Twenty-seven community arts organizations were selected to serve some of L.A. Unified’s most underserved schools in the arts, as identified in the arts equity index. An informal request for the proposal process sought support to provide arts services in dance, theatre, music, creative writing, visual arts, film, and media. Services began in January 2016 and will run through June.
“We are excited to have these arts partners to help fill the gaps of much needed arts instruction in our schools,” says Arts Education Executive Director Rory Pullens. “Work of these fine organizations will complement the arts instruction being provided by our outstanding certificated arts teachers.”
The 27 selected arts providers, from Lula Washington Dance Theatre to Inner City Arts to Folklorico Dance to the Watts Village Theatre Company, are as diverse as the students they serve in all six local districts and seven board districts. One arts partner, 24th Street Theatre, is an organization that services all local districts in L.A. Unified with theatrical instruction, performances, and play development activities. “We are in our 19th year and are honored to be selected to serve the students of Los Angeles,” exclaimed Debbie Devine, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of 24th Street Theatre. “This support will allow us to serve more students.”
While this new support addresses an immediate need for many schools, the Arts Education Branch is conducting a larger scale multi-year request for proposals that will provide an additional $4 million dollars of support over the next four years.
Community Arts Manager Leonardo Bravo shared, “We envision expanded services to meet the growing demand for arts in all of our schools. We are committed to educating the whole child and the arts can help L.A. Unified achieve that excellence.”
One of the newer partners, The Mobile Film Classroom, has represented a revolutionary way of teaching in the digital age, offering a fully equipped mobile digital production studio on wheels. The classroom comes to the school. “This gives students a way to use the technology they already love in a meaningful way: storytelling,” says Executive Director Manon Banta. “They are telling their own story using the most up to date equipment and working in teams.” One of the schools enjoying this “classroom on wheels” is El Sereno ES in East Los Angeles.
Board member Mónica García who represents Board District 2 in East Los Angeles proclaims, “It’s a new day.” She also added, “Inner City Arts is an amazing partner for our students, teachers and families,” said L.A. Unified School Board Member Mónica García. “Our partnership is an investment in learning, understanding, creativity, and the path towards 100% graduation.”
For the Arts Education Branch, which hired 45 new arts teachers this school year and expects to grow further in 2016-17 with its expanding arts partners, it indeed is a new day.
For a total list of Arts Community Network partners on the Arts Education Branch registry, go to http://achieve.lausd.net/Page/9610.
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