Release date: 8/28/2012

San Francisco Opera Announces Union Bank as Leading Sponsor of Opera ARIA Arts Education Program

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San Francisco Opera today announced that Union Bank, N.A., is the leading sponsor of its innovative arts education program, Opera ARIA (Arts Resources in Action).The Union Bank Foundation, which has generously funded the program for the past three years, has provided a milestone multi-year grant to support Opera ARIA. Launched in 2009, Opera ARIA uses the multi-disciplinary art form of opera as a means to connect students to academic and arts curricula. By serving kindergarten through 12th grade students from primarily low-to-moderate income Bay Area communities, Opera ARIA builds on the Company’s long-standing and nationally acclaimed education programs of the San Francisco Opera Guild.
 
 “We are always pleasantly surprised how an experience in the arts is the early trigger that motivates children for a lifetime, particularly those from more humble beginnings,” said Julius Robinson, Union Bank executive vice president and head of corporate social responsibility. “We are proud to support San Francisco Opera’s Opera ARIA program to bring arts education to children in the communities that we serve.” 
 
“We are enormously grateful to Union Bank for partnering with the San Francisco Opera in support of arts education,” said San Francisco Opera Director of Education Ruth Nott. “Their multi-year grant will ensure that our Opera ARIA program will continue to reach thousands of schoolchildren each year. San Francisco Opera is committed to developing comprehensive and sustainable arts education programs for the Bay Area, and we thank Union Bank for their shared dedication to this mission.”
 
San Francisco Opera’s Opera ARIA suite of K–12 education programs provides students and teachers with engaging learning opportunities both in the classroom and at San Francisco Opera venues. Opera ARIA’s innovative collaborative partnerships with Bay Area schools focuses on empowering educators to work with both San Francisco Opera and their own colleagues to develop sustainable and customized arts education programs, with resources, guidance, and professional development provided by the Opera’s education department. During the 2011-12 school year, the program reached 108 teachers and over 8,750 students and family members from 71 elementary, middle and high schools in the San Francisco Unified School District, Alameda County School District, Hayward School District, and schools of higher education throughout the Bay Area.
 
The Opera ARIA program provides students with a variety of in-school and field trip experiences including classroom visits by San Francisco Opera teaching artists and opera professionals such as the Company’s young resident performers and costume, set, and props staff. Students in certain programs receive up to 40 visits a year from San Francisco Opera teaching artists and production staff. Designed both to meet teachers’ “wish lists” of arts education resources for their students and to meet each classroom’s particular needs, all opera education opportunities connect to the San Francisco Unified School District’s Arts Education Master Plan, Alameda County Arts Education Frameworks and California State Standards. 
 
The Union Bank Foundation supports four key areas to help build healthy and sustainable communities:  education, affordable housing, community economic development, and the environment. For more information about Union Bank’s commitment to the community, visit www.unionbank.com/community.