// What we do

Guiding principles for our community

Our Values

We believe arts education is a tool for personal empowerment and academic success, which can lead to social and economic agency. In order to reach students who might not otherwise receive arts education due to economic barriers, documentation status, language, or other systemic disinvestments, we prioritize working with schools with limited access to arts resources. We also regularly educate our staff about the importance, care, and sensitivity of these topics in an effort to make each workshop a safe and brave space for every student.

As an over 50-year-old organization, we are committed to investing in long-term relationships with communities. By prioritizing collaboration, we endeavor to work with our partners to generate more creative opportunities for Bay Area students.

Workshop teaching artists and administrative staff endeavor to inspire self discovery in our students by making space for leadership development and transformational experiences. The results of these efforts are actively measured through evolving approaches to assessment.

In the implementation of both our teaching methodology and administrative work, we strive to spark and engage curiosity. We teach and practice a creative process rooted in self expression and critical thinking, and welcome new ways to approach skills, projects, and obstacles.  

Our focus on facilitating youth development is supported by an organization-wide commitment towards consistent learning and professional development for teaching artists and administrative staff. Professional development opportunities delve into topics such as anti-racism, creative problem solving, and intersectionality.

Operational excellence is our foundation, offering stability and allowing us to execute our work with nuance, care, and passion.

Intersectionality Statement

At Performing Arts Workshop, we recognize that intersecting structural systems and external forces, including but not limited to, racism and socio-economic status, exponentially impact People of Color. These forces impact our students, staff, and volunteers at Performing Arts Workshop. As such, we strive to consider all the identities and communities of our students, employees, board members, and volunteers. In our efforts to respect and recognize peoples’ full identities, we continuously work to make our programming and spaces equitable and accessible. We actively encourage constructive dialogue, open communication, and disruption of discriminatory behaviors and actions of oppression in our organization.

  • Making art accessible to students of varied backgrounds and strengths by creating multiple points of entry to curriculums for students.  
  • Questioning assumptions about what students are capable of and not accepting false limitations.
  • Providing space for students to share their own story through original compositions in their art form.
    • End of residency showcases
    • Rhythm and Rhymes: Annual Student Showcase
  • Training our staff and board to interrupt racism.
    • Focusing on an evolving anti-racist framework in teaching artist professional development.
    • Making space for organizational and personal growth through bi-monthly all staff racial justice meetings.
  • Constructing hiring protocols with an emphasis on equity.
    • Accepting job references in multiple languages.
    • Transparency about values and salaries in job posting and on-boarding processes.  
  • Soliciting information from partners and actively listening to and supporting their needs.
  • Welcoming all gender identities.
    • All-gender restrooms in our working spaces.
    • Making explicit space to share pronouns.
  • Practicing shared leadership amongst staff.
    • Teaching artists rotate the facilitation of professional development sessions.
    • Administrative staff rotate the facilitation of staff and racial justice meetings.
  • Maintaining a culture of learning about what intersectionality and equity looks like, through:  
    • Open door policy
    • Exit interviews
    • Work with outside consultants
    • Administrative staff caucusing in racial identity groups

And the list keeps growing! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to stay updated on our advocacy efforts and organizational changes!