New Programming and District Partnership for P.S. ARTS

on June 3, 2021

P.S. ARTS is honored to contribute to safe and successful school re-entry for more than 2,000 youth attending summer programs addressing learning loss and social emotional wellbeing. We will be providing arts, science, and literacy-integrated programs in the Torrance and Reef Sunset Unified School Districts. Inspired by trailblazing artists and engineers, the P.S. ARTS summer program guides students through hands-on projects that inspire creativity, problem-solving, and healthy self expression.

For Torrance Unified School District, P.S. ARTS will be providing a summer school program for 1st through 5th grade students.  Seven new Teaching Artists will be working with students from seven elementary schools to experience a P.S. ARTS STEAM curriculum of arts and science integration activities developed by CEO Kristi Paglia.  Activities include inquiry-based instructions paired with active experiences to encourage students to explore, question, discover, and exercise innovative learning skills! We look forward to innovative learning through this new summer arts partnership with Torrance and Reef Sunset Unified School Districts.
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P.S. ARTSNew Programming and District Partnership for P.S. ARTS

Connecting Through Art During Distance Learning

on June 2, 2021

In the last year, we have witnessed firsthand how communities can connect through creativity and support each other – even virtually. Every year, P.S. ARTS hosts a series of Family Art Nights at our partner schools to bring students, school staff, friends, and families together through creativity. Although this school year looked like none other, it also provided an opportunity to engage with students in new ways, expand what we could do with our free events, and extend our reach to the general public. Despite the hardships and hurtles, we are proud to say that we were able to connect with even more families and communities virtually through the arts. During the 2020-21 school year, P.S. ARTS hosted a total of 63 Family Art Nights, including 6 public Family Art Nights, with over 900 participants. Thank you to the staff and teachers who worked together to create and cultivate these opportunities! We are so thankful for those who joined and supported these amazing community-building events! We can’t wait to share more with you all next year.


Keep an eye out on our social media for the next free public Family Art Night! You can help support this and other programs here.

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P.S. ARTSConnecting Through Art During Distance Learning

Inside Out Community Arts at Loma Alta

on April 4, 2021

Inside Out Community Arts (IOCA), an Extended Learning program of P.S. ARTS, is now working with Loma Alta Park in Altadena, serving youth ages 12 – 18. The program is currently featured on the Loma Alta InstagramLive @ourspotlomaalta. IOCA focuses on empowering underserved middle school youth with the tools, confidence, and inspiration to make a positive difference in their lives and their communities through the arts. Below is an update from Francisco Uribe, Inside Out Community Arts Program Assistant, on what’s been going with Loma Alta.


Recently at Loma Alta, the Teaching Artists Goreti, Tyee, and Aubrey showed how to bring a character’s physicality to life, using only your voice and props that are around the house. In an articulation exercise, Tyee showed how to beatbox. He started off by saying the phrase, “Baby Ketchup and Buttercup,” and then he made everyone else repeat the phrase but without pronouncing any of the vowels. To demonstrate the structure of a story, the Teaching Artists brought to life the story of Goldilocks, where Monique from Loma Alta played the part of Goldilocks, and surprising us all, Tyee played the part of the porridge.


Thank you for the update, Francisco! Stay tuned for more news about IOCA and Loma Alta as programming continues.

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P.S. ARTSInside Out Community Arts at Loma Alta

Volunteer Highlight: Mary-Kate Schellhardt

on March 31, 2021

In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, we are highlighting our Guest Artist, Mary-Kate Schellhardt, for her work with P.S. ARTS. Below is an update from our Volunteer Coordinator, Joella Still, including a conversation with Mary-Kate about why she loves volunteering for P.S. ARTS.


This year has been an interesting one to say the least, and with help from our dedicated volunteers, we were able to pivot quickly, while keeping the quality and integrity of our programming intact. Being forced to move to virtual programming, has allowed for some experimentation of various program models that we hadn’t previously explored.

One of these experiments was a new version of our Guest Artist series that took place once a month for four months, led by actress Mary-Kate Schellhardt. Starring in movies such as Free Willy and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape as a child, Mary-Kate was able to offer insight as a child actor and share her experience and expertise in the entertainment industry. Middle school students in our Inside Out Community Arts program were actively engaged in these workshops which covered voiceovers, preparation for auditions, and character development.

Students were able to ask questions about her personal experiences and any applicable skills and tools that they could start utilizing at their current ages, as well as get hands-on experience with the audition process, and techniques actors use to prepare for their roles.

When asked why she wanted to volunteer with P.S. ARTS she responded, “Jaime Reichner introduced me to Joella Still and ever since I’ve had an amazing time volunteering at P.S. ARTS. Everyone from Lui Sanchez to the teachers and students in the workshops were creative and kind. I wanted to volunteer because I love theatre and grew up in classes where I was taught by artists. It’s been a dream to now be creating workshops about the profession I chose.”

The hours Mary-Kate spent preparing the workshops each month are truly a testament to her dedication to our students. She showed up for each and every meeting, and really committed to our students. As a result, our Program Director, Lui Sanchez, has decided to replicate this program.

We at P.S. ARTS want to thank Mary-Kate for all of the time she devoted to collaborating with us to make this program successful!

An additional shout out to everyone who has helped us during this pandemic. So many volunteers have stepped up in various ways from helping us edit videos for our programs and helping older volunteers with Zoom technology, to putting together art kits for our students. We truly could not have done this without the efforts of our volunteers and we are so thankful to have you all be a part of the P.S. ARTS family!


To volunteer with P.S. ARTS  fill out this application.
For questions, email Joella at volunteers@psarts.org.

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P.S. ARTSVolunteer Highlight: Mary-Kate Schellhardt

Thank You, Volunteers!

on March 31, 2021

Volunteer Appreciation Month is here and we are so grateful for our volunteers! Volunteering provides essential help to organizations like P.S. ARTS while connecting volunteers to worthwhile causes through their extended communities. Below is information about events P.S. ARTS is hosting to celebrate our volunteers in the month of April.

P.S. ARTS Volunteer Appreciation Week Events:

The Studio – Open Class on Facebook Live – April 20, 2021
Volunteer Appreciation Happy Hour – April 22, 2021 – RSVP
VolunTEEN Night – April 23, 2021 – RSVP

To volunteer with P.S. ARTS  fill out this application.
For questions, email Joella at volunteers@psarts.org

 

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P.S. ARTSThank You, Volunteers!

Art is Wellness

on March 23, 2021
P.S. ARTS Volunteer Coordinator, Joella Still, shares an update on The Studio, our virtual visual arts and movements class for ages 55 and up. With a structure similar to our Classroom Studio program, The Studio is designed for participants to learn about artists and various art forms, and create art and movement pieces. Read on to learn more about this dynamic class and how to sign up.

 

When we think of wellness, the first ideas that come to mind are usually medicine, physical health, diet, or exercise. But over the past year, we’ve been able to see first-hand the impact of providing arts education to older adults during the pandemic and its contributions to their overall health and wellbeing. It’s time to add art to the conversation of wellness. Initially developed to address social isolation of older adults, we very quickly realized the greater impact of weekly movement and visual arts classes. Participants of this program have created a wonderful community for themselves filled with encouragement, inspiration, and support.

 

Spreading mainly through word of mouth, The Studio now has participants from all over the country and the world. “P.S. ARTS has given me the support I need during this trying time.” – Veronica Clark
In these classes, tools are provided to address needs of the body, space is created to commune with one another, and leadership is encouraged. While learning about the history of stepping and marching bands at Historically Black Colleges and Universities or New Orleans culture of the second line for instance, participants exchange ideas and collaborate to create choreography. Week after week, The Studio continues to address physical, social, and emotional needs, all of which contribute to wellness. Wellness isn’t just exercising and eating right, it’s also having the space to vent about life and dance with new friends on zoom. It’s about having a space you can come to for self-improvement, continued learning, exploring creativity, and community.

Thank you, Joella! The Studio takes place every Tuesday at 2:15pm PST. Prospective participants 55+ can sign up for free here.
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P.S. ARTSArt is Wellness

I Have a Voice

on March 17, 2021

P.S. ARTS is pleased to present The Lennox Inside Out Online Culmination Video! This video includes information on P.S. ARTS’ Inside Out Community Arts program, family interviews, an inspirational introduction titled The Women Are Coming, and post-show feedback from audience members. The presentation centers on the original play I Have A Voice which was written and performed by middle school students: Alyssa A., Elizabeth A., Cassandra B., Nevaeh G., Valerie L., Jasmine L., Keiry M., Sarah P., Yocelyn R., and Meriyen T.

I Have a Voice is a mix of pre-recorded videos and live theater around the topic of women’s rights, created and performed by students at Lennox Middle School. During the first half of their IOCA program there, students learned the basics of theatre including improvisation, acting, and creating characters. They also learned about conflict resolution and character motivation, and how these elements help build a story. The performance was a culmination of all of the theatre skills they learned over the four month program. Students also participated in Family Workshops on the weekends to create art with family members, who also contributed to the presentation.

In the second half of the session, the students embarked on their own creative process of writing an original play. The adult IOCA Artist Leaders do not assign play topics or write the content. Each play was created directly from observations or experiences in the young performers’ lives. These plays are the culmination of an incredible amount of dedication, hard work, and commitment by each and every Inside Out community member.

Special thanks to all the students who participated in the program with respect, courage, accountability, and commitment.  Also, a special thanks to the parents and families for their support to have Inside Out continue in their home during the school closure.  And another special thanks to the Lennox LEAP staff, Mr. Eddie Garcia, Ms. Fabiola Martin, Ms. Rosa Vasquez, Mr. Bryan Sanchez, and the Lennox School District! Enjoy the full presentation through this link.

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P.S. ARTSI Have a Voice

SAC Lunch Update

on February 24, 2021

It’s been 4 months since SAC (Student Art Club) Lunch started up again at Will Rogers Middle School and we love seeing what our students have been creating! This month, students welcomed their new Teaching Artist, Mr. David Partida, who led them in a collage art project.

SAC Lunch is a weekly program organized by P.S. ARTS where students are invited to get creative during their lunch break. It was created to reduce social isolation while giving students the tools and encouragement to express themselves while experimenting with different materials, projects, and themes.

We are excited to see the way the program progresses and what the students learn and create!


To learn more about SAC Lunch, click here.

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P.S. ARTSSAC Lunch Update

Rethinking What We Teach and How We Teach It

on February 17, 2021

P.S. ARTS offers its Teaching Artists intensive and rigorous ongoing training related to arts education theory and practice. Below, P.S. ARTS Program Manager Rebecca Cardenas shares about a recent Professional Development opportunity she facilitated for our teachers. Read on to learn more about the session and the Historically Responsive Education training that our teachers have been engaging with to rethink what we teach and how we teach it.

This past December, P.S.ARTS Educator Training staff facilitated a two-hour professional development session focused on Dr. Gholdy Muhammed’s work of Historically Responsive Education. In her book, Cultivating Genius, Dr. Muhammed describes H.R.E. as, “Teaching, learning, and leadership that is responsive to the identities, histories, literacies, and liberation of students. This approach is humanizing, anti-racist and helps to improve our social times.” During this session, teaching artists discussed the 5 Learning Pursuits of H.R.E., which include: Identity, Skills, Criticality, Intellectualism, and Joy. We found that exploring these Pursuits as a basis of curriculum development and pedagogy connected directly with P.S.ARTS’s continued work in building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Thank you, Rebecca! Below are the 5 learning pursuits of Historically Responsive Education for further reflection. 

Identity: How does my instruction help my students learn about themselves and others who are different from them?
Intellectualism: How does my instruction help students to learn new knowledge and concepts?
Criticality: How does my instruction help students to understand power, equity, social justice, anti-racism & anti-oppression?
Skills: How does my instruction help students to learn the skills and standards for my content?
Joy: How does my curriculum instruct and enable joy?

Access anti-racist resources for the classroom and hear an interview with Dr. Gholdy Muhammed by clicking here.

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P.S. ARTSRethinking What We Teach and How We Teach It

Looking Back at 2020

on January 13, 2021

From remote operations and distanced teaching to launching brand new programs, P.S. ARTS’ ability to transform in response to the needs of children and families was tested to the limit in 2020. Looking back at 2020 we are proud of our staff and teachers who have continued to provide high quality arts education to the schools and students we serve!


Looking back at 2020:

  • P.S. ARTS assembled and distributed over 5,000 Art Kits to 19 schools in 5 districts.
  • P.S ARTS organized 26 free Family Arts Nights, including 11 virtual events, featuring a range of arts activities such as salsa dancing and wool felting.
  • P.S. ARTS provided 80+ free visual art, theater, music, and dance activities with step-by-step instructions on its website. Check them out in the To Go! Projects section at psarts.org.
  • P.S. ARTS offered Professional Development opportunities to 36 Teaching Artists across 4 disciplines to enable them to make the most of their virtual classrooms while providing tools and training that prioritize cultural responsiveness, anti-racism, and social emotional learning.

We look forward to another year of creativity with you all as we continue to adapt and evolve to best meet our community’s needs. To learn more about P.S. ARTS’ mission click here and to help us continue this mission click here.

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Gaby PalmadessaLooking Back at 2020