Chole Ball from the Paradise Valley Unified School District

Posted in Opportunities, Spotlight | Tagged , , , |
Published: June 11th, 2020

Open Letter from Arts & Cultural Education Directors

Arts & Cultural Education Directors are prepared to innovate with schools in the fall to support the safety, emotional health, and academics of students. Click on the open letter image below see contact information of  education directors and find out more information about how they might support schools during this time. Arizona is a state with a vibrant ecosystem of innovative Arts/Culture/STEAM learning organizations.

Posted in Opportunities, Spotlight | Tagged , , , |
Published: May 29th, 2020

Congratulations 2020 High School Musical Theatre Award Winners

In an online ceremony Saturday night, musical performances from high schools across the state were celebrated during the ASU Gammage High School Musical Theatre Awards. If you missed the show, it is still available for viewing at 

Congratulations to everyone who was highlighted in the online ceremony. For those of you who had shows interrupted by COVID19, we share your disappointment & look forward to your return to the live stage during safer times. In the meantime, we have enjoyed the innovative ways your creativity & self expression live on during the pandemic.

A huge congratulations to everyone who participated in the show and congratulations to the following 2020 High School Musical Theatre Award Winners.


2019 – 2020 Winners

Best Musical

  • Chandler High School – All Shook Up

Best Lead Male and Female

  • Brach Drew – Marcos De Niza High School
  • Angelica Santana – Dobson High School

Best Supporting Male

  • Lucas Oland – Phoenix Country Day School

Best Supporting Female

  • Tyler Velarde – Saguaro High School

Best Vocalist

  • Nainoa Aguano – Chandler High School

Best Dance Ensemble

  • “Seize the Day” Dance Ensemble – Maricopa High School

Best Set and Prop

  • Presley Symington – Marcos De Niza High School

Best Lighting

  • The Chandler High Lighting Team – Chandler High School

Best Sound

  • The Chandler High Sound Team – Chandler High School

Best Hair and Make-up

  • Cara Richman – Desert Mountain High School

Best Costumes

  • Dorian Williams – Marcos De Niza High School

ASU Gammage Leadership Awards

  • Macey Clausen  – Casteel High School
  • Aunah Johnson – Shadow Mountain High School
  • Luke Morton – Williams Field High School
  • Jordan Wiener – Arizona School for the Arts

Excellence in Stage Management Award

  • Maya Channer – Shadow Mountain High School
  • Alysya Mitchell – Saguaro High School

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Published: May 12th, 2020

Arizona Dance Education Organization (AzDEO) Announces 2020 Dance Awardees & Scholarship Recipient

State Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Awardees

AzDEO is proud to announce that four students earned our state level Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement award: Carle Schield from Highland High School, Kamryn Smith from Desert Mountain High School, Tristan Hooks from Apollo High School, and Megan Barrie from Gilbert High School.

AzDEO adjudicates a state level Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award to any Arizona NHSDA High School student who applies to the National Dance Education Organization’s National Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award, the highest student dance award in the nation.

These students represent the best in dance and this award highlights their exemplary hard work, and the wonderful job our high school teachers do every day. Congratulations to these students and their teachers!

Romero-Wolf Scholarship Recipient

AzDEO is honored to announced that Eric Moreno, a student at Westview High School studying dance with McKenna Streett, has been awarded the Romero-Wolf Scholarship for continued study in Dance after High School.

The scholarship is given to a student who plans on continued study of dance after high school, and 1) plays an active role in school dance program at least 2 years; 2) demonstrates growth in dance performance and quality movement; 3) exhibits overall excellence in leadership for choreography, performance and dance company and organization roles; and 4) inspires others. Eric exemplified all of these qualities as a dancer, and we are sure he will be successful in his dance career.

The Romero-Wolf was begun by Michelle Taylor of Taylor’d Dance in 2010. The Romero Wolf Scholarship honors Michelle’s mentor/teacher, Margie Wolf.  To honor the legacy that Michelle began, AzDEO is continuing to fund this scholarship.

Posted in Arts Associations Updates, Spotlight | Tagged , , , |
Published: May 4th, 2020

Arizona Department of Education Awards 585 Graduates with the State Seal of Arts Proficiency

ADE Arts Education extends a tremendous congratulations to the 585 graduates awarded the Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency!

Learn more about this year’s graduates of the program by reading the one-page: 2019-2020 Arizona State Seal of Arts Proficiency Year End Report

Arizona Department of Education Awards State Seal of Arts Proficiency to 585 Graduating Seniors

Posted in Spotlight, State of the Arts | Tagged , , , , |
Published: April 22nd, 2020

Online Exhibition- One World: Out of Many, We Are One

How about some student artwork that spreads messages of togetherness and hope? Take a trip to this fantastic online art exhibition hosted by Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation.

Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation launched its first online exhibition in partnership with SUSD high school visual arts students, Scottsdale Artists’ School, and Scottsdale Sister Cities. The exhibition, entitled One World: Out of Many, We Are One, highlights work from nearly 40 youth from schools in Scottsdale. This year’s theme asked students to explore creative ways that we create peace through people-to-people interaction and to think about the ways different nations come together during a time of physical separation… quite timely given where we are today.

Featured Artwork: Eike Mussig Contreras Saguaro High School & Allison Zhang Chaparral High School


Posted in Spotlight, What's New In The Arts? | Tagged , , , |
Published: January 14th, 2020

New Data Sheds Light on Access to Arts Education in Arizona Schools

access to arts education increases statewide but lags in rural, tribal, and low-income communities. 

According to a new report on access to arts education in Arizona public and charter schools during the 2017-2018 school year, access increased by 4% to 88% since the last published report. Over 130,000 students are estimated to remain without access to arts education.

Download the Full Executive Summary, One Page Highlights, or explore the Online Interactive Dashboard to learn more about who has access and who enrolls in arts education courses in Arizona Schools.

The Data

The data reflect both access (the presence of a course of instruction in at least one arts discipline) and participation (student enrollment).

Additionally, the analysis considers such variables as

  • school configuration (Elementary, Middle, or High School),
  • school type (traditional public or charter),
  • locale (urban, suburban, rural, etc., based on classification codes devised by National Center for Education Statistics)
  • Number of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, and
  • School Majority Race/Ethnicity

Key Findings: Access to Arts Instruction

Access is the lowest threshold measure for arts education. It is used to determine if a school offers at least one arts discipline with any student enrollment. This only indicates presence of program, not breadth, and is used primarily to determine where schools may be operating without arts instruction.

  • While 88% of all students have access to some arts instruction, only 71% of students in grades K-8 had access to both Music and Art as requirement by state education code during the period covered by the report.
  • The number of students without access to arts instruction decreased 4% between 2015 and 2018.
  • The proportion of students without access to any arts courses was greatest in schools where more than 75% of students are eligible to receive Free/Reduced Price.
  • Student access to the two required arts disciplines (Art and Music) for elementary and middle schools (K-8) is lowest in schools where more than 75% of students receive Free/Reduced Price Lunch (69%).
  • While Public Schools represent 83% of the population they represent 60% of the “no arts” student population whereas Charter Schools represent 17% of the overall student population they hold 40% of the “no arts” students.

Key Findings: Participation in Arts Instruction

  • 71% of all students participated in arts education courses.
  • Music and Art are the most widely available of the arts disciplines and have the highest participation rates—45% and 52%, respectively—among the five artistic disciplines.
  • Student participation varies only slightly between Traditional schools and Charter schools. In traditional schools, 73% of students are enrolled in the arts as compared to 60% for Charter schools.

The following chart highlights where participation in arts education is highest and lowest based on specific characteristics:

Highest Arts Participation Rates Lowest Arts Participation Rates
High Poverty (Free Lunch Students 76%+) Mid-High Poverty (Free Lunch Students 51%-75%)
City (mid-size) City (small)
Majority Race/Ethnicity is White Majority Race/Ethnicity is American Indian
Traditional Public Schools Charter Schools
Elementary Schools High Schools

The full Executive Summary Report can be found at

The Data Explorer Dashboard

Beyond the Executive Summary Report, Arizonans can explore the data through an easy-to-use interactive online dashboard at With intuitive controls and myriad visualization options, this powerful tool allows users to venture deep into the data, following whatever path they choose, including statewide geographic comparisons; county-, district-, and school-level reporting, and year-over changes in enrollment, to name just a few.

According to Elisa Radcliffe, the Arts Commission’s Arts Learning Manager, “This tool provides a picture of where Arizona’s schools currently stand, allowing school leaders, parents and advocates to ensure that every child in Arizona can participate in the arts.”

Arizonans Respond

Among those taking a close look at the picture presented by the report is Joseph Benesh, Executive Director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts, a statewide advocacy network that partnered with AZ DOE and the Arts Commission to sponsor the research with funding from Americans for the Arts.

“Every study ever done reports the same data: children do better when the arts are a robust part of their education: they develop more self-confidence; they graduate at higher rates; they perform better in school and in life,” said Benesh, referring to data such as that reported by Americans for the Arts ( showing that students who took four years of arts and music classes while in high school scored an average of 92 points higher on their SATs than students who took only one-half year or less.

“I worry about the +/- 30% of our children who are missing out on those benefits. All of our children deserve better than a C grade in access to a well-rounded education,” said Benesh.

According to a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs ( on behalf of Americans for the Arts in 2018, Arizonans feel very strongly about the value of arts education. 92% of Arizonans agree that the arts are part of a well-rounded education while 80% say the arts help students perform better academically.

Posted in Spotlight, State of the Arts, Uncategorized, What's New In The Arts? | Tagged , , , , |
Published: November 1st, 2019

2019 Biosecurity Poster Contest Winners Announced


The ASU Biodesign Institute honored 25 students on Tuesday October 29th 2019 in a reception for the Biosafety Poster Competition. This year’s 2019 Biodesign Poster Contest participants recieved awards in four categories for posters illustrating their understanding of Biosecurity and Biosafety. Winning students came from Porter Elementary School, Northwest Christian School and Chaparral Elementary School. For a complete list of winners see the list below. Congratulations to this year’s winners of the 2019 Biosecurity Poster Contest!


What does Biosafety Mean?

  • Third Place Winners: Olivia Jodray & Chance Wickham, Porter Elementary School
  • Second Place Winners: Ameire Auguste, Sophia Ciganick & Ashton Neal, Porter Elementary School
  • First Place Winners: Torrey Klein, Sophie Mendoza, & Ariel Gordon, Porter Elementary School

Germ Prevention

  • Third Place Winner: Brisbane Bushbaum, Northwest Christian School
  • Second Place Winner: Sarah Beth Engle, Northwest Christian School
  • First Place Winner: Hannah Sabo, Northwest Christian School

Wash Your Hands

  • Third Place Winner: Reese Hunt, Northwest Christian School
  • Second Place Winner: Lila Sands, Northwest Christian School
  • First Place Winners: Gillian Bauer, Northwest Christian School

Staying Healthy Tips

  • Third Place Winner: Presley Davy, Northwest Christian School
  • Second Place Winner: Ella Bridges, Northwest Christian School
  • First Place Winners: Ephriam Graves, Xavier Jackson, Tyler Shad, Porter Elementary School

Honorable Mentions

  • Germ Prevention: Maecyn Huizinga & Sarah Jakubowski Northwest Christian
  • Staying Healthy Tips: Luke Perales & Bentley Kavlie, Northwest Christian
  • What does Biosafety Mean?: Alexis Encinas, Chaparral School

Grand Prize Winners

  • Torrey Klein, Sophie Mendoza & Ariel Gordon, Porter Elementary School


Posted in Spotlight, Uncategorized, What's New In The Arts? |