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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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The Obama Arts Policy Platform: Part 1 – Public/Private Partnerships

“Part of what arts education does is that it teaches people to see each other through each others’ eyes. It teaches us to respect and understand people who are not like us and that makes us better citizens and it makes our democracy work better. That’s something that I strongly believe in. That’s one of the main reasons we need to promote the arts.” – Barack Obama. April 2,…

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C’mon, Can’t We All Work Together?

21st Century Learning! 21st Century Skills! Business leaders, educators, and parents are calling for major change in our current education system. The current model – reading, writing, and arithmetic – is the one that is drilled, tested, and evaluated. But this curriculum doesn’t account for creativity or critical thinking – skills that many acknowledge will be crucial to…

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Access to the Arts for Special Needs Students

A parent of a pre-k special needs student contacted me last year. She had taken a workshop led by one of our artists and really enjoyed it; she felt it could help her child learn to find her own creative voice, and feel successful at school. Her daughter, Cristina, attended classes at two pre-k centers that hosted visiting artists in the classroom. However, because she was…

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Asking Our Students Questions

I started my art education sitting on the kitchen floor banging on pots and pans. My mom, a storyteller herself, encouraged me to create stories, songs, and dances – and then perform for family members. From the earliest age, creativity was expected of me, not just appreciated. Most of us who choose to work in the arts education field have a story like this – the teacher who…

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