PUSD High Schools Explore the Arts

Published : Friday, October 13, 2017 | 1:16 PM

Three Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) high schools have entered into a four-year partnership with Exploring the Arts (ETA), the arts education nonprofit organization founded by legendary singer Tony Bennett and his wife Susan Benedetto. The high schools will partner with cultural institutions to bring dance, acting, studio art, symphony orchestra, and music production classes to their campuses. Blair School, John Muir High School, and Rose City High School will each receive $15,000 each year to implement arts plans developed by each campus’ arts leadership team. Programs began in the 2017-2018 school year.

“This partnership signals our district’s and community’s commitment to sustainable, high quality arts programs for student artists and musicians,” said Superintendent Brian McDonald. “Pasadena is a creative and diverse community and this award helps deepen the arts programs on our high school campuses.”

Through the partnership, Blair High School will diversify its music offerings and boost the momentum of its growing program. The existing orchestra program will transform into a sequence of courses, culminating with a symphony orchestra course with support from Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, which will provide sectional coaches. The school will also create a music technology course where students will learn music recording and production.

In John Muir High School’s four-year plan, professional actors will coach teachers and students in integrating elements of theater and musical theater with choral instruction. In addition, the Young Musicians Project will support music technology, songwriting, and music production. As these programs grow, students will create and broadcast high quality content in the new 6,300 square-foot television production studio that recently opened on Muir’s campus.

Rose City High School will develop studio art electives. The fine arts teacher will collaborate with ArtworxLA to write and teach the new course in a newly built-out studio art classroom. The Studio Intro course will incorporate student exhibitions at the Japanese American National Museum and Autry Museum of the American West this year. Rose City will also create a dance program in partnership with Lineage Dance, the Pasadena-based contemporary dance company. Students will study multiple forms of dance at Rose City in classes co-taught by the physical education teacher and dance teaching artists. Advanced students will take courses at the Lineage professional dance studio while earning high school course credits.

Through the Exploring the Arts Apprenticeship Program, select juniors and seniors at the partnering schools will be placed in internships at arts organizations during non-school hours. Students will receive a financial stipend and participate in group meetings led by ETA staff with fellow students in the program. Pasadena arts organizations such as Lineage Dance, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena Symphony, Side Street Projects, Pasadena Media, and the Huntington will be hosting eligible interns this year. These apprenticeships will dovetail with PUSD’s existing work-based learning programs.

Teachers at the three high schools can also apply for teacher grants for art instruction and arts-integrated projects through ETA’s Arts Access Grants. As part of the partnership with ETA, the teachers and administrators join the ETA Partnership Network which offers regular ongoing opportunities – both in-person and online – to engage in dialogue, peer mentoring, and idea and resource sharing with faculty from other ETA partner schools.

The mission of Exploring the Arts (ETA) is to transform the lives of young people through arts education. Founded in 1999 by legendary American singer and painter Tony Bennett and his wife Susan Benedetto, a former public school teacher, ETA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving public high schools throughout New York City and Los Angeles.

Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) is a Vanguard district of the Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective (Arts Ed Collective), and has developed long-term strategic plans to offer sequential, standards-based arts instruction for all students. PUSD proudly integrates more than 30 Pasadena-area world-class arts institutions into learning both on campus and in public spaces to support K-12 arts education in visual art, music, theater, and dance.

This partnership is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation.

For more information, visit https://www.pusd.us/




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