By Megan Strawther, Development & Communications Associate
In Cooperation With The Herb Alpert Foundation
Venice, CA – P.S. ARTS has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Americans for the Arts “Arts Education Award” and will be honored at the National Arts Awards on October 20th in New York City. According to Americans for the Arts, the country’s leading arts advocacy organization, this event recognizes and celebrates the contributions and accomplishments of national leaders who are advancing the arts in the United States. Accepting the award on the organization’s behalf are Chairperson Joshua B. Tanzer and Co-Executive Directors Dr. Kristen Paglia and Amy Shapiro.
P.S. ARTS, a nonprofit arts education organization serving more than 20,000 children in Southern and Central California, was chosen to receive the award for its exemplar program model and its contributions to the public education reform movement. Along with its school-improvement programs that include classroom studios, extended learning, and community engagement, P.S. ARTS takes an active role in state and national public educational policy conversation and serves as a model of how arts teaching and learning can improve school performance. P.S. ARTS was also honored earlier this year by the First Lady at the White House STEAM Fair for its demonstration of integrating the arts into core curriculum.
“We are extremely proud of this well deserved honor that Americans for the Arts is bestowing on P.S. ARTS this year,“ says Rona Sebastian, President of the Herb Alpert Foundation. “This award recognizes the remarkable role that P.S. ARTS plays in providing access to the arts in underserved public schools and communities. As a unique organization and stellar model for others, P.S. ARTS has had tremendous impact helping thousands of children to overcome economic and literacy barriers through experiencing high-quality, sustained, and integrated arts programs in the classroom.”
One of P.S. ARTS’ primary accomplishments includes the facilitation of the TakePART Initiative, a five-district arts collaborative in the Centinela Valley that is funded by the Herb Alpert Foundation. Through this initiative, regional service providers, community organizations, funders, and the Centinela Valley Union High School, Hawthorne, Lawndale Elementary, Lennox, and Wiseburn school districts have worked together to provide crucial arts education experiences in these underserved communities.
“P.S. ARTS is providing measurable success for our students, 20,000 strong, not just in arts development, but in ways that include creative problem solving, collaboration, and communication with peers,” says Chairperson Joshua B. Tanzer. “We are not expressly developing artists, but rather productive and self-motivated citizens for our communities.”