Friday, June 3, 2016

Napa County's First-Ever Arts Education Master Plan Unanimously Approved



Community-wide effort led by Arts Council Napa Valley,
Festival Napa Valley and NVUSD creates unprecedented
arts education access
for public school students

June 3, 2016, Napa, Calif., – Arts Council Napa Valley (ACNV), along with partners Festival Napa Valley and the Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD), is proud to announce the Napa Valley Unified Board of Education’s unanimous approval of the Arts Education Master Plan (AEMP), a five-year visual and performing arts initiative to provide opportunity, access and equity to all students.

Thanks to the hard work of our educators and the Alliance partners, every student, from our pre-schoolers through high school seniors, will now have access to quality, culturally relevant music, visual arts, dance, theater, and media courses. These disciplines provide our youth with skills and experiences that support collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Skills that will be of use for the rest of their lives," said NVUSD Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sweeney.

Almost four years in the making, the Arts Education Master Plan was inspired by Arts Council Napa Valley’s vision for equitable countywide arts education access. In 2013 Arts Council Napa Valley created the ACNV Education Alliance to assess the state of and build support for arts education in Napa County. In November 2015, a $50,000 grant from Festival Napa Valley propelled the ACNV Education Alliance and NVUSD to commission the plan, which presents a comprehensive framework for the development of the TK-12 sequential, standards-based arts education curriculum. It is the first ever arts education master plan in Napa County.

Of the decision to join ACNV and NVUSD in enhancing arts education for public school students in the Napa Valley, Sonia Tolbert, General Manager of Festival Napa Valley stated, "We believe that art in all its forms has the power to transform lives. Since its inception, the festival has been committed to making the arts accessible to everyone in the community and supporting arts education is central to this commitment. Festival Napa Valley is honored to have played a key role in this initiative that ensures equitable access to arts education so that all students can have the opportunity to create, explore and thrive.”

NVUSD Superintendent Dr. Patrick Sweeney recently announced the appointment of Chuck Neidhoefer as the Visual & Performing Arts Coordinator. Neidhoefer will serve as the point person to lead the charge on sustaining and growing arts education opportunities for all students, which includes overseeing a team of arts educators to design the curriculum during the 2016/2017 school year.

This new administrative position is being co-funded through a pledge to raise $150,000 over three years by ACNV, Festival Napa Valley, Napa Valley Education Foundation and others.

Many private entities have come together to make this possible, including premier funder Festival Napa Valley, and Arts Council Napa Valley, Napa Valley Education Foundation, Napa Valley Community Foundation, Sato Family Foundation, and Notes for Education.



About Arts Council Napa Valley
Arts Council Napa Valley is a non-profit arts advocacy agency that promotes, supports and connects the local creative community in Napa County.  For more information, please visit

About Arts Council Education Alliance
In 2013 Arts Council Napa Valley created the ACNV Education Alliance to assess the state of arts education in Napa County. The public-private alliance is made up of teachers, students, art administrators and organizations who worked tirelessly to understand the local arts education landscape and identify gaps that needed to be addressed.

About Festival Napa Valley
Festival Napa Valley is committed to making the arts accessible to all. Blending the beauty and bounty of Napa Valley with the very finest performing arts, the festival pairs world-class performances with culinary and wine pursuits staged in iconic wine country settings. The annual summer celebration of the art of life has transformed Napa Valley into a cultural destination. Festival Napa Valley is presented by Napa Valley Festival Association, a nonprofit public benefit corporation governed by a board of prominent vintners and local leaders.

Media Contact:
Danielle Smith
[email protected]