Expose Yourself to Art: Why I am a Teaching Artist

on December 12, 2012

By Leah Padow, P.S. ARTS Visual Arts Teaching Artist

As I child I was fortunate to have been exposed to the arts, which naturally inspired my participation in them. My mother is an artist and my father is very arts-interested, so we spent time together as a family visiting museums and art galleries, seeing plays, and hearing live music. When at home, I could often be found building sculptures out of Xerox paper and Scotch tape or making up dance routines to 80s music with friends. I was involved in my temple’s drama program (somewhere there exists a VHS tape of me performing in a Chanukah play dressed as a potato latke). I took piano and guitar lessons and song-writing classes. If I was interested in something, even fleetingly, I was supported in exploring it. Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad!

However, I must point out that my childhood arts experiences took place primarily outside of school. I attended public schools and though I remember playing the clarinet in the fourth grade (I had to beg to be one of the five kids who got sent out for music) and dancing the Virginia Reel, I didn’t have access to a sequential, reliable standards-based arts education. And I craved it in a big bad way. The missing piece in my education only became more noticeable and devastating once I got to high school where I was told that even though the school offered visual arts classes, I was in the wrong magnet portion of the school and could not enroll in them. So my parents and I proceeded to get me released from my local school district so I could transfer to another local district where I was able to take visual arts classes galore. Of the 12 years I spent in the public school system, the two I spent at a school where I took design, ceramics, drawing and painting, were by far the happiest time in my public school education.

In college, I majored in studio art and prior to graduation began teaching visual art at local museums and for a public school district program before going to work full-time for P.S. ARTS, where I have now been a Teaching Artist for over eleven years. I am currently earning a Master of Liberal Studies in Arts Development and Program Management from Denver University. I have temporarily scaled back my work schedule to part-time while completing my graduate degree and taking care of my young daughter (you shouldn’t be surprised to read that at just fifteen months her arts education is well underway).

What I love about my work as a Teaching Artist is that it enables me to begin to repair one of the deficits in public education. I believe my students – and all students for that matter – have a right to access and explore the arts in the schools and to become arts literate in a way that is on par with how society expects students to be proficient in reading, writing, and arithmetic. I obviously cannot change the injustice that was done to me in the first ten years of my public school experience, but I can see to it that my students experience the visual arts in a way I only dreamed of as a child. And guiding them through the experience of being a rigorous young artist gives me (and them) great pleasure!

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P.S. ARTSExpose Yourself to Art: Why I am a Teaching Artist

Express Yourself 2012 Press

on December 8, 2012

Express Yourself 2012

Express Yourself is a P.S. ARTS signature event. This fundraiser, held in November of each year, is filled with art booths for children of all ages, edible booths from LA’s top eateries, music, and performances.

November 11th, 2012 marked the 14th annual P.S. ARTS Express Yourself. Held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, over $500,000 was raised to support art programs in underprivileged schools.  For more information on what celebrities were in attendance and about the event check out these featured articles below:

http://societynewsla.com/ps-arts-express-yourself-2012/

Published: November 16th, 2012

Written By: Catherine de Castelbajac

 

http://www.celebritybabyscoop.com/2012/11/12/family-day-at-p-s-arts-express-yourself-event

Published: November 12th, 2012

Written By: Lisa Estall

 

http://www.kiwicrate.com/blog/7908/kiwi-crate-p-s-arts-express-yourself-2012/

Published: November 13th, 2012

Written By: Sandra

 

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/14th-anniversary-p-arts-express-20121111-164509-202.html

 

http://www.eonline.com/news/362340/selena-gomez-and-justin-bieber-s-split-joel-mchale-kevin-nealon-and-more-react

Published: November 12th, 2012

Written By: Jenna Mullins

 

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hollywood-stars-get-crafty-support-389250

Published: November 12th, 2012

Written By: Candace Chen

 

 

http://la-confidential-magazine.com/galleries/ps-arts-2012-express-yourself-celebration

 

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P.S. ARTSExpress Yourself 2012 Press

Clare Vivier Talks P.S. ARTS Merchandise

on December 4, 2012

By Fashion Designer and P.S. ARTS Supporter Clare Vivier

Art and fashion have always been a passion of mine.  7 years ago, I attended a trunk show and met Julia Sorkin, a Board Member at P.S. ARTS, and we quickly got to talking about our interest for both subjects.  It was clear from the start of our conversation the overwhelming admiration she had for P.S. ARTS.  She then invited me to attend a committee meeting for the P.S. ARTS event, “Express Yourself.”  From the moment I attended that first meeting, I fell in love with the organization.

Having a two-year-old son at the time, I felt it absolutely necessary to get involved with a charity that provided arts education to public schools in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.  I could not imagine my own son going to school and missing out on the opportunity to learn about art and explore his creativity.  I grew up attending public school in St. Paul, Minnesota, and can clearly remember how much I appreciated and loved painting class.  It was a time to learn but also a time to have fun and be creative — something you can’t always get from the basic curriculum.  I strongly believe that every student deserves the right to an arts education; I knew I had to be involved and help give children in our community the same opportunities that I had growing up.

Throughout the years, my career has also become personally intertwined with P.S. ARTS.  Many years ago when I was working as a journalist for a French television station, I realized that because of the lack of stylish and functional laptop bags, I would simply have to make my own. And so I began my epynonymous line of handbags, now based out of Los Angeles.  Clare Vivier handbags are designed and engineered in the city I call home.  I recently opened a flagship boutique in Silverlake and I have been so lucky to donate some of my clutches and bags to the yearly P.S. ARTS Bag Lunch event. I cannot think of a better reason for a woman to be carrying one of my bags than the fact that they supported P.S. ARTS with their purchase!

The 2012 P.S. ARTS Bag Lunch featuring some signature Clare Vivier bags!

Which brings me to the exciting news:  P.S. ARTS has re-launched their online store! I am thrilled because I always need a good excuse to shop!  And I am pleased to inform you that the store has some very fashionable items.

Graphic tees were taking over street style for the Spring 2013 shows this fall.  Bloggers to editors noted that graphic casual t-shirts were paired with girly floral skirts, printed pants, and attention grabbing shorts.  What better way to embrace this easy trend than by supporting arts education in public schools as well?  I love the t-shirt by Junk Food; it is fun and easy and will add a little bit of spunk to any outfit.  Its design and use of multiple languages and colors draws your attention and promotes P.S. ARTS at the same time!

How easy would it be to throw on the “We Make Artists” t-shirt with bright pants or leather leggings for a chic and casual look?  There are so many other great t-shirts for adults, kids, and babies, along with tote bags, water bottles, and other accessories, that it makes supporting P.S. ARTS incredibly easy and fun!

All prices include shipping but not tax and all proceeds benefit P.S. ARTS’ arts education programs and further their mission of improving children’s lives through arts education.

I hope to run into you all in the near future with your P.S. ARTS gear and a Clare Vivier clutch!

Check Out Clare’s blog for fashion inspiration, insider design scoop, and an all around good time! And a special thank you to Lightray Productions for helping us create our new and improved merchandise page!

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P.S. ARTSClare Vivier Talks P.S. ARTS Merchandise

4 Ways To Do Good While You Give This Holiday Season

on November 27, 2012

First there was Black Friday, then there was Cyber Monday, and now it’s the first-ever Giving Tuesday, a day to encourage people to give more, give smarter, and celebrate the spirit of giving this holiday season.  We all love multitasking, especially during the busiest time of the year.  So why not give gifts to the ones we love while also helping give back to our community?

Here at P.S. ARTS we’ve come up with not just one, but 4 fun and creative ways you can get through that holiday gift list while ensuring the 12,000 students we serve each week have arts classes to look forward to when they return to school in January.  It’s a win win!

1. We’ll start with the obvious – a gift card.  But not just any gift card, a GiviGiv gift card… when you buy gift certificates to LA’s best restaurants at givigiv.com/psarts, 20% of your purchase will go directly to P.S. ARTS!  The first 100 people to sign up will get $25 GiviBucks in their account and you will have already raised $5 for P.S. ARTS.  With restaurant partners like Gjelina, Toscana, and BLD, your gift is sure to be deliciously well received.

Check out givigiv.com/psarts and purchase gift certificates to your favorite LA restaurants!

2. Want a gift that will last all year?  How about a membership in the Friends of P.S. ARTS program?  The benefits depend on the level of membership and include everything from tickets to our most popular events to private art lessons with a P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist.  In January we will be launching our new Monthly Perks benefit (included with all contributions of $50+), where members are treated to special deals at our favorite restaurants and each month our partners will rotate.  Coming up first: visit our friends at Ocean & Vine in the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel for 50% a bottle of wine with the purchase of two entrees. Sounds like a fun night in the making!  See a full list of levels and corresponding benefits.

Receive Cocktail Party tickets to the Opening Night Party of Los Angeles Modernism at the “Supporter of the Arts” level!

3. Looking for something they can open and enjoy right away?  We’ve got a virtual merchandise store full of goodies! Limited edition P.S. ARTS t-shirts (for adults and kids), Chan Luu bracelets donated by Chan herself, Life Factory water bottles (with these you are supporting arts education and being kind to the environment – two causes in one!) and iPhone cases (4/4s and 5!) in black or white.  Check out our full selection at The P.S. ARTS Store.

4. And what about all those people that should get more than a card but less than something you have to wait in line at the post office to mail?  We’ve got an answer for that as well…Holiday Card Inserts!  Add these cards (each featuring student artwork) to your existing holiday cards and let your friends know you have a made a donation to P.S. ARTS in their honor. Suggested contribution per card is $5 and they are available by calling 310.586.1017 or you can add some to your virtual shopping cart when you are picking up your limited edition t-shirt at the link above.

Wouldn’t you love to receive artwork by our students in your holiday cards and know that a donation has been made in your honor this season?

So there you go, holiday gift giving made easy.  This Giving Tuesday and holiday season, you can buy gifts for family and friends that are truly meaningful.  And it’s so much better than a fruit cake… although if we could figure out how to brand one of those, we’d probably offer that too!

Happy Holidays!!

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P.S. ARTS4 Ways To Do Good While You Give This Holiday Season

P.S. ARTS Partners With MOCA

on November 20, 2012

By Stephanie Kistner, Education & Programs Associate

This year, P.S. ARTS was presented with the exciting chance to partner with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’s Contemporary Art Start Program.

Through this program, P.S. ARTS Teaching Artists have the opportunity to attend professional development workshops that focus on Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) teaching methods, as well as in depth training that highlights MOCA’s arts education curriculum tools.

Besides offering teachers up to 40 hours of professional development, through the Contemporary Arts Start (CAS) Program, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) offers each participating teacher with two guided museum visits for students, including one free bus for a class field trip!

Last Friday, November 16th, P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist Matt MacFarland, who is participating in the CAS program this year, took students from Camino Nuevo Charter Academy’s Harvard campus to visit The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Students were led on a tour of current exhibits by a MOCA staff member trained in VTS strategies. The VTS method, developed by educators Abigail Housen and Philip Yenawine, focuses on asking open-ended questions about visual art that stimulates critical thinking and increases students’ language and literacy skills.

Students From Camino Nuevo Charter Academy’s Harvard Campus Who Are Eager to Learn About Art!

Thanks to MOCA and the CAS Program, P.S. ARTS students are able to visit a major cultural institution (many for the first time!), and view and think about art in a fun and meaningful way. Thank you MOCA!

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P.S. ARTSP.S. ARTS Partners With MOCA

Behind the Scenes of Express Yourself

on November 14, 2012

By Chelsea Martell, Advancement & Operations Assistant

P.S. ARTS’ biggest event of the year, Express Yourself, took place on November 11th, 2012 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.  As a newcomer to P.S. ARTS and experiencing this event for the first time, I must say I was blown away.  Here’s my “Behind the Scenes” perspective of our biggest fundraiser of the year:

The Event

Express Yourself is an incredible way for our contributors to experience the opportunities that P.S. ARTS provides to thousands of students in Los Angeles County and the Central Valley every day. It’s an opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children and enjoy a day of arts and crafts, music, and dozens of signature eats and treats from LA’s top restaurants and caterers.

In a nutshell, Express Yourself is like an amusement park — but better. It’s a hands-on interactive event where parents and children alike enjoy a wide variety of art projects ranging from placemat making, flower pot decorating, face painting, clay mold creating to superhero transformations… just to name a few!  And the best part: you don’t have to wait in line to ride the attractions!  Our event provides numerous exciting art booths and samples of a wide variety of food without worrying about lines, ride closures, or grumpy cast members.

Behind the Scenes of Express Yourself

I quickly learned that while at this point the event is like a well-oiled machine (14 years and counting), it still requires many months of planning, organization, and preparation.  Guests and outside onlookers may not realize how much work goes on behind the scenes of an event like Express Yourself.  There are so many components to keep track of: committee meetings, volunteer lists, art supplies, edible booths, ticket sales, how many cans of glitter we have… needless to say, Google Drive becomes your best friend.

Here’s what my desktop the Friday before Express Yourself looked like. Lots of emails, documents, and of course, can’t forget our nametags!

The P.S. ARTS storage unit also becomes your best friend; everything here gets sorted and sent to the Barker Hangar for the event.

Here’s Education & Programs Associate Stephanie Kistner, Education & Programs Assistant Amy Knutson and myself sorting through storage way back in August.

Events Manager Heather Myrick and I also made countless trips back to storage during the months leading up to the event.  This is when our handy movers came and took all our supplies, decorations, and boxes from storage to drop them off at the Barker Hangar.

Isn’t it beautiful?

The last leg of our event-planning journey is the most exciting, yet it is also the most grueling. Contrary to popular belief, there are no magical event fairies that come in and set everything up for us. Our staff, several amazing volunteers, and Bounce lived at the Barker Hangar Friday through Sunday evening on the weekend of the event.

Here are some pictures from all three days, start to finish.

Friday at 10AM…

Saturday at 10AM…

And finally on Sunday at 10AM… All ready to go!

A few other P.S. ARTS “Behind the Scenes” moments to share:

Building two cash wraps weighing over 90 pounds each (Don’t know what a cash wrap is?  I didn’t either until this event.  It’s the stand that holds the cash register).  The catch?  Instructions with no words.  Just another task to take on as an events planner!

Here is Events Manager Heather Myrick reading the instructions amongst all our Express Yourself deliveries at the P.S. ARTS office.  She looks so cozy down there.

We also have the pleasure of coordinating all of the fun new merchandise to sell at the event each year.  This year’s new additions?  Peek… Aren’t You Curious! children’s t-shirts, iPhone 4 & iPhone 5 cases, and Chan Luu bracelets.

Along with the actual event, we also set up a volunteer breakfast beforehand for all of our hard-working and awesome volunteers so they could fuel up for the big day.  Our volunteer breakfast required over 150 bananas… the customers at Trader Joe’s probably assumed I owned a monkey. The security guard even interrogated me when I was leaving the store.  Who knew bananas could raise so much suspicion!

Thanks to the commitment of our Board of Trustees, event committee, staff members, and volunteers (not to mention the hundreds of others who helped along the way), Express Yourself went off without a hitch, and we can’t thank you all enough.  And it is through the generosity and passion of our contributors that make this event such a success year after year.  Your time, support, and energy are all greatly appreciated. The amount of people and work that goes into Express Yourself is extraordinary.  And what’s even better: children in underserved public schools will have access to a high-quality arts education that research indicates improves confidence and better equips them to be engaged, productive citizens — because of YOU.

The Stats

Attendees: About 1,500
Years Held: 14
Art Masterpieces Made: 10,000+
Edible Booths: 33
Raising over $500K for arts education in underserved public schools = Priceless

 

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P.S. ARTSBehind the Scenes of Express Yourself

Excellence in the Arts Classrooms

on November 7, 2012

By Richard Scher, Curriculum & Instruction Specialist

Arts educators conduct empirical research and analytical discussion focused on program excellence and student learning outcomes (see the ground-breaking study, The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education by Harvard University’s Project Zero). This work is vital to enhance program quality, to be sure, but when it comes down to it, it is the magic moments – the special interaction between students and teaching artists – that make these objectives become reality. As P.S. ARTS Curriculum & Instruction Specialist and Master Teaching Artist, I have the privilege of spending a considerable amount time in our arts classrooms, observing our Teaching Artists working their wonders. So… what makes excellence happen in the arts classroom?

The first step is an inspiring, enriched, and well-planned curriculum. P.S. ARTS Teaching Artists go through a meticulous process designing their curricula, merging the passion for their art and teaching with the expectations set out by our Scope and Sequence documents for each discipline and grade level, the California Visual and Performing Arts standards, and our own customized student assessment rubrics. That’s an important step on the path to excellence, but the magic really happens when the Teaching Artists use their special gifts and expertise to lead the students to creativity, deep understanding, and valuing the arts as a life-changing force.

 

The best way to describe excellence in action is to share some moments from my recent classroom observations:

Check-in Check-out: Our middle school theater teaching team of Joanne Lubeck Esser and Leo Vargas engage their middle school class at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy with a daily “check in”: my name; how I am feeling today (scale of 1-10); what I will bring to the class ensemble today, and the person I admire most. At the end of each class, students “checked out” with how they are feeling after the class and what objectives they have accomplished. Joanne and Leo led this ritual with a gentle and empowering tone.

Everything’s Gonna be Alright: Music Teaching Artist Matt Segal introduced his unit on the world-wide impact of the music of Bob Marley by revealing an evocative photo-montage he created of images of the singer, with oohs-and-ahhs from his 5th graders at Lawndale’s William Green Elementary School.

Faux Bark: Visual Arts Teaching Artist Ann Barron led her enthralled students at Santa Monica’s Will Rogers Learning Community through her “Amate” nature designs project, which emulates Mexican bark paintings. This project featured elegance of design, challenging mixed media, and a special technique of immersing the paper in a colored wash to create a bark-like surface.

Comfort Zone and Beyond:  Pedro Rivas, our Theater Teaching Artist in the Central Valley town of Kettleman City, motivated his middle schoolers by allowing them to self-identify their role in their theatrical production—actor, scene designer, playwrights, poets, makeup.

What, How, Why?: A Music Teaching Artist engaged students with joyful and exuberant singing games, and enhanced learning by asking the students leading questions designed to develop consciousness about what they are doing, and how and why, challenging them to find alternative creative interpretations of the material that was presented.

I could go on for pages.  These are just some examples of excellence happening every day in P.S. ARTS classrooms.

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P.S. ARTSExcellence in the Arts Classrooms

Day of the Dead

on October 30, 2012

By Amy Knutson, Education & Programs Assisant

Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday to remember and celebrate family members and friends who have died, and to let them know that their loved ones on earth still care about them. The holiday can be traced back 2,500-3,000 years to a month-long Aztec celebration. The celebration was moved to November 1st to connect All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, after Spain conquered the Aztecs in the 16th century.

Before the celebration, relatives decorate their deceased family members’ graves. “… In the local cemetery, relatives spruce up each gravesite… cutting down weeds that have sprouted up during the rainy season, as well as giving tombs a fresh coat of paint… The graves are then decorated and may be simply adorned or elaborately embellished with colorful coronas (wreaths) and fresh or artificial floral arrangements (Palfrey).[1]

However, the most important part of this process is to build an altar to welcome the departed soul home, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed! Celebrations on November 2nd are like carnivals, as stories about the dead are remembered and retold. People who are very talented at writing sometimes create silly short poems about their friends that describe interesting habits or funny stories about their lives. Dia de los Muertos is a day to remember and celebrate lives.

At P.S. ARTS, many of our Teaching Artists do a variety of projects in their art classrooms to celebrate this popular Mexican holiday. Several of our theatre classes are working on pieces that will be presented at community celebrations. Mr. Pedro’s middle school class at Reef-Sunset Middle School wrote monologues to perform (as well as build a giant tree for their show!) and Miss Martha from Edison Language Academy is working with her elementary school students on a presentation for the school’s Dia De Los Muertos celebration, with each grade presenting a different skit or poem.

Our Visual Arts teachers also used this time to further cement the students’ understanding of our overall theme for the year (“Tree of Life: Roots and Branches”) by making the connection to cultural traditions as foundational to our identities, just as roots are foundations for trees. Miss Tamie from Grand View Elementary and Miss Sandy from John Muir Elementary are both leading units on Dia de los Muertos; students created calacas (skeletons) necklaces and “Skulls on a Stick” while Mr. Ben from Mark Twain Elementary even taught the other teachers at his school how to make sugar skulls!

Every year in Los Angeles, there are several huge celebrations for Dias de los Muertos, and it’s no different in our classrooms. Happy Dia de los Muertos!

A special thank you to our Chan Fellow Silu Zhang for taking these great pictures during her site visits!


[1] Palfrey, D. (1995) November 2: The Day of the Dead.  Mex-Connect. Retrieved from http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1972-november-2-the-day-of-the-dead

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P.S. ARTSDay of the Dead

Classroom Makeover!

on October 9, 2012

By Heather Myrick, Events Manager

This summer, one of P.S. ARTS’ visual arts classrooms was in need of some organization and inspiration!  Art supplies and projects from years past had piled up (tough to get rid of kids’ art projects!), so every corner of Ms. Tamie’s classroom was in need of some TLC.  The art room needed some fresh examples of visual art fundamentals and students needed a place they could gather to hear and see Ms. Tamie’s instruction.

Taking all of this into consideration, our programs team spent two whole days cleaning and organizing so the room could be ready to spark students’ creativity during the school year.  Here is what it looked like at the beginning:

After seeing what materials the room currently had and was still in need of, Senior Education & Programs Manager Elda Pineda created a vision board on how she envisioned Ms. Tamie’s classroom to look once the makeover was complete.  She wanted a fun yet functional space that would serve as a source of inspiration for the students.  The color scheme she chose was based on the P.S. ARTS logo!

In addition to the bright and fun colors that were brought into the space, Elda brought function into the room using the ideas presented in The Qualities of Quality: Understanding Excellence in Arts Education by Steve Seidel, Shari Tishman, Ellen Winner, Lois Hetland, and Patricia Palmer.  The research in this study explains that the physical space within which kids learn is one of the four core components of student success, along with pedagogy, student learning, and community dynamics.  The study offers ideas for exemplar physical spaces such as labeling posters, student-curated displays, and infusing the space with the personality of the Teaching Artists.  The P.S. ARTS Teaching Artists were given an overview of these concepts at our recent Faculty Professional Development.

After two days of unearthing and uncovering, our programs team created a new art room masterpiece.  Bright and fresh art examples went up on the wall; two new rugs and a slipped covered chair went in the center of the room for the kids to gather, and tables were covered in anticipation of the year’s art lessons.  The room is both fun and functional and serves to foster student learning, exploration, and creativity.

It was a trying and tiring project, but the result was well worth it!

If you are ever interested in touring a P.S. ARTS classroom and seeing our arts education programs in action, let us know!  We welcome visitors.  Email our office at info@psarts.org.

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P.S. ARTSClassroom Makeover!

Arts Education Buzzwords: What People are Saying

on October 3, 2012

By Stephanie Kistner, Education & Programs Associate

Working in the field of arts education, and advocating for arts education on a daily basis, we come across buzzwords that people often use when calling for more arts, and more arts in our schools. Last year, we kept coming across the following six phrases that got teachers, parents, and administrators excited about arts education:

  • The Creative Economy
  • The Creative Workforce
  • 21st Century Skills
  • Arts and Cognition
  • S.T.E.A.M.
  • Arts Integration

So, what exactly do these words mean, and why is everyone so excited about them?

Did you know that 1 in 8 jobs in Los Angeles is supported by the creative economy and the economic impact of the creative economy in Los Angeles and Orange County is $201.1 billion[1]? Yes, billion! The creative economy refers to jobs in the fashion industry, entertainment, the visual and performing arts, home furnishings, and toys.  Sounds like fun careers! — Careers that would be difficult for people to pursue if they were never exposed to the arts in school.

When talking about 21st century skills, advocates comment on the creative thinking and problem solving skills that are necessary in order for people to compete in today’s creative workforce. Business executives have been quoted as saying that the most important skill they look for in job candidates is creativity. Today’s employers in ALL fields: technology, engineering, science, medicine, and on and on are in need of workers who know how to innovate, communicate and collaborate; all skills that the arts help instill in students!

In other exciting news, research being conducted by cognitive neuroscientists has pointed to positive correlations between the arts and cognition, including increased student verbal skills, memory, and spatial reasoning. The arts are powerful!

S.T.E.A.M. is a movement to put the Arts into S.T.E.M., an initiative promoted by President Obama to put more Science, Technology, Engineering and Math into our schools. S.T.E.A.M. calls for the arts to be recognized as a core subject alongside math and science, and also encourages the use of arts integration to aid in teaching other core academic subject areas. For example, drama can be used to increase student reading comprehension, and music can be used to teach math concepts.

October is National Arts & Humanities Month; Americans across the nation are celebrating the arts, and the importance of culture in their lives, by attending cultural events, visiting museums, and advocating for more arts education in classrooms.  Now that you know what the buzz is all about, help us spread the word and advocate for more arts education, this month, and every month!

Happy National Arts & Humanities Month and happy advocating for more arts education!


[1] “Otis Report of the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region.” Otis College of Art and Design. 2011.

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P.S. ARTSArts Education Buzzwords: What People are Saying