Jessica

To Invest in Nonprofit Leaders, We Need to Rethink Nonprofit Salaries and Benefits

By Jessica Mele, Executive Dirctor The post is a response to Ira Hirschfield's blog post on Stanford Social Innovation Review, "Investing in Leadership to Accelerate Philanthropic Impact." I am so pleased to see foundations like the Haas, Jr. Fund investing in leadership...


It's the Workshop's Birthday!

by Jessica Mele, Executive Director “You don’t look that old!” On almost a daily basis, I introduce a new person to Performing Arts Workshop. I share our mission, and I tell them with a bright smile, “...and next year we’ll be fifty years old!” Inevitably, they tell...


Advocating at the State Capitol

By Jessica Mele, Executive Director It’s hard to muster enthusiasm on a crisp early Tuesday morning. But, standing on the train platform with Performing Arts Workshop staff, we buzzed with chills of anticipation (and maybe a little from the cold). We were turning our eyes...


A note from Executive Director Jessica Mele

Whew! It’s been an especially busy but fun few months here at the Workshop. Here’s just a glimpse at what we’ve been up to: Showing our thanks. On November 6, we hosted “A Taste of Performing Arts Workshop,” a party to show BIG appreciation to our current family of...


Sandy Hook

I've been trying since Friday to formulate my thoughts on the events at a little school in a little town in Connecticut. Some things run so deep that looking them in the face is scary; and speaking them out loud is so insufficient. I've watched the newscasts, the president's...


Money Can't Buy My Vote

I have spent the last 4 days sequestered at my parents' house in Massachusetts due to Hurricane Sandy. We were fortunate enough to emerge unscathed - we even kept our power throughout the storm. Unfortunately, this meant that we were inundated with campaign ads and phone calls....


Music Monday: Breakfast at Tiffany's

What is your favorite movie soundtrack? Jessica, Executive Director – Breakfast at Tiffany's. Soundtrack by Henry Mancini. I just read this great book – Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson– about...


Gene Marks misses the mark

A brief response to Gene Marks, “If I Were A Poor Black Kid,” Forbes, 12/12/11. Last week, I had breakfast with a good friend (Amy) who is a college placement counselor at a charter school network. She specializes in placing “at-risk” kids – high achievers in every...


Victory? Victory!

We are unaccustomed to victories in arts education, particularly at this time of economic uncertainty, and particularly at this time of the year. It's spring: pinkslip time for many teachers in California. Advocates in local school districts are fighting fiercely to provide all...


What is the difference between a teaching artist profession of independent contractors and one of employees?

Teaching artistry is a relatively new, unformed profession. Teaching artists employed by organizations like the Workshop often vacillate between classifications as independent contractors or temporary part-time employees. In a February 18 article in the New York Times, Steven...


Performing Arts Workshop and SFUSD Present at National Forum

Performing Arts Workshop Executive Director Tom DeCaigny and I recently presented in partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District at the Arts Education Partnership's forum in Cambridge, MA. The forum was titled: "Charting a Course for the Arts and 21st Century...


The beginning

After reading my earlier blog post about my "beginning" in arts education, my mom wanted to set things straight. Turns out that from a very early age, I was predisposed to connect with the Workshop's process-based method of teaching critical thinking through art-making! I'd like...