This paper describes the work done to advance CLI goals despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among many successes resulting from CLI’s resourcefulness and adaptability was an increase in secondary arts enrollment for students in special groups (e.g., special education, economically disadvantaged, and emergent bilingual). In addition, CLI’s novel Season of Arts Experiences provided 28 schools who would not have otherwise participated access to 27 unique arts partners, contributing to over 107 total arts partnerships in the 2020-2021 school year.
The Creative Learning Initiative (CLI) is a community-wide effort to bring creative learning and the arts to each and every student in Austin. Lead by MINDPOP, the City of Austin, and the Austin Independent School District (AISD), CLI designs systemic and sustainable programs that integrate creativity, creative teaching strategies, and the arts with classroom teaching, campus programming, and campus improvement. Evaluation findings suggest CLI implementation had a positive impact on the district, its teachers and the students it serves.