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Carol Channing – “I’m so old I had the arts.”

Let's keep the arts alive! Let's keep young hearts alive! [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV1n03WZ80s&fs=1&hl=en_US]

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Understanding the Cycle of Artistic Inquiry, with a Little Help from Project Runway

Later this month, Lifetime Television will air the eighth season of Project Runway.  Say what you will about reality television, but this show actually inspires me.  For those of you in the dark ages, the show charts a design competition in which fashion designers of various skill levels and backgrounds are tasked to make a garment each week given unique parameters and time…

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The Subtle Change Within

One of my jobs as the Artistic Director is to visit school sites to support teaching artists.  During a school year my observations take me to child development centers, elementary schools, middle schools and juvenile halls. My role is to understand what takes place during a 30 minute to 1 hr lesson, and offer suggestions to deepen engagement and critical thinking between…

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Join the Partnership for Creative Learning!

Join the Partnership for Creative Learning to immediately advocate to stop the San Francisco Board of Education from raiding the California Department of Education Arts and Music Block Grant to make up for cuts to the District’s general fund. Please sign onto our Letter of Solidarity and become a part of a broad coalition of teachers, youth groups, arts providers and many more…

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Arts Education 50 Years Later

Picture a third grade classroom....maps on the walls…upper & lower case alphabet above the chalk board… desks lined up in 5 rows. The year is 1956. The teacher stands in the front of the classroom holding a picture of Grant Wood’s “Fall Plowing”. The children sitting quietly at their desks are concentrating on coloring between the lines on their own versions of the…

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Youth Development through Art

Positive youth development occurs from an intentional process that promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, relationships and support to fully participate. Youth development takes place in families, peer groups, schools, neighborhoods and communities. - National 4-H Leadership Trust The words youth development are often heard when discussing…

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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, and…

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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, it’s…

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