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Education Week Article: Going From STEM to STEAM

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) - the new buzzword in education acronyms, has become a leading force in the current effort to reform K-12 education. Fueled by the Obama Administration's focus on education through Race to the Top and I3 -Invest in Innovation funds, as well as the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the...

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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 Greenhouse describes how the Obama administration is cracking down on the willful misclassification of...

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Arts at Risk as SFUSD Grapples with Draconian Budget Cuts

On Tuesday, January 26th the full San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education met to discuss the draconian budget cuts the District is facing over the next two years.  In total, the District is facing a $113 million shortfall (over two years) out of a total annual operating budget of $400 million.  That's approximately a 14% annual cut to the entire District,...

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This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of the Arts

by Brian Wiedenmeier As we approach the end of the year with all of its attendant hustle and bustle, please take a moment to consider giving a gift to Performing Arts Workshop. A gift of just $60 provides one hour of quality arts education to a class of thirty young people in some of the Bay Area’s most under-funded public schools and community sites. Now more than ever,...

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The Obama Arts Policy Platform: Part 3 – Publicly Champion the Importance of Arts Education

What this boils down to is arts education advocacy, also a new initiative at Performing Arts Workshop. For decades we have touted the importance of arts education in the classroom, but the impact seemed limited to our region. Recently we chose to broaden the focus of our work from the every day little changes we see in the classroom to institutional changes in the way arts...

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Zac Efron for Arts Ed!

Americans for the Arts reported that Zac Efron and Claire Daines along with other advocates, visited the White House on November 12th to speak about the importance of arts education. While President Obama was not in attendance, Senator Barbara Boxer and Kalpen Modi, Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, were. Arts Education is one of the...

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The Obama Arts Policy Platform: Part 2 – Create An Artist Corps

This idea could be a great way to engage young artists in valuable paid work, something Performing Arts Workshop knows from experience is hard to find as a teaching artist. Most work part-time for a number of different organizations in order to pay their rent, eat, and pursue their artistic careers. While variety is the spice of life, relying on multiple sources of income is...

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Community Arts Education Conference

Reflect and Revise: Evaluative Thinking for Program Success. On November 12, 2009, Tom DeCaigny and Leah Goldstein Moses presented this workshop at the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Community Arts Education Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The topics of the presentation include: Benefits of evaluation and assessment to staff, program participants and the...

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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 Learning" and took place October 2-3, 2009. Our sessions focused on the role that the arts can play in...

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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 to share her words with you: I read your blog about the beginning of your arts education. Your...

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