P.S. ARTS Receives a $25,000 Grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation

on March 5, 2018
For Immediate Release

Funding to support award-winning arts education programs in the Lawndale Elementary School District

P.S. ARTS has received a $25,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation. The grant helps to support weekly, in-school instruction, related Teaching Artist training, and community arts experiences during the school year for six schools in the Lawndale Elementary School District (LESD).

“The generosity of the S. Mark Taper Foundation is allowing us to continue to bring high-quality arts education to our future leaders,” said P.S. ARTS CEO, Dr. Kristen Paglia, “This grant ensures that, in no uncertain terms, the students and Teaching Artists in LESD will have the resources they need to learn, create, and thrive.”

“We are proud to support the exceptional work P.S. ARTS does in helping to provide arts education to students in Los Angeles and in creating a space for children and their families to practice art together,” said Adrienne Wittenberg, Executive Director of the S. Mark Taper Foundation.

P.S. ARTS’ programs in LESD serve just over 3,500 students; all schools are Title 1, meaning that at least 40% of the students live at or below the federal poverty level ($24,600/year for a family of four). For over 15 years, P.S. ARTS has provided a rigorous arts education program to the elementary schools in LESD.

With support from the S. Mark Taper Foundation and other generous donors, P.S. ARTS has grown from serving 285 students in one school to over 25,000 K-8th students in 59 schools throughout Southern and Central California.

About P.S. ARTS

P.S. ARTS’ mission is to improve the lives of children by providing arts education to underserved public schools and communities. P.S. ARTS partners with schools to provide more than 25,000 students with year-long art education in dance, visual arts, music, and theater. Because being part of a nurturing and productive community is essential to children’s well being, P.S. ARTS also seeks to provide professional development for teaching artists and community engagement opportunities to children and families that encourage collaboration, strong community spirit, and a culture of giving back. For more information, visit www.psarts.org.


For additional information and press inquiries, please email Stephanie McGrath at communications@psarts.org.

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P.S. ARTSP.S. ARTS Receives a $25,000 Grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation

#WhyIGive | Irene Neuwirth

on December 21, 2017

by Clarissa Rice, Events Coordinator

Every year, we have the incredible opportunity to partner with so many accomplished artists in our programs and during our events. This year, we were thrilled when Irene Neuwirth signed on to join us at Express Yourself. Irene is a brilliant jewelry designer, creating one-of-a-kind pieces, and has launched her best-selling line into a full brand. She is also a great advocate for arts education. I caught up with Irene to hear why she believes in the power of arts education.

Create art with no boundaries and rules. Just make what feels good to you! That’s what the world needs.

Why do you support P.S. ARTS?

Because I personally believe that nothing is more important than the opportunity to be creative.


Do you have any specific memories of the arts or an arts teacher that impacted your life?

My mom is a painter and every restaurant or outing I went to as a child I carried my box of colored pencils and paper. I was never without them!

If you could give our P.S. ARTS students one piece of advice, what would it be?

Create art with no boundaries and rules. Just make what feels good to you! That’s what the world needs.

Thank you, Irene!

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P.S. ARTS#WhyIGive | Irene Neuwirth

Shinola Detroit Supports P.S. ARTS for the Holidays

on December 12, 2017

by Ratri Lertluksamipun, Associate Director, Event & Corporate Fundraising

P.S. ARTS kicked off the season of giving with an event at Shinola Detroit earlier this month. Hosted by long-time P.S. ARTS supporters Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Charlie Day together with Ryan Michelle Bathe and Sterling K. Brown, holiday shoppers at The Grove were invited to give back at an event with Shinola Detroit benefitting P.S. ARTS.

The hosts, (from left) Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Sterling K. Brown, and Ryan Michelle Bathe were joined by friends and arts education advocates including P.S. ARTS board president Laura Fox and CEO Dr. Kristen Paglia.

Shinola’s American-made luxury goods, which include everything from watches to turntables, made holiday shopping easy and our guests especially enjoyed personalizing their purchases through Shinola’s complimentary monogramming services. Guests were also treated to tasty Umami Burger sliders and fries and artfully mixed holiday cocktails, courtesy of Stillhouse Whiskey. The evening culminated with “Let it Snow” playing in the open-air mall complete with actual snowfall–an experience The Grove will feature each day at 7-8 p.m. until December 25.

We are grateful to the hosts, Shinola Detroit, and The Grove for a wonderful evening benefiting arts education, ensuring P.S. ARTS continues to provide access to high-quality in- and after-school arts programs for under-resourced public schools, including community engagement initiatives that encourage families to create together.

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P.S. ARTSShinola Detroit Supports P.S. ARTS for the Holidays

4 Ways to Support P.S. ARTS this Holiday Season

on December 5, 2017

by Gaby Palmadessa, Advancement Assistant

The season of giving has arrived! There’s no better way to spread holiday cheer than to give the gift of art. This season there are several ways you can help brighten a child’s life by supporting arts education through P.S. ARTS!

1. Donate!

Be the change you wish to see in this world, by donating your change! A gift of $25 provides almost a full month of art classes for one student. By making a year-end contribution at psarts.org/donate you’re giving the gift of art, dance, music, and theater to 25,000 P.S. ARTISTS!

2. Shop on AmazonSmile!

Keep us in mind when you do your online holiday shopping! Shop AmazonSmile and Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to support P.S. ARTS programs.

3. Text PSARTS to 20222!

Simply text PSARTS to 20222 to donate $10! This tax-deductible donation will automatically show up on your next phone bill, making it easier than ever to support our award-winning programs!

A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Donor must be age 18+ and all donations must be authorized by the account holder (e.g. parents). By texting YES, the user agrees to the terms and conditions. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers.Donations are collected for the benefit of the “P.S. ARTS” by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.hmgf.org/t. Message & Data Rates May Apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to short code 20222; text HELP to 20222 for help. Privacy Policy.

4. Join the Blick Give & Get Campaign!

Now through December 24, Blick Art Materials is hosting a supply drive to help our students flourish. Visit the Pasadena, Santa Monica, Fullerton, West LA, or LA Beverly stores to donate new art supplies and receive a coupon for your next purchase. You can also work on a craft project with us on December 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Pasadena Blick Art Materials. A rewarding way to contribute to arts education in your community!

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P.S. ARTS4 Ways to Support P.S. ARTS this Holiday Season

25,000 Reasons to be Thankful

on November 23, 2017

by Dr. Kristen Paglia

I am thankful for my job. I am happy to say that I feel that way all year, but for the last 10 years at P.S. ARTS I have also enjoyed the specific luxury at Thanksgiving time of sorting through all the different kinds of thankful I get to feel doing this work. Sometimes my gratitude is aimed at being able to make a living at something I care about. Often, I am grateful for the staff, trustees, supporters, and other incredible people I learn from every day. Of course, I am especially grateful for the times I get to be immersed in the joy, curiosity, and artistry of the more than 25,000 children P.S. ARTS serves.

These moments occur when all the moments of everyday gratitude converge at once and I am filled with the kind of optimism and energy that compels me to – just as P.S. ARTS programs encourage children to – dream bigger, work harder, and take better care of this earth and its people.

Like I said, I am thankful in some way for my job all year round, but a few weeks ago when NBC Give and actor Aldis Hodge visited P.S. ARTS’ program at Martin Luther King Elementary in Compton, I got to have what I call a “moment of true wellbeing.” These moments occur when all the moments of everyday gratitude converge at once and I am filled with the kind of optimism and energy that compels me to – just as P.S. ARTS programs encourage children to – dream bigger, work harder, and take better care of this earth and its people.

The day of the shoot, I got to see dozens of third graders throw themselves into a science lesson with total abandon through dance! Watching them barely able to contain their excitement and creativity as they enacted the “bee dance” and explored national science standards with our nonprofit partner, P.S. Science, was beyond gratifying. The children got to spend time with the incredible Aldis Hodge, who could not have been a better role model for scholastic enthusiasm, artistic inspiration, humor, and kindness. I also loved that the students got to see just how many people it takes to film a TV show and get a window into the broad range of career opportunities that exist in the arts. Moreover, P.S. ARTS was presented with a $25,000 gift from the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation so that we can continue to provide arts in underserved public schools! It was the kind of day that will get me through those, inevitable, not so easy days. For this, I am so thankful.

I hope you enjoy watching P.S. ARTS’ episode of NBC Give with Aldis Hodge, and that it gives you a moment of wellbeing on this Thanksgiving day, too.

This Giving Tuesday, November 28, consider supporting P.S. ARTS by donating through our Facebook page and unlock the matching gift provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. psarts.org/facebook
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P.S. ARTS25,000 Reasons to be Thankful

Matisse 101: Society6 Artist Residency at Whaley Middle School

on November 7, 2017

by Nada Alic with Society6

A couple of weeks ago, the Society6 team went down to Whaley Middle School in Compton to host a week-long artist residency in collaboration with P.S. ARTS.

Many of us at Society6 had some of our first experiences learning about and making art in school, and it was the first opportunity we had to really become inspired to work in the arts and become artists ourselves. So we asked S6 artist and illustrator Tallulah Fontaine to join us by hosting a week-long class for the students of Whaley Middle School.

Tallulah took the class through a Matisse 101 crash course, paying homage to the famous artist and his popular cut-out shapes by having the students create Matisse-inspired pieces of their own. Each student chose two subjects, the first slowly morphing into the second over a series of different images.

Whaley Middle School students work on Society6 project

It was awesome to see what some of the students came up with; girls’ faces turned into mountains and pizzas turned into skulls. We were totally blown away by the talent at Whaley Middle School and the kindness and openness of the staff and teachers who welcomed us in for the week.

 Tallulah Fontaine

As a special thanks to the students, we had each of them select a product for their artwork to be printed on so that they could take their art home with them, either on a shirt or a tote or a framed print. Huge shout out to the P.S. ARTS team for helping us put this mini program together and big thanks to the staff and students at Whaley Middle School.

If you want to see what the students came up with you can check out their shop and purchase a future-Matisse of your very own; all proceeds will support P.S. ARTS. Click here to see more of the students’ work!

Society6 staff outside Whaley Middle School
Photos by: Jonathan Chu

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P.S. ARTSMatisse 101: Society6 Artist Residency at Whaley Middle School

P.S. ARTS thanks Dr. Cheryl Saban for her charitable giving

on October 3, 2016


Dr. Cheryl Saban took her passion for creativity with the formation of her namesake brand in 2011: Cheryl Saban Designs.

Though Saban studied art for two years in college, her work as an artist is either self-taught, or acquired after hundreds of hours of classes with master glass-blowers to hone her skills and acquire new ones. The result is hand-made creations that are inspired by her connection to nature, appreciation of form, and her attraction to the soul, mind, and spirit.


Blowing glass is a kind of meditation for Saban, where she immerses herself in the “flow” experience—the concept of being fully present and conscious in the moment. She now goes into the hot-glass studio bi-weekly to create pieces for her shop and gallery.

The design process for her glassware is organized and well-thought-out. She always has a design in mind before she heads to the hot-shop. She decides in advance which colors she’ll use, and generally makes a sketch of the object or vessel she intends to create. She says she’s fascinated by the concept of “freezing a design in heat.”

CSD PG 12_2

Her jewelry design process is another story entirely. She rarely approaches her jewelry creative process with a pre-sketched drawing, but rather follows an artistic muse –and a kind of alchemy happens when she gathers her bounty of gemstones and silver and gold items around her. She places her beads, cords and precious stones on a board, gets inspired by them, and begins to conjure up something beautiful, and one-of-a-kind.

Each and every one of Saban’s designs is carefully crafted with her own hands, making the result of her artisanal talents the perfect unique gift for anyone.

csd-pg-2_loDr. Saban, a renaissance woman, is as well known for her generous charitable work as her art. Through each purchase, Cheryl Saban Designs gives back a percentage of sale to the community, including nonprofit organizations like P.S. ARTS!

We are grateful for the support and generosity of Dr. Cheryl Saban and are inspired by her artistic process. For more information, visit cherylsabandesigns.com. Thank you Cheryl!


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P.S. ARTSP.S. ARTS thanks Dr. Cheryl Saban for her charitable giving

Sidney Molepo’s P.S. ARTS Clutch

on April 29, 2016

By Advancement & Events Assistant Mariel Lacson

Working at an arts education nonprofit has proved that there is never a shortage of inspiration from our staff, students, faculty, and supporters. We were so thrilled to hear from artist Sidney Molepo, who donated some of his beautiful purses to auction at past P.S. ARTS events, about an exciting new partnership opportunity. Sidney Molepo Artifacts creates handmade wood, brass, and leather fashion accessories, which have been worn on red carpets around the world by Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, Celine Dion, Jessica Chastain, and Cody Horn. This year, Sidney Molepo has produced a limited edition, hand-made clutch to benefit our arts education programs. The sale of each bag will provide one P.S. ARTS student with a high-quality arts education during the regular school day for an entire school year — we are so grateful to Sidney Molepo for his generosity!


Sidney Molepo is dedicated to being a positive role model in his community. As a black South African-Canadian, he hopes to be an example for underrepresented students and artists and show them a clear career path in the arts. His humble beginnings as an artist and life-long passion for the arts are certainly an inspiration, and we are pleased to share his story:

“When I was a kid, my family immigrated to Canada from South Africa. My father was a refugee, and life wasn’t so easy for our family as we started over in a new country. My mother was trained as a teacher, but in order to get a better job in Canada to support our family, she went back to school to get degrees in French and Special Education — all with two young children at home! Even with everything going on in her own life, my mother created an extracurricular drama club for her students and devoted her time to creating plays with her students and opening their eyes to the unlimited possibilities of imagination and creativity. My mother’s passion for the arts and the importance of the arts in the lives of children was shared with me at home from an early age. I was always making my own toys from found materials, and my mother still likes to remind me of the year that all I wanted for Christmas were rolls of tape! Without the encouragement at an early age to be creative at home and in my public schools, to make things, and to be an artist, I would never have been able to pursue the career that I have — making unique creations.”

For every purchase of Sidney Molepo’s P.S. ARTS Clutch, one P.S. ARTS student will receive one year of arts education. To purchase a P.S. ARTS Clutch, and to learn more about Sidney Molepo Artifacts, please visit sidneymolepo.com.

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P.S. ARTSSidney Molepo’s P.S. ARTS Clutch

Happy National Volunteer Week!

on April 11, 2016

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we asked two of our dedicated P.S. ARTS volunteers to share some of their favorite moments in our classrooms. We’d also like to extend a huge thank you to our corporate partners ADBD, The Agency, Creative Artist Agency, Delta, Junk Food Clothing Co., OneWest Bank, Paradigm, Seedling, Snapchat, UTA, WME, and Yoobi for encouraging their employees to volunteer in our classrooms and at our events!


P.S. ARTS students attend Delta’s “Holiday in the Hangar” event this past December.

Robbie Diamond

Q: What brought you to P.S. ARTS?
A: I was looking for a volunteer opportunity with children, and I love art, so P.S. ARTS was the perfect match. I had heard about P.S. ARTS through the foundation I work with, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, as they have supported P.S. ARTS for many years.

Q: What’s been your favorite experience in the classroom so far?
A: I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the students on their various art projects. The last one I worked on with them was designing a shoe that represented their personal “brand.” Their creativity is amazing! When they can relate to a project, there seems to be no stopping them. Thank you, P.S. ARTS, for giving me the wonderful opportunity to volunteer in an arts-based classroom.


Snapchat volunteers help students dress up for the photobooth at last year’s TakePART Festival!

Stephanie Rose

Q: What brought you to P.S. ARTS?
A: As a full-time artist and designer, I have always made it part of my mission to give back to the art community. I sought out P.S. ARTS because of the great work they do in our public schools — if it wasn’t for the arts in my early education, I might not have become the creative artist I am today.

Q: What’s been your favorite experience in the classroom so far?
A: It’s hard to choose just one! I love how all the students creatively respond to each project in their own unique ways, and I’m always impressed with what they come up with. That’s what is great about making art — no matter what age you are, you can envision something in your mind and turn it into reality!


Volunteers from Creative Artists Agency help students complete art projects at CAA Day last fall.

Interested in getting more involved with P.S. ARTS? Learn more about our upcoming opportunities at psarts.org/volunteer

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P.S. ARTSHappy National Volunteer Week!

P.S. ARTS Feature in Delta’s SKY Magazine

on March 15, 2016

Delta Air Lines featured P.S. ARTS in the February issue of Sky Magazine — the Los Angeles Issue. Head to page 46 for a write-up about Delta’s Holiday in the Hangar event that our students from Camino Nuevo Charter Academy Burlington Campus were invited to last December. Program Manager Jaime Reichner recently wrote a blog about our students’ magical trip the North Pole! A big thank you to Delta Air Lines for helping our programs and events take flight; we are so grateful for their continued support!




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P.S. ARTSP.S. ARTS Feature in Delta’s SKY Magazine