Drawing Lessons from the Studio to School Initiative


The 18 Studio to School projects were incredibly varied, representing a vast range of approaches, disciplines and community contexts. Every project had the same focus at its core: to provide students with high-quality arts education opportunities.

Arts education provided by Studio to School projects

In the Studio to School projects, arts education occurred through sequential, integration and exposure-based approaches, both during and outside of the school day. Some teams developed and improved new opportunities; others strengthened and expanded existing programming. Many also provided valuable arts education opportunities for educators; a few even focused primarily on working with educators rather than with students.

Every Studio to School project team worked diligently to improve arts education programming throughout the five years of the Initiative. Some focused on improving existing school programming, often by offering additional instruction for students or professional development for teachers, school leaders or teaching artists. Others refined programming as they built or expanded it, usually in response to feedback from students, teachers and parents.

Types of Arts Education Provided by Studio to School Projects

In-school and out-of-school projects
New arts education programs
Expanded—and more equitable—access to arts education
Better pathways for arts learning
Arts education opportunities for educators
Taking a hybrid approach

Mural at Ashland Middle School (Ashland Art Center).

Improving arts education through Studio to School

By working on arts learning program quality, the projects demonstrated their commitment to continuous improvement; they applied what they learned to adapt and improve their efforts throughout the Initiative.

Improvement efforts often included investing in high-quality materials and equipment (including instruments, visual arts supplies, and technology). Many project teams also transformed physical spaces to be more conducive to undertaking or celebrating arts learning. Many also updated or improved their curriculum or systematized processes to facilitate embedding arts education in the school.

In some projects, improvement entailed expanded opportunities for students to engage with the broader community, work on collaborative projects, and grapple with real-world challenges through the arts. Often, project teams incorporated student leadership and voice in ways that strengthened student investment and engagement in arts programming.

Spotlight on Studio to School Projects

All 18 Studio to School projects endeavored to tailor high-quality arts education to their organizational, school and community strengths and needs, using a wide range of approaches to deliver arts education across a range of disciplines.

The stories spotlighted in the boxes below represent just a portion of the hard work successes and challenges of the projects. To learn more about what the projects had in common, see What We've Learned and Studio to School Principles.

Fishtrap Story Lab & Joseph Charter School 

Joseph, Eastern Oregon
Read Now

Lincoln City Schools, Siletz Bay Music Festival & Lincoln City Cultural Center

Lincoln City, North Coast
Read Now

RiverStars Performing Arts

Cave Junction, Southern Oregon
Read Now

Sisters School District & Sisters Folk Festival

Sisters, Central Oregon
Read Now

Oaklea Middle School & Lane Arts Council

Junction City, Southern Willamette Valley
Read Now