Perpich News

Eight School Districts Selected for Minnesota’s Comprehensive Arts Planning Program

Community members will come together to create a comprehensive arts education plan.

Minnesota's Comprehensive Planning Program

Perpich Center for Arts Education is proud to announce the 2019-2021 award recipients for the Comprehensive Arts Planning Program (CAPP): Bemidji Area Schools, Columbia Heights Public Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, Pine City Public Schools, Proctor Public Schools, South St. Paul Public Schools, St. James Public Schools, and Yellow Medicine East Schools.

Minnesota’s Comprehensive Arts Planning Program (CAPP) provides assistance to selected public school districts as they design three-year, strategic plans for K-12 arts education programs. CAPP provides financial and technical assistance to support the strategic planning process through workshops, site visits, leadership development, and resource materials.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome these eight school districts to the Comprehensive Arts Planning Program for 2019-2021,” said Kristi Johnson, CAPP Director at Perpich Center for Arts Education. “We look forward to assisting them in developing arts leadership and a comprehensive arts education plan.”

Bemidji Area Schools Superintendent Tim Lutz said, “We are excited to be selected as a CAPP district so that we can continue and grow the district’s commitment to arts education. CAPP gives us the support, training, and time to develop a stronger collaboration between Bemidji School District and the community. We see this as a wonderful opportunity to utilize the excellent art programs that we in Bemidji already enjoy, while also bringing people together to support even greater artistic endeavors in the future.”

Columbia Heights Superintendent Kathy Kelly said, “We are delighted to continue our collaboration with Perpich Center for Arts Education. In Columbia Heights Public School District, we have our heads in the academics and our hearts in the arts. Participation in the Comprehensive Arts Planning Program will support our mission of providing worlds of opportunity to each and every learner where all belong and all succeed.”

“South St. Paul Public Schools is excited about the opportunity to partner with community and school stakeholders in developing a comprehensive plan for arts education for all of our students,” said Superintendent Dave Webb. “The technical assistance and guidance of Perpich Center leadership will help us fulfill our vision of preparing every child for their next step, and uphold our commitment to educating the whole child as part of our district-wide International Baccalaureate (IB) programming.”

Karla Beck, K-12 Principal for Educational Leadership for St. James Public Schools said, “We are excited to begin a comprehensive evaluation and planning process for Arts in education and community in St. James. Thirteen community members have committed to the work of connecting the school and community in a formal manner. We look forward to the guidance provided by Perpich Center for Arts Education through the CAPP process.”

Examples of arts education improvements through CAPP in school districts and communities include:

  • Development of leaders in arts education
  • New or revised curriculum and assessments in arts areas to meet the Minnesota Arts Standards
  • Professional development opportunities for arts and non-arts teachers
  • Added arts staffing
  • Opportunities for students to work with professional artists
  • New or updated arts facilities
  • Policies adopted to support arts education
  • Stronger school/community collaborations including partnership with arts and community organizations and high education institutions


With the help of this Perpich Professional Development program, school districts form a CAPP committee of district and community stakeholders (arts specialists, administrators, parents, teachers, community members, and students) with an active and wide-ranging interest in the arts and arts education. This CAPP committee has the responsibility to create a comprehensive arts education plan approved by the local school board, the district, and the community.




Professional Development and Resource Programs (PDR) serves arts educators across the state. PDR offers initiatives that address the rapidly changing needs of Minnesota teachers, schools, and districts. A staff of Arts Education Specialists and Professional Development leaders offer guidance and assistance in the arts to schools and educators to increase student achievement and engagement.

Perpich Center for Arts Education, in Golden Valley, Minnesota, is a Minnesota state agency that seeks to advance K-12 education throughout the state by teaching in and through the arts. It was created by the state legislature in 1985 at the urging of then Gov. Rudy Perpich. It was renamed in his honor after his death in 1995. Minnesota is one of only a handful of states in the nation with a dedicated state agency supporting arts education.

The center has helped to shape the Minnesota Academic Standards in the Arts K-12, collaborated with the Board of Teaching to develop teaching licenses in the arts areas, and provided professional development for teachers around the state so they are able to teach the standards, assess student learning, and incorporate community resources into the schools. As a state agency, Perpich works collaboratively with state government, school districts, and arts organizations throughout Minnesota.