Matisse 101: Society6 Artist Residency at Whaley Middle School

on November 7, 2017 Comments Off on Matisse 101: Society6 Artist Residency at Whaley Middle School

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


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 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 Comments Off on Sidney Molepo’s P.S. ARTS Clutch

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

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

Happy National Volunteer Week!

on April 11, 2016 Comments Off on Happy National Volunteer Week!

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

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P.S. ARTSHappy National Volunteer Week!

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

on March 15, 2016 Comments Off on P.S. ARTS Feature in Delta’s SKY Magazine

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

Delta’s Holiday in the Hangar 2015!

on December 16, 2015 Comments Off on Delta’s Holiday in the Hangar 2015!

On December 2nd, P.S. ARTS students from Camino Nuevo Charter Academy Burlington Campus stepped off a bus at LAX for Delta’s annual Holiday in the Hangar event. Delta, the official airline of P.S. ARTS and a generous supporter of our arts education programs, put together an incredible day filled with holiday fun and a few surprises.


Excited second graders, their teachers, and parent chaperones along with kids and families from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles were greeted by dozens of smiling Delta staff members (festively dressed in full elf attire) who had volunteered for the event. As we made our way through the security checkpoints, a few students shared with me that this was going to be their first time on an airplane — the excitement was palpable!


Once we arrived at the gate, the students were prompted to gather around a giant Christmas tree while TSA officers serenaded us with holiday carols. I have a secret hope that the bandleader will be manning the security checkpoint the next time I travel so I can tell him how much we all enjoyed the concert. After a sing along rendition of Pharrell’s “Happy,” the gate opened and the students boarded the plane.  It was decked out in holiday decor including glitter snow, tinsel, and lights.  The students were given the full in-flight experience by Delta’s friendly crew — complete with a safety check and snack service!


After a few short minutes, the plane “arrived” at the North Pole. We pulled into the hangar where students were welcomed by lights, music, cheering crowds, and special guests (including former Laker AC Green, Shay Mitchell of Pretty Little Liars, and Rowan Blanchard of Girl Meets World).


Students rotated through various activity booths, including hockey with representatives from the LA Kings, face painting, The GRAMMY Museum’s photo booth, and other arts and crafts. After lunch, just when the students thought the day couldn’t get any better, Santa arrived! Each child had an opportunity to meet Santa and received a gift to take home.


As they boarded the bus to head back to school, the teachers commented on how much everyone enjoyed the day. It was an incredibly successful event, and our students left with a whole lot of holiday cheer (and some very cool games and toys thanks to Delta and their partners). A heartfelt thank you to Delta for including P.S. ARTS and our Camino Nuevo Charter Academy Burlington Campus students in this very special day.

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P.S. ARTSDelta’s Holiday in the Hangar 2015!

#WhyIGive | Annie Bishop

on November 18, 2015 1 comment

This ‪#‎WhyIGive‬ Wednesday, third grade teacher and P.S. ARTS supporter Annie Bishop shares why she invested in the future of public school arts education with a gift to the P.S. ARTS Endowment.

A message from Annie Bishop . . .

As a public school teacher, there is a lot of pressure to implement district initiatives and programs. Though these mandates are well intentioned, they require us, the teachers, to spread ourselves thin. Time that could be spent planning great lessons for our students is often spent filling out paperwork and attending meetings or trainings. Many of these new district initiatives are aimed at getting students to think critically and creatively or teaching students about empathy and compassion — all of which can be developed through the artistic process — yet few, if any, of these programs integrate the arts. If it were up to the teachers, I can guarantee that we would fill our students’ days with creativity and that the arts would be an irreplaceable part of every day. Unfortunately, this creative aspect of teaching and learning is too often disappearing from the profession.


I give to P.S. ARTS because I truly believe in the proverb “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Though we can survive on only a granola bar for lunch and can make it from the morning bell to lunchtime without a restroom break, teachers are not super-humans. Though we sometimes pretend we do, we do not have superpowers, and we can’t do everything. I think trying to is actually detrimental to our students. No one likes a tired, grumpy teacher!

The solution is to embrace the “village” resources that are available to us. P.S. ARTS and its amazingly talented Teaching Artists is a perfect model for how we can truly provide our students with the best well-rounded education possible. Instead of overextending classroom teachers and neglecting students’ needs for a creative outlet, why not share the responsibility and rely on community partners for support? This is exactly what P.S. ARTS enables schools and teachers to do. P.S. ARTS contributes to a cycle of improving not only the well-being of the students, but of the community. Students develop creatively, professional artists share their passions, community and school partnerships continue to grow, and our village is uplifted.


I will end with a quote from one of my favorite artists:

“Every child is born an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
— Pablo Picasso

I think I speak for all teachers when I say that I don’t want to be responsible for diminishing the creative spirit in my students, but rather for nourishing it. Unfortunately, the current system doesn’t always allow for creative growth. Thanks to P.S. ARTS, classroom teachers and Teaching Artists are able to work together to create more meaningful educational experiences for all learners.

Thank you P.S. ARTS!

#InvestInInnovation at

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P.S. ARTS#WhyIGive | Annie Bishop

#WhyIGive | Megan Strawther

on November 4, 2015 Comments Off on #WhyIGive | Megan Strawther

This #WhyIGive Wednesday, P.S. ARTS supporter (and former Development & Communications Associate) Megan Strawther shares why she invested in the future of public school arts education with a gift to the P.S. ARTS Endowment.

A message from Megan Strawther . . .

January 3rd, 2011, was my very first day as the Advancement & Operations Assistant at P.S. ARTS. It was my first “big girl” job out of college, and I was both nervous and thrilled to be joining a team of people that worked hard to level the playing field and create opportunities for children in California’s underserved public schools. Education had played such a pivotal role in my life, and I was honored to be working for a nonprofit like P.S. ARTS that sought to make educational experiences more engaging and equitable for everyone.


For nearly four years, I got to see our programs in action. I saw kids express themselves through beautiful art projects, I saw Teaching Artists inspire their students to achieve more, and I saw parents beam with pride because their child had garnered the confidence to perform a musical number in front of a packed auditorium. More than that, I got to see all of the extraordinary work happening behind the scenes to ensure that these children, schools, and communities received the arts education and cultural experiences they deserved. From managing various stakeholders that were integral to our organization’s success and coordinating fundraising events to support our services to fostering an office culture where our staff was encouraged to learn and grow together, it was always the operations of P.S. ARTS that impressed me most. It was here that I learned how important it is to have a strong organizational infrastructure – both in terms of processes set in place and having an army of dedicated individuals passionate about the cause – in order to have the greatest impact on those you serve.


My work at P.S. ARTS is what inspired me to pursue my current studies in social entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business. My time working in administration, fundraising, and marketing at P.S. ARTS has given me a solid foundation from which to understand how institutions can be most effective. Not only is P.S. ARTS an exemplar model for arts education, it is also an exemplar model for how to run a nonprofit organization that provides crucial services in the community. I would not be where I am today, and motivated by the possibility of what we can accomplish together, were it not for this organization.


This is #WhyIGive to P.S. ARTS. I am confident that my investment will support the long-term growth of this organization and that my donation will have a lasting impact on the 25,000 children it provides arts education to every single day. I am so proud to have called P.S. ARTS my home for so many years, and I am grateful that organizations like P.S. ARTS exist to lend hope and opportunities to our next generation of changemakers.

#InvestInInnovation at

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P.S. ARTS#WhyIGive | Megan Strawther

#WhyIGive | Christina Taylor

on October 21, 2015 Comments Off on #WhyIGive | Christina Taylor

This #WhyIGive Wednesday, P.S. ARTS supporter (and mother of our very own Communications Associate Jacob Campbell) Christina Taylor shares why she invested in the future of public school arts education with a gift to the P.S. ARTS Endowment.

A message from Christina M. Taylor . . .

I chose to support the P.S. ARTS Endowment because I believe that arts programs are an essential part of public education as they help all kids, especially those who might not fit the typical mold, find their niche. Having raised two very different sons — one involved in the performing arts and the other in baseball, basketball, and football — I was thankful that our school district offered diverse programming to meet the needs of each of my kids. I’ve been fortunate to see how access to arts education has influenced my son Jacob and helped him to become successful in his college and career endeavours.

Participating in the #2xTUES social media campaign made it so easy to donate, and I won a super cool prize of tickets to P.S. ARTS’ Taste of Venice event. It was such a fun, delicious day filled with awesome food and music, and I loved connecting with the community that ensures the future and sustainability of P.S. ARTS’ programs.

Please consider supporting the P.S. ARTS Endowment and opening up opportunities for all children to find their niche in this world!

#InvestInInnovation at


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P.S. ARTS#WhyIGive | Christina Taylor

CAA Day 2015!

on October 8, 2015 Comments Off on CAA Day 2015!

By Gabriela Hernandez, Education & Programs Assistant

On Saturday, October 3rd, Creative Artists Agency employees volunteered their time to join P.S. ARTS at Coeur d’Alene Avenue Elementary School for a day of campus beautification and fall-inspired art projects. CAA Day, as we like to call it at P.S. ARTS, has become a highly anticipated event on our annual Community Engagement calendar!


Planning the CAA Day art projects is just as much fun as making them on the day of the event; the P.S. ARTS office is always filled with samples and supplies in the week leading up to the big day! This year, we created eight art projects for students and volunteers to create together including: Polka Dot Pumpkins inspired by artist Yayoi Kusama; Picasso Monsters; a Suminagashi (Japanese paper marbling) project involving the silhouette of fall trees; Day of the Dead Tin Sugar Skulls; and masks inspired by artist Nick Cave’s Soundsuits. We took over the campus lunch tables, passed out various art supplies, and by 9:30am the Coeur d’Alene campus was swarming with the energy of excited kids ready to get their hands messy and make art!


City Year, the national service organization, also joined us at CAA Day for a campus beautification project. Last year, City Year members added new hopscotch and four-square courts to the Coeur d’Alene blacktop. This year, CAA volunteers made sure they were still looking their best by touching them up with paint throughout the day.


Coeur d’Alene has been one of P.S. ARTS’ partner schools since 1992, and we are so thrilled to be able to share arts-filled experiences with the entire school community through events like CAA Day!


We want to give a huge thank you to the CAA Foundation and City Year for making this such a bright and beautiful day.

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P.S. ARTSCAA Day 2015!