Creativity Challenge: Arts Education in San Francisco Bay Area Schools


Levin-Güracar, E. and Woodworth, K. (2022). Creativity Challenge: Arts Education in the San Francisco Bay Area Schools. SRI International.

In 2019, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation engaged SRI Education to “refresh” a 2007 study, published as An Unfinished Canvas (Woodworth et al., 2007). In 2022, SRI released Creativity Challenge (Woodworth et al., 2022). Both studies were commissioned to assess the status of arts education in California, examining schools’ arts programs relative to state goals, the systems of support for these programs, and the ways in which state and local policymakers might improve conditions for young people to experience arts education in schools. Both studies also included a special focus on schools in the nine Bay Area counties to enable reporting on school survey data for each of the Bay Area counties as well as to draw comparisons between the Bay Area and the rest of the state. This report presents findings focused on the Bay Area and supplements the full Creativity Challenge report on the status of arts education in California. 

Many of the key findings in statewide Creativity Challenge report are echoed in the Bay Area data. Like the state as a whole, the vast majority of Bay Area schools are failing to meet state goals for arts education by not providing a sequential, standards-based course of study in all four of the required arts disciplines. There are some statistically significant differences between Bay Area schools and schools in the rest of California. For example, Bay Area schools were more likely than schools in the rest of the state to report relying on community-based sources of funding, such as parent group funds and parcel taxes, for arts education, and less likely to rely on Title I or other federal funds to supports arts programs.

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