Release date: 8/15/2011

Bay Area Arts Community Unites in Unprecedented Collaboration to CElebrate National Arts in Education Week, September 11-17

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SAN FRANCISCO – August 15, 2011: Interim Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission JD Beltran, Alameda County Arts Commission Executive Director Rachel Osajima, and The San Francisco Bay Area National Arts in Education Week Planning Committee—a consortium of Bay Area arts organizations and education stakeholders—announced today a groundbreaking Bay Area–wide collaboration to celebrate the second annual National Arts in Education Week, September 11–17, 2011. Hundreds of organizations from all around the Bay Area—coming together for the first time in Bay Area history for this unique multicounty collaboration—are expected to take part in the celebration with free or low-cost events showcasing the myriad facets of arts education occurring in our community, both in and out of the classroom.The scheduled events include a resource fair for teachers, parents, and teaching artists, a panel discussion about the “Collective Impact of the Arts” featuring a performance by Frederica von Stade, and a community reception featuring a performance by the San Francisco Boys Chorus on Wednesday, September 14; a Family Day on Saturday, September 17, featuring free and low-cost family-friendly events throughout the Bay Area; and observations of arts education practices occurring all week long. For a complete, searchable listing of activities throughout the week, please visit
Home to a flourishing and culturally diverse community of artists and the organizations that support them, the Bay Area has long been an innovative leader in arts education initiatives, serving as a model for the national conversation around the essential role played by the arts in educating young minds, particularly in this era of dwindling public educational resources. This weeklong series of events has been planned to bring together parents, teachers, administrators, teaching artists, civic leaders, and advocates from across the entire Bay Area in an unprecedented communal celebration of the untold riches and unsung heroes of our community’s multifaceted arts education environment.
“One of the great joys of my career has been working with the young people of the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley. The Bay Area is filled with such institutions providing invaluable training and education in the arts,” said internationally acclaimed mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade, a lifelong champion of arts education. “I had that passion as a little girl when I would drag my family into the living room and dance and sing and carry on many times a week. I was lucky enough to find many people in my life who supported this passion, and these programs do the same for the kids of the Bay Area.”
“Integrated arts education is the best way to address inequity in the classroom and meet the needs of students with diverse learning styles,” said Charles Chip McNeal, Director of Education, San Francisco Ballet, and Chair of the San Francisco Bay Area National Arts in Education Week Planning Committee (Planning Committee). “Our hope is to set in motion strategies for collaboration in the arts community, in order to better leverage our collective impact.” The collaborative effort of the Planning Committee (led by an Executive Committee that includes McNeal; Ruth Nott, Director of Education, San Francisco Opera; Christine Lim, Director of Education, San Francisco Performances; and Elizabeth Brodersen, Director of Education, American Conservatory Theater) is a perfect example of how arts organizations play a major leadership role in sustaining and expanding arts education in the Bay Area. The Planning Committee includes a robust selection of institutions—large and small—on both sides of the Bay: Alameda County Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, Alameda County Arts Commission, Alameda County Office of Education, American Conservatory Theater, Cal Performances, Performing Arts Workshop, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Performances, San Francisco Symphony, and San Francisco Unified School District.
The San Francisco Bay Area National Arts in Education Week Planning Committee has organized a special day of events on Wednesday, September 14, for arts educators, teachers and parents. These events include:
Resource Fair
4–6 p.m., Tenderloin Community School, 627 Turk Street, San Francisco
Community-based arts organizations exhibit information about their educational programs to teachers, teaching artists, parents and other education stakeholders.
FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco and San Francisco Unified School District.
Professional Development Workshops for Teachers and Teaching Artists
4–6 p.m., Tenderloin Community School, 627 Turk Street, San Francisco
Master teaching artists offer training sessions demonstrating effective ways to bring the arts alive in the classroom, for teachers and teaching artists.
FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by Teaching Artists Organized, the Alameda County Arts Integration Specialist Program, the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Unified School District.
Panel Discussion: “The Collective Impact of the Arts”
6:15–7:45 p.m., Herbst Theatre, War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
Bay Area leaders from across the arts education spectrum present a provocative discussion celebrating successful local interorganizational collaborations and exploring the question: How can we create a “collective impact” in Bay Area schools and communities to fully engage and prepare young people toward productive and successful futures?
Speakers include: Hydra Mendoza, President, San Francisco Board of Education at San Francisco Unified School District and Mayor’s Education Advisor, City and County of San Francisco; Charles Chip McNeal, Director of Education, San Francisco Ballet; Richard Carranza, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation, and Social Justice, San Francisco Unified School District; Donn Harris, Executive and Artistic Director, Oakland School for the Arts; Louise Music, Arts Learning Manager, Alameda County Office of Education; Andi Wong, parent, grassroots arts education organizer, and educator, Rooftop School, San Francisco; Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director, Destiny Arts Center, Oakland; and Susan Stauter, Artistic Director, San Francisco Unified School District.The discussion will conclude with a performance by UC Berkeley’s Young Musicians Program with very special guest Frederica von Stade. (See biographies, below, for more information.)
FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by The San Francisco Bay Area National Arts in Education Week Planning Committee.
Community Reception
7:45–9:30 p.m., Green Room, War Memorial Veterans Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco
All members of the arts education community are invited to celebrate National Arts in Education Week at a reception featuring tasty refreshments, a prize drawing awarding lucky winners tickets to Bay Area arts events, and a live performance by the Grammy Award–winning San Francisco Boys Chorus.
The Honorary Host Committee for the event includes such luminaries as Frederica von Stade, distinguished world-renowned baritone Thomas Hampson, former San Francisco Ballet principal ballerina Tina LeBlanc, visionary choreographer Mark Morris, contemporary artist Rupert Garcia, jazz saxophonist John Handy,soul/rock musician Martin Luther McCoy, Academy Award–winning actress Olympia Dukakis, Alameda County Superintendent of Schools Sheila Jordan and San Francisco Unified School DistrictSuperintendent Carlos Garcia.
The California Alliance for Arts Education will honor the distinguished career of outgoing Executive Director Laurie Schell and welcome new Executive Director Joe Landon.
Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Chair of the California Arts Council, will introduce the new California Arts Council Director, Craig Watson.
FREE and open to the public. Sponsored by The San Francisco Bay Area National Arts in Education Week Planning Committee.
Organizations around the Bay Area will host a myriad of events (workshops, shows, exhibits, and open houses) throughout the week (September 11–17), which will culminate on Saturday, September 17, with a Family Day, which features family-friendly arts activities for free or low-cost all day throughout the Bay Area. For example, on this day: the Asian Art Museum is offering FREE museum admission for families to celebrate the Korean moon festival of Chuseok; SFArtsED Players, a youth musical theater troupe of 50 students ranging in age from 9 to 14, is hosting a FREE open rehearsal; and SFJAZZ is presenting a Family Matinee performance with the Marcus Shelby Trio. Marsh Youth Theater is providing FREE theater arts classes for all ages, from toddlers to high school students, all week.
For a complete, searchable listing of activities throughout the week and on Family Day, please visit
In addition to these local events celebrating the success of innovative arts education collaborations in the Bay Area, the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), a national coalition of organizations representing the education, arts, business, cultural, government, and philanthropic sectors, will hold its Fall 2011 National Forum at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel on Thursday, September 15,and Friday, September 16. Titled “Transforming Urban School Systems Through the Arts,” the Forum will bring to San Francisco the nation’s leading education experts, including such luminaries as Milton Chen, Senior Fellow and Former Executive Director of The George Lucas Educational Foundation, Gigi Antoni, President/CEO of Dallas’s Big Thought, and prominent California figures, as well as performances by outstanding young Bay Area artists. The AEP Forum will also include two days of interactive breakout sessions focused on how arts learning can engage students and move them toward success; energize teaching and school leadership; and once again make our nation’s schools dynamic and vibrant hubs of community engagement. Registration is required to attend the Forum. For more information, visit
The Bay area has a rich history of supporting the inclusion of arts integration in schools, specifically creating grassroots collaborations among arts organizations, schools, government agencies, and teaching artists to enrich the lives of public school students throughout the Bay Area. A very few of the numerous programs that have received national attention for their groundbreaking approach to arts education are: WritersCorps, San Francisco Public Library’s program for teens, which received the 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award; the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music(AIM)program, which has provided completely free of charge, comprehensive music education to every schoolchild in grades 1–5 in all San Francisco public elementary schools for over 20 years, and its Instrument Training and Support program, which offers artistic and technical assistance to instrumental music programs in San Francisco public middle and high schools, together serving the students of the San Francisco Unified School District from grades 1-12; San Francisco Ballet’s Dance in Schools and Communities (DISC), which provides a free interactive movement program to over 3,500 students in 38 San Francisco Unified School District elementary schools; San Francisco Opera’s Opera ARIA (Arts Resources in Action) suite of K–12 education programs, which integrates professional artistic and creative elements of opera with classroom curricula through sustained, innovative collaborative partnerships with educators and schools in San Francisco and Alameda County; Cal Performances’ AileyCamp, which uses the discipline of dance to teach self-discipline and self-expression to underserved middle school students from the Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond, and Albany Unified School Districts; San Francisco Performances’ Artist Residency Program, which places important emerging artists in classroom settings and community workshops; Performing Arts Workshop’s Artists-in-Schools and Artists-in-Communities programs, which each year places teaching artists in more than 100 different community- and school-based sites throughout the San Francisco Bay Area; Oakland’s Destiny Arts Center, which serves up to 3,500 youth annually through its center-based after-school, weekend, and summer programs, and its Project Destiny outreach programs, which happen as part of in-school and after-school programs at local public schools; and American Conservatory Theater’s ArtReach program, which provides teaching artist residencies, in-school workshops, free performance tickets, and in-depth study materials to Bay Area public school students.
About the San Francisco Arts Commission and Community Arts and Education
The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. We believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being. Established by charter in 1932, SFAC programs integrate the arts into all aspects of City life. Programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artists Licensing, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth and Community Concert Series. The agency’s core values are committed to the principle that all residents have equal access to arts experiences in all disciplines, that programs are provided comprehensively and evenly throughout the City, and that they are innovative and of the highest quality.
The Community Arts and Education program celebrates the importance of arts and culture in our daily lives by supporting cultural arts activities and arts education in San Francisco's diverse communities. The program started in 1967 when a group of artists and arts activists brought a radical notion to the San Francisco Arts Commission: fund artists and arts organizations to work in neighborhood and community settings. The program was called the Neighborhood Arts Program and the total budget for the first fiscal year was $25,000, which was provided by the Arts Commission President at the time, Harold Zellerbach. Today, the Community Arts and Education program continues to nurture art for and by the people, where they live and work, in our neighborhoods and online.
SFAC Community Arts and Education website:
About the Alameda County Arts Commission and ACOE’s Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership
The Alameda County Arts Commission is a County agency that was founded in 1965 to support arts and cultural activities throughout the County’s fourteen cities and other unincorporated areas. The Alameda County Arts Commission is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Alameda County by nurturing a thriving environment for the arts and for cultural activities; promoting economic opportunities for Alameda County’s artists and arts organizations through programs such as arts and cultural funding, public art, and arts education; encouraging public participation in the arts; and actively advocating for the arts. The Arts Commission supports all art forms, such as music, dance, visual arts, literature, theater, film and video, traditional crafts and folk arts, and new media. The Alameda County Arts Commission is committed to cultivating lifelong meaningful experiences and educational opportunities in the arts for all Alameda County residents.  All of the Arts Commission’s programs and services are based on the belief that the arts and creativity are an essential part of every successful and thriving community.
The Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, founded by the Alameda County Office of Education, is a collaborative network of the Alameda County Office of Education, the Alameda County Arts Commission, 18 Alameda County school districts, their administrators, teachers, and arts specialists, community arts partners, representatives from higher education, and parents. The Alliance works together to create systemic change and develop public understanding about the essential role of arts learning in a high-quality education for every child, in every school, every day.
Alameda County Arts Commission website:
Alameda County Office of Education website:
Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership website:

Richard A. Carranza, as Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation, and Social Justice for the San Francisco Unified School District, is leading the implementation of the district’s equity-focused strategic plan. Prior to his work with the SFUSD, Carranza was Northwest Region Superintendent for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he oversaw 66 schools and over 66,000 students. He has also served as a high school principal in Tucson, Arizona, and in Las Vegas, Nevada; a high school assistant principal; and a teacher of bilingual social studies and music. Carranza earned a B.A. in Secondary Education from the University of Arizona and a M.Ed., with distinction, in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He has also completed doctoral coursework through Northern Arizona University and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. degree through Nova Southeastern University in Educational Leadership. He is also an accomplished musician, specializing in Mariachi music, and was once voted one of the “Twenty Most Influential Tucsonans in Music.” Having entered the public school system speaking no English, Carranza has experienced, firsthand, the transformational power of access and equity in providing a rich and rewarding education to all students.
Sarah Crowell, Artistic Director of Destiny Arts Center in Oakland, has been at the Center since 1990 as a dance teacher, workshop facilitator, and program development director and served as the organization’s executive director 2002–07. A dancer and arts educator for more than 20 years, she has taught dance, theater, and violence prevention to youth in schools and community centers all over the Bay Area. She directed the dance program at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco for three years and directed an award-winning hip-hop dance ensemble at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond for five years. In 1993, Crowell cofounded the Destiny Arts Youth Performance Company, a troupe for teens to co-create original movement–theater productions based on their own experiences. The company now performs for more than 20,000 audience members a year at conferences, festivals, and other community events. Crowell has received nine California Arts Council Artist in Residency grants for her work at Destiny and a National Endowment for the Arts grant to author a curriculum guide for artists working with teens called Youth on the Move: a teacher’s guidebook to co-creating original movement/ theater performances with teens. She is the recipient of the 2007 KPFA Peace Award and the 2006 Purple Moon DreamSpeakers Award. Crowell has directed, performed, and toured nationally with companies in Boston and the Bay Area, including Impulse Jazz Dance Company, the Dance Brigade, and i am! Productions.  
Donn K. Harris was appointed Executive Director of the Oakland School for the Arts by former California Governor Jerry Brown in November 2007. Harris had previously been the principal of the renowned San Francisco School of the Arts for seven years. He holds an M.A. in Theater Arts from California State University at Los Angeles and teaching credentials in English, Drama, and Special Education with an emphasis on students with emotional disturbance. He has taught in diverse environments, ranging from high-performing schools to juvenile hall. He has also been part of many innovative educational initiatives, including outdoor education programs for at-risk youth and the development of a high school teaching academy. He has been a guest lecturer in the administrative training programs at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University, served as the advisory board chair for the East Bay International Youth Film Festival, and now serves on the board of directors of the national Arts Schools Network and the Engineers Alliance for the Arts. In 2006, he became the founding principal of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in San Francisco, an alternative arts-focused school that brings high-level arts programs to inner city youth.
Charles Chip McNeal, Director of Education of San Francisco Ballet, also works as a lecturer, choreographer, adjudicator, and teacher. He conducts artist/teacher training, evaluating and developing educational programs throughout the United States and abroad. Since 1980, McNeal has been teaching, developing, and implementing community outreach and education programs for San Francisco Ballet. He has consulted for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kennedy Center, the California Arts Council, and the California State Department of Education, among many other organizations. In 1994, he received the distinguished Bernard Osher Cultural Award for public service in the field of arts education and earned the 2004 Levi Strauss & Co. Award for Outstanding Teachers and Administrators in the Arts. His performing credits include stage work and films, with an extensive background in musical theater. The many dance forms he has studied and performed include Afro-Cuban, jazz, tap, ballet, West African, and several folkloric styles, including Israeli, Russian folkdance, and Scottish country dancing. McNeal works as a freelance dance critic and has produced four documentaries profiling arts programs and important issues in arts education, the latest of which, A Cultural Exchange with South Africa Ballet Theatre, chronicles San Francisco Ballet’s outreach program in Africa.
Hydra B. Mendoza, President, San Francisco Board of Education and Education Advisor to Mayor Edwin Lee, is a strong advocate and supporter of public education. She is a product of public schools, a parent of two children in public schools, a former preschool teacher, and an education advisor. She is the former Executive Director and a founding member of Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco, a national organization that engages parents and community members to support, promote, and improve public education. In 2005, Mendoza was first appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom to his Policy Council and Children Youth, and Families and later to the newly created position of Education Advisor and Liaison to the San Francisco Unified School District. Mendoza has been asked by interim mayor Ed Lee to stay on as his advisor to education and family services during his tenure. In 2006 and 2010, she successfully won a city-wide bid and re-election for a seat on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. She is the current President of the Board of Education. Mendoza is the first and only Filipina elected to office in San Francisco. 
Louise Music is the Arts Learning Manager at the Alameda County Office of Education. In this capacity, Music advocates for arts education, connects districts and schools to resources and facilitates communication between school districts and the State Department of Education in support of quality arts education for every child, in every school, every day. As Director of the Alameda County Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership, Music has led the development of a research-based professional development system for culturally responsive arts integrated instruction. Currently, she is directing the implementation of the Alliance for ALL’s three-year strategic plan: 10 Years and Growing: Making Systemic Change in Education through the Arts and Arts Integration, for the 18 school districts in Alameda County. A visionary leader and bold advocate for equity in education, Music has developed models for regional coordination and leadership capacity building; she is the Region IV Arts Lead for the California County Superintendents of Education Services Association in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Napa, and Solano counties. In January 2010, the California Arts Council recognized her achievements in arts education leadership with a Director’s Award. Recent publications include “Arts Learning as Equitable and Meaningful Education,” in Artful Teaching (Teacher’s College Press, 2010).
The Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus(SFBC) was founded by Gaetano Merola and Madi Bacon in 1948 to provide trained singers for the San Francisco Opera. Today the chorus is led by Artistic Director Ian Robertson who also serves as Chorus Director for the San Francisco Opera. Since his arrival in 1996, he has built SFBC to over 250 singers from 50 Bay Area cities and more than 120 schools at campuses in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Rafael. “The SFBC is regarded as a leading arts organization that provides transformational life experiences for boys ages 5 to 18 through music education, vocal training, and performance experiences at the highest artistic level.  Playing an integral role in the San Francisco Bay Area music community, the SFBC appears at numerous civic engagements and is a partner with the San Francisco Opera’s ARIA education program. Alongside their performance schedule, the SFBC tours extensively to Europe, Asia, and the Americas and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming, and in 2009 was honored to sing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. The SFBC’s recordings include Fauré Requiem and Messager (2010), Vivaldi: Gloria and Magnificat (2010), It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2009), Moving On (2003), and We’re On Our Way (2000).
Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, Frederica von Stade has enriched the world of classical music for three decades with her appearances in opera, concert, and recital. The mezzo-soprano is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television, including several PBS specials and “Live from Lincoln Center” telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Italy’s Premio della Critica Discografica, and “Best of the Year” citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. She was awarded France’s highest honor in the arts when she was appointed an officer of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983 she was honored with an award given at the White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts. On December 3, five Bay Area arts organizations join to celebrate the career and artistry of Miss von Stade at the Herbst Theatre.
Susan Stauter, Artistic Director of the San Francisco Unified School District, was instrumental in the creation of the city’s Arts Education Master Plan, which promises equity and access in arts education for all students during the curricular day. A nationally recognized arts educator and advocate and award-winning former credentialed teacher who was Founding Chair of the Theatre Department of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Stauter presents nationally as a workshop leader, and consultant on all areas relating to arts education. She has worked as a writer/director for Disney, Anaheim, as a curriculum writer and educator at the Grammy Foundation, and as Conservatory Director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Recent presentations include a workshop for artist educators at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Leonard Bernstein Center for Arts Education; a keynote address for the National League of Symphony Orchestras annual conference for Education, Youth and Outreach Managers; keynotes for the Theatre Educators of America Conference and TEDxSFED. In 2009 she was named public reader for the K–12 drama/theater standards for the state of Colorado. Awards include San Francisco Ballet’s Choose to Move Award, the Leap Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the International Network of Arts Schools’ Founder’s Award.
Parent, teaching artist, and arts advocate Andi Wong currently works with K–8 students and teachers at Rooftop Alternative K–8 School in San Francisco. As a member of the Rooftop Art Committee and as the school’s third–fourth grade technology instructor, she designs and implements whole-school integrated studies centered around challenging works of art. As a teaching artist for “Art Is…,” Rooftop’s concept-based arts integration program, she works with the school community to explore the languages of art—visual art, dance, music, theater, literary arts, and new media. She is currently working to integrate art, technology, science, and environmental advocacy with The Blue Marble Project and was an invited speaker at the first BLUEMiND conference at the California Academy of Sciences, established to explore the connection between the ocean and neuroscience. Wong develops curriculum with such Bay Area arts education organizations as the de Young Museum, StageWrite, San Francisco Opera, and the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra and has led arts education workshops for the Alameda Arts Alliance, Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, ArtsBridge at UC Berkeley, the Lincoln Center Institute National Educator Workshop, and the San Francisco Unified School District. A UC Davis graduate with a degree in Art Studio and the proud parent of two wonderful children, Wong currently serves on the advisory committees for StageWrite and SFUSD’s Arts Education Master Plan.
The mission of the Young Musicians Program is to identify musically gifted students who cannot afford the specialized training essential for the development of their innate abilities, and to provide them with a comprehensive music education, academic reinforcement and personal guidance, on a full scholarship basis. Founded in 1968, with just twenty students and three volunteer teachers, YMP has grown into one of the leading music training programs in the nation with eighty-five students and fifty teachers. Currently, YMP students represent over sixty middle and high schools from four counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. YMP was honored with the 2006 Coming Up Taller Award by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.