On Monday, April 29, CODE and OMEA (The Ontario Music Educators Association) were named in the provincial legislature by Dr. Jill Andrew, MPP for Toronto-St. Paul and NDP Culture Critic. Jane Deluzio, President, and Sarah Papoff, former President, and our counterparts in OMEA (also President and a former President) were introduced. We spent the day in the legislature listening, learning, watching and reflecting deeply.
Dr. Jill Andrew received over 100 emails from CODE and OMEA in less than 48 hours thanks to the last minute advocacy work asked for in weekend member mailings from Jane. These emails were submitted to the House by Jill. Thank you to all of you who took the time to write 150 words. Jill read four of these emails out loud and one of them was from CODE's Sarah Papoff who was named as the writer. Well done, SARAH!
Thank you so much, Jill, for warmly welcoming arts teachers and advocates to be part of Question Period and the Education debate on Opposition Day. Thank you for speaking up with conviction about the importance of creativity and adding the A to Stem. Thank you for highlighting drama, dance, music and visual art and their importance. Thank you for standing up against education cuts.
CODE was proud to stand with OMEA today on behalf of Ontario arts educators and hear our members’ words read in the house speaking up on how #cutshurtkids We are so proud of all of our members who stepped up on short notice and sent emails to MPP Jill Andrew.
We look forward to further collaboration with OMEA and also with OAEA. Dance, Drama, Music and Visual/Media Arts will be more powerful standing together against this government's educational initiatives and changes.
Advocacy Request from CODE: Do not use the term: The Arts. Instead, NAME each of the ARTS wherever possible. Dance and Drama are often the missing arts. In the legislature we noticed how often MPPs from all parties referred to "Art and Music" or "Music and the Arts". You can also say: Dance and Drama and the other Arts but our most equitable approach is for ALL of us to name ALL of the arts unless we are only speaking with a focus on our association's specific arts discipline. Thank you Dr. Jill Andrew for naming all of us and for speaking about Dance and Drama and our importance to students.