Meet Our 2018 Getty Intern!

on June 14, 2018 Comments Off on Meet Our 2018 Getty Intern!

We are thrilled to have Theresa “Theri” Aronson join us for the summer as a part of the Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program. We asked her a few “get-to-know-you” questions — see what she had to say!

1. Briefly introduce yourself and explain what you’ll be doing with P.S. ARTS: 

This summer I will be working as the Education and Media intern at P.S. ARTS (through the Getty Foundation). Part of my responsibilities as the summer intern will include both researching and designing new Student and Teacher P.S. ARTS To-Go! lessons for multiple grade levels, creating family-friendly visual arts lessons for P.S. ARTS’ Family Art Nights, and will also be contributing to social media platforms and the P.S. ARTS blog. 

2. What book is currently on your nightstand?

Currently, the book that is sitting on my nightstand is This Side of Paradise, by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

3. What is currently the most played song you’ve been listening to?

Spotify says that the most played song from in music library is “Mr. Blue Sky,” by Electric Light Orchestra, but I would argue that my all-time most listened to song would be “Here, There, and Everywhere,” by the Beatles.

4. Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?

When I did performing arts when I was younger, my favorite thing was when my grandma would take me and my mom to see musical performances at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. Some of my favorite musicals I’ve seen include Wicked, The Wiz, The Lion King, and Legally Blonde.

5. What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?

If I could bring him back from the dead, I would want to have coffee with John Lennon because I have the biggest crush on him since I could remember. However, I would want him to look the same way he did when the Beatles first came to the US, so he would still be in his 20s. 

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Stephanie McGrathMeet Our 2018 Getty Intern!

Happy National Volunteer Week

on April 20, 2018 Comments Off on Happy National Volunteer Week

by Lauren Instenes, AmeriCorps VISTA, Volunteer Program Coordinator

This week at P.S. ARTS, we are celebrating the amazing contribution our volunteers have made to our program. Thanks to a generous grant from the Eisner Foundation, which invests in programs that bring together multiple generations to create a better community for everyone, our volunteer program grew to a new level this year. In addition to funding intergenerational experiences, this grant allowed us to develop an intergenerational volunteer program with volunteers of all ages serving together.

Our new volunteers have helped us in classrooms and at community events, improving the quality of our programs in many ways. As we run over 60 community events every year, every extra set of hands helps us to create a supportive environment for friends and family to make art together. Volunteers who serve in our classrooms are also greatly appreciated by our teaching artists who say, “it frees up time to spend one on one time with kids who need a little extra help” and “a good volunteer in the classroom creates a calmer environment for all.”

THANK YOU! We are so thankful for our wonderful volunteers—you are making an incredible impact on our programs and the students you serve.

We are always looking for more individuals dedicated to supporting arts education in their community to join our volunteering team. No matter your availability or your experience with the arts, with our wide range of opportunities we will definitely be able to use your help. If you are interested in learning more about our volunteer program you can contact our Volunteer Program Coordinator by email at or sign up to come to an orientation by completing this form.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on P.S. ARTS news, events, and more.
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P.S. ARTSHappy National Volunteer Week

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

on March 5, 2018 Comments Off on P.S. ARTS Receives a $25,000 Grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation
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


For additional information and press inquiries, please email Stephanie McGrath at

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

Volunteer Highlight | Vania

on January 30, 2018 Comments Off on Volunteer Highlight | Vania

by Lauren Instenes, AmeriCorps VISTA, Volunteer Program Coordinator

Vania started volunteering with P.S. ARTS in 2016 and has become an amazingly reliable volunteer whose presence and positivity brightens every event she works with. Since joining our team of volunteers, Vania has volunteered at in a variety of roles from lending a helping hand at Family Art Nights to being a valued assistant to our Teaching Artists in theater and visual arts classes in the Lawndale School District. The Teaching Artists from these classes are very appreciative of what Vania brings to the classroom.

“Vania is a very sweet soul, generous to the point of selflessness, upbeat and steady. She easily interacts with all the students and has a special place in her heart for the kinders. I feel lucky to have her!!”
– June Edmonds, Teaching Artist

“Vania is an incredible asset to the theater classroom. Her dedication, commitment, and helpfulness are priceless. When doing classroom activities she is able to assist and support learners in just the right way. I have a Spanish speaking child in one of the classrooms, and Vania has supported this learner’s growth by translating important pieces of information, and you can see that this has eased the learner tremendously. The classes are getting twice the amount of work done because of her presence. It is great to have Vania as a volunteer, and I appreciate her so much.”

-Tinia Orduña, Teaching Artist

Vania is an amazing asset to our volunteer program, and we are so grateful for her continued support! Thank you, Vania!

Stay up to date on volunteer opportunities and more by signing up for our newsletter. Click here to sign up!

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P.S. ARTSVolunteer Highlight | Vania

Volunteer Highlight | Frank Wutts

on December 5, 2017 Comments Off on Volunteer Highlight | Frank Wutts

by Lauren Instenes, AmeriCorps VISTA, Volunteer Program Coordinator

For International Volunteer Appreciation Day this year, P.S. ARTS would like to highlight Frank Wutts who started volunteering with us during the 2015/16 school year. He started by coming to our Family Art Nights in the Lawndale area, and this year he also started serving in a visual arts classroom at Mark Twain Elementary.

“I have been very fortunate to have Frank as a volunteer in my art classes and I cannot praise him enough!”

“He is everything that you would want in a volunteer. Frank is dependable and punctual, and he arrives ready to do whatever it takes to be as helpful as possible. He washes brushes (without a sink in my classroom this makes him particularly valuable!), helps set up and pass out supplies at that crucial moment when there is little time between classes, and assists with keeping students on track with gentle reminders during art-making activities. Very quickly, Frank knew what to do without me having to tell him (he knew just when to pass out paper or glue sticks or guide students to the painting table) which is a tremendous plus. He even donated wood scraps for one of our art projects. Students quickly began to appreciate Frank’s presence and expressed missing him one day when he couldn’t be in class. Frank’s creativity and science mindedness, along with his commitment and genuine altruistic spirit, combine to make him a most awesome volunteer!”

-Wanda Boudreaux, Teaching Artist

We had a chance to talk with Frank about why he loves volunteering with P.S. ARTS:

What motivates you to volunteer for P.S. ARTS?

I was motivated to get involved with P.S. ARTS because I saw students’ work hanging on the walls of another school that I was doing a reading program at and was very impressed with the quality and expressiveness of the work. I could tell that they have a well thought out curriculum and hired well-qualified teachers. I don’t remember having any arts education when I was in school and feel kind of jealous. We just had coloring books and the like but we never learned the elements of art or different styles of art. I love that the kids can produce successful pieces and have fun and freedom when doing so.

Can you share a memorable moment you had while volunteering with P.S. ARTS?

I always enjoy it when I see a student’s light come on and say, “I get it” after I’ve explained something or shown them something.

Thank you Frank for your dedication and commitment to arts education and P.S. ARTS! If you are looking for ways to volunteer with us, visit for more info. Happy International Volunteer Day!

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P.S. ARTSVolunteer Highlight | Frank Wutts

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

2017 Getty Arts Summit

on August 8, 2017 Comments Off on 2017 Getty Arts Summit

By Education & Media Intern Yesenia Perez

2017 Getty Arts Summit - Can you spot me on the right?

On Monday, July 10th, I visited the Getty Arts Center for my first time. There I met over 100 other Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Interns, representing more than 90 Los Angeles-area museums and visual arts organizations, all of us eager to begin our day at the 2017 Getty Arts Summit.

2017 Getty Arts Summit  Exterior view of The Getty Center

After sharing introductions over coffee and pastries in the courtyard, we moved inside the Getty Museum Lecture Hall where Cynthia Querio, The Getty Foundation Program Assistant, welcomed us to the space. Ms. Querio gave a brief overlook at the exciting things underway through the Getty Foundation including Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, the upcoming collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California highlighting Latin American and Latino art.

2017 Getty Arts Summit(c) 2017 J. Paul Getty Trust

Betty Avila, Associate Director of Self-Help Graphics, delivered the keynote address in which she weaved together an authentic and honest reflection of her own personal journey with counsel for emerging leaders, seamlessly touching upon the complicated politics of gentrification and art and exploring the evolving landscape of arts leadership. Drawing from her own experience and position at Self-Help Graphics, she underscored the importance of career mentorship whilst emphasizing the necessity for women of color to boldly and unapologetically take up leadership roles in the art world.

Following the keynote address, we participated in breakout sessions led by fourteen professionals working in a variety of careers with Los Angeles art organizations and institutions. I attended the “Civic Engagement and Art Education” session with Sandy Rodriguez, an artist and independent educator; “Artists and Community Partnerships” with Shelby Williams-Gonzalez, Development and Communications Director of artworkxLA; “Communicating the Arts” with Kimberly Kandel, Communications Coordinator for the Ford Theatres in Hollywood; and “Learning from Exhibitions” with Jamillah James, Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. As my passions lie at the intersection of art, education, and social change, I found the interactive dialogue with Sandy Rodriguez particularly relevant and affirming, while hearing from Shelby Williams-Gonzalez about her work with artworxLA happened to harmoniously align with my forthcoming senior thesis, which will center the creative arts as a space to negotiate identity, construct multiple forms of knowledge and capital, and disrupt the school to prison pipeline. These conversations were also great spaces for me to learn about what other interns were up to and in what exciting and unexpected ways our interests overlapped.

2017 Getty Arts SummitMs. Querio leading us through Eyewitness Views!

By this point in the afternoon our hunger was satiated by the delicious sandwiches we enjoyed with our Learning Hubs during lunch. Learning Hubs are regional cohorts of around fifteen to twenty MUI interns, each with a group leader who is a full-time employee at one of the participating organizations. Westside Hub #6 is led by our own Gaby Hernandez, who organized an outing to The Museum of Jurassic Technology and The Wende Museum a few weeks earlier. It was fun to reconnect with my fellow Hub members while taking a walk through Robert Irwin’s Central Garden, though the sweltering heat quickly forced us to retreat back inside for air conditioning. We wrapped up the afternoon with gallery and department tours; I had the privilege of touring Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth Century Europe and Berlin/Los Angeles: Space For Music.

My day at the Getty solidified my interest in working in the arts and most importantly, broadened the scope of abundant opportunities that are available by introducing me to a diverse range of individuals working at multiple levels to transform communities and society.

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P.S. ARTS2017 Getty Arts Summit

Meet Our Getty Intern!

on June 16, 2017 Comments Off on Meet Our Getty Intern!

Please join us in welcoming Yesenia Perez, our new summer intern! We asked her a few “get-to-know-you” questions — see what she had to say!

Yesenia Perez, Education & Media Intern (through the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program)

Briefly introduce yourself and explain your new position at P.S. ARTS.
My name is Yesenia and I am the Getty Education & Media Intern this summer at P.S. ARTS. I am a senior Education and Sociology double major at Vassar College. I will be drawing on my background in teaching to translate and further develop accessible P.S. ARTS To-Go plans and Family Art Night projects.

What book is currently on your nightstand?
Ishmael by David Quinn was my last interesting read but I’m currently re-reading Freedom from the Known by Jiddu Krishnamurti

What is currently the most played song on your iPod?
I can listen to the entirety of the Ego Death album by The Internet or Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino, but Mar (Lo Que Siento) by Bomba Estéreo seems to fit any mood I’m feeling so I listen to it a lot!

Where is your favorite place to view or take part in art in Los Angeles?
I love performance art – as a writer myself, I’m always looking to support friends and local artists of color performing spoken word and theater.

What famous person, either dead or alive, would you choose to take out for coffee?
I always have a tough time answering this type of question, hmmm – right now, I would say I’d be interested in sitting down with María de Jesús Patricio Martínez, the first indigenous woman running for president in Mexico.

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P.S. ARTSMeet Our Getty Intern!

Grand View Arts Festival 2017

on April 28, 2017 Comments Off on Grand View Arts Festival 2017

by Program Manager, Jaime Reichner

Last Friday, volunteers from Snap, Inc. joined P.S. ARTS staff at Grand View Blvd. Elementary for our annual Arts Festival. Excited students made their way through a series of booths, which included six visual arts activities and a drumming circle.

P.S. ARTS launched the festival a few years ago as an opportunity to celebrate the inclusive school culture at Grand View.  Students from both general education and special education classes all participate side-by-side, as they do in Ms. Tamie’s visual arts classes. Our beloved music teaching artist Marwan Mograbi led students and teachers in a drumming workshop, which provided a fun and festive background to the afternoon’s event.

With more than 700 students cycling through the event, it was most definitely a group effort.  Our amazing Program Assistant, Oscar Navarrete, made sure everything went smoothly as staff and volunteers helped to lead students through projects based on masterworks by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Louise Bourgeouis. The students had a fantastic time and proudly displayed their artwork.  Grand View teachers also commented on how much the students enjoyed the event and what a treat it was to experience so many creative projects.

Mask project, inspired by Picasso!

Associate Program Director Lora Cawelti helping set-up.

CEO Kristi Paglia leading students in a chalk art project.

Program Coordinator Gaby Hernandez prepping the Tie-Dye butterfly booth.

Deputy Director Elda Pineda and Program Assistant Oscar Navarrete made sure every student received a P.S. ARTS tote bag to collect their finished artwork.

Event Coordinator Clarissa Hampton showing off her Picasso mask.

Development Manager Allison Schaub assisting young artists with their Tie-Dye Butterflies.

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P.S. ARTSGrand View Arts Festival 2017

Art Exchange: Los Angeles – Atlanta

on April 26, 2017 Comments Off on Art Exchange: Los Angeles – Atlanta

by Teaching Artist, Malena Alzu

P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist Malena Alzu discusses an art exchange partnership she initiated with New American Pathways where her students created art that will be sent to Syrian refugee students living in Atlanta.

They’re done! I just mailed a bundle of unfinished art work made by a group of second graders from Los Angeles to Atlanta!!! Each piece is meant to be finished by a pen pal from a group of Syrian refugee students who are living in Atlanta. Our students also included letters that were written with such care that I wanted to handle them with doctor gloves!

The activity is based on the lesson “Butterfly in Symmetry,” developed by another P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist, Leah Padow. The curriculum highlights the concepts of courage, refuge, and protection. In this lesson, students identify aspects related to line, color, symmetry, and pattern and internalize that knowledge to create an art piece.


The first day, the students created a butterfly inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s work, using colored paper, tempera and q-tips. They discussed the elements Kusama used in her work and explored the concept of symmetry as it relate to butterflies and other things found in nature.

The students then created the background for their butterflies using colored paper, oil pastels, and toothpicks. We explored the book Migrant by Maxine Trottier and Isabelle Arsenault. We talked about what Monarch butterflies achieve to find a safe place, what they need to make a home for themselves, and what human beings need to feel at home. We used what we have learned so far (dots, circles, and different kind of lines) to draw a perfect home for our butterflies: a garden full of flowers!

The final step in the lesson was a letter, which students wrote for their pen pals. With their classroom teacher, they discussed who their pen pal students are, where they live, and where they come from. I collected the letters and attached them to the back of each piece with the artist’s photograph.

Now, we just have to wait for the works to fly back and forth… What will our pen pals do? What will they send? What will they feel?


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P.S. ARTSArt Exchange: Los Angeles – Atlanta