Two new major initiatives to expand reach to nearly 20,000 children
VENICE, CA – P.S. ARTS is expanding its programs in the 2014-2015 school year and will serve nearly 20,000 children each week from September to June by deepening and broadening the scope of its programs as the result of two major initiatives: a fully-funded expansion in the Santa Monica Malibu School District (SMMUSD) and the acquisition of the Venice-based Inside Out Community Arts program.
P.S. ARTS currently provides arts education programming to four Title I schools in SMMUSD, and beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year, P.S. ARTS will be the arts service provider for all eleven elementary schools in the District. The SMMUSD community’s desire to replicate the P.S. ARTS program, even at full cost to the District, is an endorsement of the quality and rigor of the programming, and P.S. ARTS is committed to establishing equity in arts education throughout SMMUSD.
“We are so pleased to be increasing our service population to 20,000 students come September and very grateful to the many partners who have helped make this a reality, including the dedicated and innovative foundations behind the NSI and the Santa Monica-Malibu School District and Education Fund,” said Amy Shapiro, Executive Director of Advancement & Operations.
Inside Out Community Arts (IOCA) provides after-school theater and media education for at-risk middle and high school youth and is a longstanding P.S. ARTS partner in the Centinela Valley-based TakePART initiative. The acquisition of IOCA establishes a continuity of service between P.S. ARTS’ elementary school programs and the IOCA middle school program and will give some P.S. ARTS students up to six additional years of arts education beyond elementary school. The opportunity to explore this merger with Inside Out Community Arts was made possible by a grant from the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative (NSI). Launched in 2012 by the California Community Foundation, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the Weingart Foundation, NSI helps LA-based nonprofits explore and implement partnerships and restructuring efforts that lead to greater organizational efficiency.
“For the past five years, P.S. ARTS has been highly focused on finding innovative ways to be more efficient and cost-effective,” said P.S. ARTS Executive Director of Education & Programs Dr. Kristen Paglia. “Strategic decisions on the programs and operations side, including merging with Inside Out Community Arts, have paid off by opening up opportunities to serve many more students and school districts sustainably.”
While arts education research focuses heavily on the impact of the arts on students’ performance in school, it is also clear that the benefits of the arts are not limited to the classroom. As California schools are faced with implementing a new, more rigorous, and more complex set of educational standards, P.S. ARTS took the opportunity to revise and expand our approach. The expanded P.S. ARTS model now addresses the need for quality after-school programming that aligns with what students learn during the school day and that engages the whole family. The Inside Out Community Arts Program of P.S. ARTS is the organization’s inaugural Extended Learning program, which P.S. ARTS hopes will evolve over time such that all P.S. ARTS students will have the opportunity to continue their arts education through high school.