A deadly global health crisis. Its economic fallout on school districts, arts organizations, nonprofits, and communities of color in particular. An energized racial justice movement across America and beyond.
It’s no surprise that both Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com at the time of this writing have both chosen pandemic as their word of the year. Indeed, the most widely read posts on The Wallace Blog in this tumultuous year reflect concerns across the many communities we work with. From the first lockdowns in March, the Wallace editorial team, with the assistance of so many partners, quickly shifted gears to help people navigate the fog of 2020—everything from an interview with a financial management expert on weathering the financial crisis to a list of the nonprofit arts organizations that provided comfort, stimulation and plain-old entertainment when we needed them most.
Their Top 10 stories this year might someday become a time capsule of Wallace’s work during the pandemic. They are presented here by popularity, which for this purpose is defined by total number of views, from lowest (1,030) to highest (more than 20,000!), with an average viewing time of three minutes and 12 seconds.
10) Helping Museums Navigate Through the COVID-19 Fog Much like the rest of the country, museums have been grasping for ways to endure the disruption COVID-19 has brought on. Elizabeth Merritt, vice president for strategic foresight at the American Alliance of Museums, offers ways that museums and other organizations could create plans for possible post-pandemic scenarios in their communities.
9) Engaging Audiences in the Age of Social Distancing This post describes how some of the arts organizations that participated in our now-concluded Building Audiences for Sustainability initiative ramped up their digital offerings and continued to connect with their audiences online.
8) Bringing Out the Best in Principals During the COVID-19 Crisis Back in early summer, we caught up with Jill Baker, superintendent of the Long Beach (Calif.) Unified School District, about the district’s efforts to support principals during school closures, as well as its summer plans for school leadership development.
7) Changing Principal Preparation to Help Meet School Needs In the first post of a series profiling the University of Connecticut’s efforts to strengthen its principal training program, the university’s director gives a behind-the-scenes look at the changes the program made to better prepare future leaders. (Reporting for this story took place in the few pre-COVID months of 2020.)
6) Research About the Arts and Kids: A Fertile Area for Inquiry Wallace’s director of communications Lucas Held recaps a conference held at George Mason University, part of an effort by the National Endowment for the Arts to help ensure “that every child will have access to arts education.”
5) Keeping Young People Creative (and Connected) in Quarantine At the height of classroom shutdowns, we chatted with Kylie Peppler, a researcher who focuses on the intersection of art, education and technology, to discuss how digital technologies could be used to keep young people engaged in this era of social distancing and isolation.
4) Literacy Expert on Why Kids Must Keep Reading During This ‘Unprecedented Moment’ Jimmy Kim, the person behind READS for Summer Learning, offers guidance and tools for parents and caregivers on encouraging at-home reading for children amid all the uncertainty of the pandemic.
3) What the Pandemic Means for Summer Learning-And How Policymakers Can Help Government policies can both help and limit summer learning efforts. In this post, RAND’s Catherine Augustine discusses a report on the summer learning policy landscape and what could lie ahead for summer programs in the pandemic and beyond.
2) Managing Nonprofit Finances During the Coronavirus Crisis It might come as little surprise that our second most popular post of 2020 is about the financial bottom line. Nonprofit financial management expert Hilda Polanco discusses how nonprofits can best assess and work to maintain their financial health throughout the pandemic. While you’re at it, take a look at the webinar on this topic, attended by more than 1,000 people.
1) The CARES Act: Five Things That School and District Leaders Need to Know Now EducationCounsel, a mission-based education organization and law firm, dug into the federal CARES Act and summarized its major education provisions shortly after the relief legislation was passed last spring. The post was followed up by a webinar on the topic, which you can view here, and the team is ready to look at any future federal legislation as the pandemic continues into 2021.