Michigan Selected for National Arts Education Initiative

Creative Many is proud to be the lead organization in a cohort receiving three years of funding from Americans for the Arts (AFTA) for their State Policy Pilot Program (SP3). Other partners include the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan State Board of Education, Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency’s Education for the Arts, and the Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment. Michigan is 1 of only 10 states selected by AFTA to take part in this first-of-its-kind national initiative to advance arts education policy.

The Michigan SP3 team seeks to reestablish the Arts Education Roundtable, a valuable collaborative of more than 15 organizations that in the past, has worked together to advance arts education policy in Michigan. With input from the Arts Education Roundtable and others, they will develop a draft policy agenda. In addition, they hope to conduct research on the current status of arts education in Michigan and will implement a comprehensive statewide communications strategy to advance understanding of the powerful role of arts education as an essential component to a well-rounded education.

Never has there been a more critical time to join the fight for arts education for ALL Michigan students. Sign up below to get updates on the SP3 program and learn how you can take part in this unique opportunity.

Get a full copy of the Michigan Strategy Document.

Michigan State Team Members

  • John Austin, President, Michigan State Board of Education
  • Chad Badgero, Arts Education Program Officer for the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs
  • Ana Luisa Cardona, Arts education consultant, Michigan Arts Education Instruction and Assessment project (MAEIA) 
  • Mary Head, Department Analyst for the Office of Improvement & Innovation, Michigan Department of Education
  • Megan Schrauben, Integrated Instruction Consultant within the office of Curriculum and Instruction, Michigan Department of Education
  • Sarah Triplett, Director of Public Policy, Creative Many Michigan
  • Bryan Zocher, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency’s Education for the Arts


April 2016 – Members of the SP3 team met with State Superintendent Brian Whitson.

May 2016 – Members of the SP3 team met with Deputy Superintendent Norma Jean Sass.

June 7, 2016 – Led by Creative Many, the Michigan SP3 team hosted an Arts Education Summit which brought together more than 55 of the leading arts education advocates, educators, administrators, community, government, and foundation leaders in Michigan. This event was facilitated by Erin Skene-Pratt, a consultant with a professional background in developing policy and advocacy agendas. Speakers for the Summit included; Jeff Poulin from Americans for the Arts, Martin Ackley from the Michigan Department of Education and John Austin who serves as President of the State Board of Education, among others. During the Arts Education Summit, advocates had an opportunity to learn about what’s working in other states, what current policy changes are underway in Michigan, and vote on policy recommendations they would like to see enacted. Based on input from the summit, a survey will be created and distributed to ask individuals and organizations across Michigan to prioritize and select the final policy recommendations for consideration by lawmakers.

Sign up to get updates about this effort or contact Sarah Triplett, Director of Public Policy at Creative Many by email at sarah@creativemany.org or phone at (517) 599-7784.