The Note: June 13, 2014

Arts and Education News from the Education Policy and Leadership Center and the PA Arts Education Network


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In This Issue
Remembering Maya Angelou
National Core Arts Standards Launch
NAMM Advocacy Fly-In
Harrisburg Briefing Call
2014 Symposium Call for Nominations
Governor's School Alumni Network
FY 14-15 State Budget
Arts and Culture Caucus
Chu NEA Nomination Advances in US Senate
New Issue of AEC Transitions
Tony Awards and CMU Partnership
PCA on Facebook
Registration Open for AEP National Forum
Art in the Garden
Turnaround Arts Program Expansion
Art: The Universal Language Art Contest
PASA-PSBA Student Celebration Showcase
Common Sense Arts Standards Workshops
PAEA Call for Proposals
Creative Leadership Grants
CLAE Professional Development for Administrators
Share the Network's  Policy Agenda with your 
State and Local Leaders!
Read and share the Policy Agenda, hereand remember that your voice 
as a constituent is valued!
Please direct information about
upcoming events, research reports, awards, and all other news foinclusion on the Network website, Facebook page, calendar, or monthly Note to Laura Abbott at


All other matters about the Network, the Policy Agenda, and related advocacy should be directed to Ron Cowell at

PA Arts Ed Network Logo White Background
Remembering Maya Angelou
Dr. Maya Angelou passed away quietly in her home in North Carolina on May 28 at the age of 86.  Angelou was many things in her life, among them a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.  Her family noted in an official statement, "She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace."


The National Endowment for the Arts made the following statement regarding the news of Angelou's passing:


It is with great sadness that the National Endowment for the Arts acknowledges the passing of Maya Angelou. A poet, actress, activist, and teacher, Ms. Angelou was awarded a 2000 National Medal of Arts by President Bill Clinton.


Many will speak of Maya Angelou's extraordinary life and her varied and highly regarded artistic achievements, but for us at the National Endowment for the Arts, we will remember her most vividly as a favorite poet for hundreds of high school students who competed in the NEA's national poetry recitation competition, Poetry Out Loud. Her poem Still I Rise, was the number one poem selected by students competing in the 2006 contest.


In 1990, she gave the annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy, an annual forum intended to stimulate dialogue on policy and social issues affecting the arts. During her speech, she noted, "Art needs to ask us, 'What do we think is our reason for being on this earth? What do we think is our right to abide on this planet? What is our duty to the planet? To other forms of life, with whom we are connected? To our own species?'"


We join with people all around the world in both mourning her death and celebrating her life.


National Coalition of Core Arts Standards
National Core Arts Standards Launch
NCCAS Hompage
The National Core Arts Standards were launched on June 4 with a national conference call webinar moderated by Marcia McCaffrey, New Hampshire Department of Education and president of the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE), and Lynn Tuttle, Arizona Department of Education and immediate past president of SEADAE.  Click here to access the archival copy of the June 4 launch webinar.

The rollout of the 2014 arts standards is the culmination of work completed by a broad coalition of arts education associations and leadership organizations in the arts and education. The more than 100 experts from 30 states, including Pennsylvania, who crafted and revised draft standards were selected for writing teams based on their broad range of teaching experience - collectively representing every level from early childhood through higher education - as well as demonstrated expertise in curriculum and assessment.  All of the writers were volunteers.  Successive standards drafts were posted for public review twice in 2013 and again in 2014; as a result of the public review process and series of focus groups sponsored by various organizations, more than 6,000 individuals provided comments and suggestions that informed the final standards.
Arts standards identify what is important for students to know and be able to do in the artistic disciplines.  Since their initial publication in 1994, our nation's first standards for arts education have guided improvements in the design, delivery, and assessment of arts education.  The 2014 standards improve upon the 1994 standards in a few important ways:
  • The 2014 standards provide grade-by-grade performance standards from PreK- 8th Grade, and three levels for High School.
  • The 2014 standards provide greater structural and content alignment among the arts forms than the 1994 standards.
  • The 2014 standards include a fifth artistic discipline: dance, MEDIA ARTS, music, theatre and visual arts. 
  • The 2014 standards acknowledge the essential role of technology, both in their definitions of the arts forms and in how the standards are presented.
  • The 2014 Standards provide a variety of materials to support implementation, including Model Cornerstone Assessments. 

Will Pennsylvania adopt new arts standards?  The new arts standards are not a national or federal initiative, and each state's participation is voluntary.  In Pennsylvania, the process of adopting, adapting, or revising standards is the responsibility of the State Board of Education (SBE).  The current Pennsylvania arts standards were adopted by the SBE in 2003.  The SBE has indicated that there are other academic subjects overdue for review as well, and the Board will be approaching them one at a time in the chronological order that each category of standards has been delayed.


Learn more about the new arts standards by visiting the National Coalition of Core Arts Standards' FAQ page, and be sure to visit the new website at


Pennsylvania Arts Education
Network Updates
NAMM Advocacy Fly-In
Laura Abbott, manager of policy projects at EPLC and staff of the Network, joined music industry leaders and celebrity artists on Capitol Hill last month during the National Association of Music Merchants' (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy Fly-In.  The three-day annual advocacy effort in Washington, D.C. works to shore up congressional support to build access to music education for all children into national education legislation.
The Pennsylvania Delegation with Senator Casey.  
From left: Laura Abbott, EPLC/PAEN; Chris Martin, Martin Guitars; Mark Despotakis, Progressive Music; Senator Bob Casey; Cindy McAllister, Martin Guitars; Greg Paul, Martin Guitars; and AJ Reitz, Korg USA.


Abbott's Advocacy Fly-In efforts included personal meetings with members of Congress to discuss the significance of music education and the support needed to ensure that each student has the opportunity to learn music in school.  Abbott and NAMM colleagues from Pennsylvania met with the offices of Senators Bob Casey (D) and Pat Toomey (R), and Representatives Tom Marino (R-10), Scott Perry (R-4), Charles Dent (R-15), Jim Gerlach (R-6), Mike Doyle (D-14), Matt Cartwright (D-17), and Tim Murphy (R-18).  


To prepare for their efforts on Capitol Hill, NAMM members participated in advocacy training at the Kennedy Center where they were apprised of current issues facing public school music programs.  Members were also trained on developing state-level advocacy efforts for music and arts education to put into practice in their own states.


While in DC, Fly-In delegates joined NAMM Foundation in awarding the SupportMusic Award to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Turnaround Arts. The week began with a day of service, where NAMM members helped students at Savoy Elementary -- one of the Turnaround Arts schools -- learn to play drums, ukulele and guitar. 


The advocacy Fly-In wrapped up with a SupportMusic Coalition call Live from the NAMM Fly-In, during which NAMM members shared a recap of their visits with members of Congress, a report on the NAMM advocacy asks, and information garnered from policy and advocacy training.  Click here to listen to the webcast online.  


June Harrisburg Briefing Conference Call
The next Harrisburg Briefing call will be on June 19.  The Statewide Pennsylvania Arts Education Network conference calls are held on the Third Thursday of every month at 4 p.m. to update network members and friends on statewide arts and education activities.  Participants on the call also have an opportunity to ask questions, or share news from their communities, schools, or organizations.  The recording is always made available for 30 days for those who are unable to join the live conversation.
Details about how to participate in future statewide Network conference calls can be found at on the first tab under "Resources."

2014 Arts and Education Symposium: Call for Nominations
EPLC and the PA Arts Education Network will host a fourth annual Arts and Education Symposium at the State Museum in Harrisburg on Thursday, October 2.  
We are pleased to announce that, with the help of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association, we have identified a student artist from the Mechanicsburg Area School District who will have her artwork featured on this year's Symposium program and other promotional material.  The artwork will be revealed soon!

Call for Nominations:
We are now seeking nominations for two awards that will again be presented at the fall Symposium.  One award will honor a school board, and one award will honor a state policymaker.  Both awards are meant to recognize and thank those who have demonstrated exceptional support for the arts and arts education.

Anyone may submit a nomination form.  The award recipients will then be chosen by the Network Steering Committee.  The deadline to complete a nomination form is July 18.

Governor's School Alumni Network 

We have heard again and again legislators say that they have been contacted by groups of people in their districts who want to see the Governor's School for the Arts reinstated.  This awareness among elected officials is a sign that Govies' and other advocates' messages are being heard.  It is important to keep this topic in the forefront as state budget negotiations advance and election season heats up in Harrisburg.


Those who have experienced the Governor's School for the Arts in the past are the most effective advocates to provide a similar opportunity to students in the future.  To support the advocacy effort to re-establish Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts (PGSA), the Pennsylvania Arts Education Network continues to search for Alumni of the PGSA.  If you, or someone you know, taught at or attended the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts, please complete this form and share with others.  


Thanks to the help from former students and faculty, we have been contacted over the past year by nearly 700 Govies!  In his budget proposal, the Governor expressed willingness to invest in three Governor's schools, the arts not being one of them.  With a strong and growing network of advocates, garnering public and legislative support for the reinstatement of the Governor's School for the Arts will be possible.


Many of you submitted to us powerful advocacy statements about the value of the Governor's School for the Arts.  Continue to tell those stories.  Click here to find out how PGSA alumni can support PGSA restoration.


Policy News
2014-15 State Budget

A balanced state budget must be passed by the constitutional deadline of June 30.  The formal process must begin in the House, and House Appropriations Chairman William Adolph has begun the process by introducing on June 9 a budget bill (House Bill 2328).  The bill is identical to the current FY 2013-14 budget, and therefore contains none of the increases proposed by Governor Corbett in his budget address in February and accounts for none of the mandatory 2014-2015 cost increases related to pensions, debt service and other legal requirements

In other words, it simply provides a vehicle to begin to move forward an appropriations bill in the House, with the understanding that no agreement has been reached on any of the details of the budget for the next fiscal year.

The challenge of getting an agreement by the June 30 constitutional deadline has been made more difficult by the state's revenue picture.   In May it was announced that the year-to-date tax revenue shortfall has grown to $613 million, with revenues 2.3% below estimate.  Revenues are anticipated to fall short for the month of June as well, making the fiscal year-end shortfall even greater.  The shortfall for the current year, combined with the revenue implications for the fiscal year beginning July 1, suggests a funding gap of more than $1.5 billion to pay for the budget proposed by Governor Corbett in February.

Your contact with your legislators can make a difference at this very important time!  Click here to learn how to find your legislator.

In addition to encouraging support for the Governor's proposed increases for the PA Council on the Arts and the PA Historical and Museums Commission, ask your state legislators to support the State Policy Agenda of the PA Arts Education Network that includes the following budget-related items:
  1. Support the increase of $240 million in funding to school districts proposed by Governor Corbett for 2014-2015.  We appreciate the Governor's proposal to increase funding to districts.  This would be an important step toward restoring more of the funding to support student programs and services that was lost in 2011.
  2. Assure that districts will have the flexibility and local control to use any part of the additional funds they receive as a result of this $240 million in new funding to restore or enhance arts programs for students.  Arts programs were among the largest cuts when districts found it necessary to cut programs and services in response to funding cuts in the state budget.
  3. Restore in the Pennsylvania Department of Education at least one full-time Fine Arts and Humanities Advisor.  This position has been vacant for three years, but is necessary to provide support and professional development and technical assistance to educators across the state and to colleagues within the PDE.
  4. Re-establish the Governor's School for the Arts, which was canceled as a result of state budget cuts in 2009.  For thirty years, the Governor's School exemplified Pennsylvania's leadership in arts education and provided over 10,000 young people with extraordinary opportunities to develop their artistic talents, intellects, self-confidence, and leadership.  The Governor's School for the Arts was a model for the other Governor's schools in Pennsylvania and nationally as well.
  5. Urge the Pennsylvania Department of Education to proactively inform all school districts that they may use Title I and Title II funds to support arts education projects that achieve Title I and Title II goals.  This interpretation of federal policy is supported by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in 2009 correspondence to the education community, and can make available important funding flexibility to enable districts to support arts education opportunities for students.


Legislative Arts and Culture Caucus
The Arts and Culture Caucus held a meeting on June 4.

A string quartet from the Cumberland Valley School District performed as attendees gathered for the meeting.  Representative Glenn Grell, representing the Cumberland Valley, is a new member to the Caucus and stopped by to hear the quartet perform.  He acknowledged the group and the arts briefly on the House floor later that day.

Chairman Jay Costa began the meeting with an explanation of the realities the legislature is currently facing as they try to negotiate a balanced budget.  He said that the state is facing what is expected to be a more than $1 billion revenue shortfall, therefore the increases to the arts and education line items that the Governor proposed in February are now uncertain.  To preserve what we have, Sen. Costa urged continued advocacy efforts to convey to all members of the General Assembly the importance of sustained funding to the arts and education.

Sen. Costa notified the group that the Caucus still intends to schedule a field trip to the Lehigh Valley in the fall.  The Caucus leaders also want to develop a social media presence through Facebook and Twitter.  Jenny Hershour, Citizens for the Arts in PA, announced that they are in the process of writing the second Arts and Culture Caucus Newsletter.
Sen. Costa then opened the meeting up for any other announcements.
Representative Sid Kavulich inquired what the Caucus can do to encourage the reinstatement of the Governor's School for the Arts.  Rep. Kavulich represents the Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna and Wyoming area and said he has been contacted by a group of constituents interested in this issue.  Ron Cowell, president of EPLC, explained the Network's interest in the goal as well and its efforts  in identifying and mobilizing the Govie advocates.  Cowell emphasized to the legislators that the philanthropic community may be willing to help supplement state funding to get the school reinstated, such support is less likely without a commitment to state funding.
Laura Abbott, EPLC, informed the Caucus and attendees of the National Core Arts Standards live web launch that was scheduled for that afternoon.  For more information about the NCCAS launch, see above.

Rusty Baker, executive director of PA Museums, provided an update about the May Senate Government Committee hearing about the Pennsylvania Museum Preservation Act (SB 1070) sponsored by Caucus Chairman Sen. Pat Browne.  Baker also said that the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission has recently announced $1,901,011 in grants to 130 eligible museums and official count historical societies in Pennsylvania.  The full list of awardees by county is available at

Christine Goldbeck, executive director of the Urban Affairs Committee (R), was present at the meeting and spoke about an arts-related proposal currently being considered by the Committee that would allow municipalities to form cultural districts.  

Mitch Swain, CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) and board chair of Citizens for the Arts, announced GPAC's hope to partner with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Citizens to engage Governor Corbett and gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf in a gubernatorial forum focused around arts and culture issues.

The meeting ended with two calendar notes:

Chu NEA Nomination Confirmed by US Senate

On May 14, the US Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee met in executive session to consider a pending early learning bill and the nomination of R. Jane Chu, of Missouri, to serve as chairperson of the National Endowments of the Arts (NEA). 


The HELP Committee approved Chu's nomination with little discussion.  In a news article interview after the meeting, Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) described the decision as noncontroversial, which was evidenced by the cited bipartisan support given by Committee Ranking Member Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) prior to the vote.


On June 12, the US Senate unanimously approved by voice vote the nomination of Dr. Jane Chu to be the next chairman of the National Endowments for the Arts.  The agency has been without a chair since Roco Landesman stepped down in December 2012.


News from the Field
AEC Transitions Series

In May, the Arts Education Collaborative released a new Translations monograph titled, Creativity in the Classroom: Schools of Curious Delight.  


This issue uses the book Creativity in the Classroom: Schools of Curious Delight, by educational psychology professor Alane Jordan Starko, as the foundation for exploring creativity -- what it is, how it works, what the characteristics are of creative people, and what that means for educators.


Each installment in the Translations series is designed to provide arts educators with highlights of prominent research pieces in education and ways in which that research can be realized in their classroom, school, district or arts and culture organization in a practical way.  All four published monographs can be viewed here.


Tony Awards and CMU to Honor Theatre Educators in 2015
The 68th annual Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, were broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on June 8.

The event featured an on-air tribute to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), whose School of Drama is celebrating its centennial in 2014.  The CMU has the oldest drama degree-granting program in the country, and over the past century has produced hundreds of Tony nominees and more than 30 Tony winners, in addition to numerous Nobel Laureates, Turing Award recipients, Emmy and Oscar winners.

As highlighted during the Tony Awards, CMU this year has also been named the first, exclusive higher education partner of the Tony Awards.  As a part of the collaboration, the two organizations will jointly create and launch the first national recognition program to honor K-12 theatre educators.  Nominations will be open to the public and accepted starting in September 2014.

Click here to read the April 28 press release about the new partnership between CMU and the Tony Awards.

The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is now officially on Facebook.  Be sure to "Like" the page, here.
Register Now for AEP National Forum in Pittsburgh
Registration for the 2014 National Forum: Preparing Students for the Next America in and through the Arts is now open!  

The National Forum, hosted  annually by the Arts Education Partnership, will convene some of the nation's most influential leaders to explore arts-centered solutions as states and school districts across the country implement higher learning expectations aimed at ensuring America's young people leave high school ready for college, career, and citizenship.

This year the Forum will take place September 11 - 12 in downtown Pittsburgh.  Register by June 30 to take advantage of a discounted rate.

Art in the Garden
On June 8, First Lady Susan Corbett hosted at the Governor's Residence the 4th Annual Arts in the Garden event.

The Arts in the Garden showcased vocal, instrumental, and dance performances by Central Pennsylvania artists and art organizations, as well as plein air painters and hands-on art activities.  The event also highlighted the art exhibit currently on display at the Governor's Residence, "Traditions of Excellence: Selected Artwork by the Faculty and Alumni of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts."

Arts in the Garden kicked off the free, monthly "Second Sunday" events being held at the Governor's Residence throughout the summer.  The dates and themes of the future events are:

July 13    Good Gardening, Great Health 
Aug 10    Creatures of the Garden
Sept 14   Gallery Walk and Artist-led Canvas Painting

Turnaround Arts Program Expansion
On May 20, the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) announced the expansion of its Turnaround Arts program.  The program, which originally launched in 2012 as a pilot program in eight low achieving schools across the country, will be expanded to include a total of 35 schools in across the country in CA, CO, CT, IL, IO, LA, MA, MI, MT, OR, and Washington, DC, with plans to expand to up to 60 schools.  The PCAH also announced a number of new Turnaround Artists who will join the initiative by "adopting" a school and working to support the individual school's arts education curriculum.
Click here to read the press release.
The Turnaround Arts initiative is designed to help turn around low-performing schools, narrow the achievement gap, and increase student engagement through the arts.  Thinterim evaluation in 2013 noted that participating schools were already seeing improved academic performance, increased student and parent engagement, and improved culture and climate. 

The program is funded through a public-private partnership, providing over $5 million over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Ford Foundation and other private foundations and companies to bring arts education into low-performing schools.  Local program partners will provide an additional $12 million and the money will be used to hire new arts and music teachers, bring teaching artists, art supplies and music instruments into schools and support arts integration into other core subjects such as reading, math and science.

Opportunities for Students and Artists
Art: The Universal Language Art Contest
The Arc of Pennsylvania is co-sponsoring, along with Governor Corbett and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, an art contest to recognize the talents, skills, and abilities of Pennsylvanians with disabilities.  "Art: The Universal Language Art Contest" is open to any Pennsylvania citizen with a disability.  

A team of judges including Governor Corbett and a panel from The Arc of PA will award winners based on originality, imagination, visual interest, and skillful use of materials.  
Prizes will be awarded in the following media categories and age divisions: pen/pencil, watercolor, acrylic, oil, sculpture, jewelry, photography, textile, and mixed media/other; ages 12 and under, 13 to 17, and 18 and older.

Entries will be accepted through Monday, August 25.  Click here for official guidelines.

PASA-PSBA Student Celebration Showcase
The PA Association of School Administrators (PASA) and the PA School Boards Association (PSBA) is presenting the third annual Student Celebration Showcase during the 2014 PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference.  The Showcase will take place on October 22 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center.

PASA and PSBA are looking for energetic, entertaining student groups or individuals to perform for 15 minutes each as a part of this celebration of public school students.  If you have an outstanding performing arts group or individual that you would like to share with others, from dance teams and jazz bands to orchestras and glee clubs, submit an application today.

Applications are due by September 19.


Opportunities for Arts Educators and School Administrators
Common Sense Arts Standards: Arts in an Era of School Reform Workshops
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Department of Education, and Pennsylvania Music Educators Association will be hosting two workshops on how the arts are leading the PA Core Standards.


The "Common Sense Arts Standards" workshops for administrators (June 30, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM) and teachers (July 1, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM) will simplify comprehension of recently adopted PA Core State ELA Standards and demonstrate how the arts can be leveraged to meet the expectations set by this new paradigm for teaching and learning.  Both workshops will take place in Harrisburg.


Registration is free, but seating is limited.  


If you are a school administrator who supervises teachers who provide instruction in the arts, click here to register for the June 30 workshop.  


If you are an art teacher or teaching artist who provides instruction in music, visual art, dance, theater and media arts, click here to register for the July 1 workshop.


PAEA Call for Proposals
The Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA) is seeking session proposals for its 2014 Annual Conference.  The conference will be held October 31 - November 2 at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort near Pittsburgh.  This year's theme is "Art is Natural."
Presenters may submit a session proposal within the categories of best practice presentation; hands-on demonstration; hands-on studio workshop; performance; research lecture; or interactive discussion/roundtable.  Sessions should be relevant to the conference theme and/or aligned with one or more of the National Art Education Association's Strategic Plan categories: Community, Advocacy, Learning, Research and Knowledge, and Organizational Vibrancy.  Proposals will be peer-reviewed and evaluated by members of the PAEA Proposal Review Committee.

Click here for additional guidelines and to submit a proposal online.  The submission deadline is July 10.

Champion Creatively Alive Children Grant Program
Crayola, in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), is seeking request proposals for the 2014 Creative Leadership Grants.  The 2014 program will provide up to 20 grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary schools.  Each grant-winning school will receive $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000.

The application process involves forming a collaborative team, and the National Art Education Association encourages their members to partner with their school's principal and colleagues to generate grant proposals.  All proposals must be submitted by a NAESP member.  Applications will be accepted until June 23.

Community of Learners for Arts Education Program
The Arts Education Collaborative (AEC) is now accepting applications for their Community of Learners for Arts Education (CLAE) program.  The CLAE program is a professional learning
opportunity for school and district administrators.  During the course of the CLAE program,
participants will explore three big ideas: 1. Quality arts education benefits students both in and out of school; 2. There are characteristics that all quality arts education programs share; and 3. Schools and districts have the ability to support quality arts education for all students.  Participants will receive 35 Act 45/PIL hours upon successful completion of the program.  The application deadline is September 5.  Click here for more information about CLAE and how to apply.


Update your Profile
If you are interested in what is going on in the State Legislature regarding education policy generally, and other education-related news, consider updating your subscription profile via a link provided at the bottom of this AEI Note.  In addition to receiving information about the arts and Pennsylvania Arts Education Network activities, you can choose to receive information about any of the following Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC) publications, projects, or programs:

EPLC Education Notebook  A weekly online publication that tracks and translates Pennsylvania state policymaker activity regarding education issues.  Includes summaries of activities of the General Assembly, the State Board of Education, and the Department of Education.

Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign Coalition of advocates for adequate and equitable funding of Pennsylvania's public schools.

Legislative Candidate or School Board Candidate Workshops 
Regional programs for prospective candidates or interested, civically engaged citizens.