Welcome to the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education. Our coalition of parents, school officials, arts organizations, community and business leaders are working to keep the arts in our local schools. Join us!

February 14, 2013

With a new legislative session underway, critical decisions are being made that will impact the lives of California students. Young advocates can provide unique evidence of the vital role the arts play in their education. In the latest videos for the Student Voices campaign, students share the ways that the arts nurture imagination, confidence and creative self-expression.

The campaign runs until March 31, 2013 and invites students to make a video of two minutes or less that answers the question “Why do the arts matter?” and share it the legislators who represent them in Sacramento. Videos can be made individually or as a class, they can be recorded on a cell phone, laptop webcam or video camera. Watch the latest videos here and join the campaign here: http:// www.StudentVoicesCampaign.org

February 14, 2013

There's no doubt in our technology-driven times that we need plenty of graduates who can tackle such subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). But even technology wizards can become more innovative with a solid background in liberal arts.

Consider the late Steve Jobs, who co-founded Apple. Jobs attended a calligraphy class at Oregon's Reed College. Decades later, in a 2005 Stanford commencement address, Jobs recalled the course and said, "It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture."

January 31, 2013

Esteemed education advocate Sir Ken Robinson explains in this short three minute video on why creativity is crucial in education, and why it will require a transformation in the way schools work.

In his words, “Creativity is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity.”

 http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/01/sir-ken-robinson-fostering-creativity-in-education-is-not-an-option/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=linkedin&goback=%2Egde_3259434_member_205435081

January 16, 2013

On October 9, Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education member Nury Martinez introduced a visionary and sweeping resolution to establish the arts as part of the district's core curriculum, placing it alongside math, reading, history, and science as essential components of a student's K-12 education. The resolution, titled "Student Achievement, Educational Equity, and Mastery of 21st Century Workforce Skills through Arts at the Core," makes a comprehensive argument for the arts' place at the table, citing the wealth of research on the impact of arts-rich education on student success within and beyond their K-12 education. After hearing public comment from actor and esteemed collector of Latin American art Cheech Marin; actress, philanthropist, and parent Monica Rosenthal; former teacher of the year Carlos Lauchu; Boeing executive Jim Herr; Los Angeles County Arts for All's director Denise Grande; education funder Matty Sterenchock; and students from Carlos Santana Arts Academy, the board responded by approving the resolution unanimously.

November 2, 2012

Art and music are key to student development.

Ballet dancers practicing in a studio
Credit: Getty Images

"Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence," sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Years of research show that it's closely linked to almost everything that we as a nation say we want for our children and demand from our schools: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity.

Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual's life -- according to the report, they "can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing," creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion. And strong arts programming in schools helps close a gap that has left many a child behind: From Mozart for babies to tutus for toddlers to family trips to the museum, the children of affluent, aspiring parents generally get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, often, do not. "Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences,'' says Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education

For full text, go to  http://www.edutopia.org/arts-music-curriculum-child-development

October 27, 2012

I'm sharing this article that I found in the LA Times in March 2011, just after the launch of the Los Alamitos Alliance.  I saved the article because of it illustrates the importance of arts education and  because the author, Daniel J. Levitin, is both a research scientist and a musician. His uncommon combination of skills means that he's able to comment from both an artistic, qualitative view and from a scientific, quantitative view.  

Levitin's childhood experience is a very personal case for keeping arts in public schools.  He explains that music saved him from being beaten up by the school bullies, but that it also planted the seeds for his interest in neuroscience, specifically the effect of music on the brain. In his closing, he opines that the California public school system of his time "valued the arts as a way to instill social skills and curiosity.  I hope the next generation of public school kids gets the same opportunity the state of California gave me to discover things about themselves and the world through music."
Read the full article:

October 19, 2012

 

Arts education hasn't historically been valued as a "must-have" in nationwide school districts. In fact, it's often one of the most popular cuts to be made when cash-strapped states want to decrease spending. That's because painting, music, and theater are generally considered “extras” or entertaining complements to education, but not core subjects. That view is shifting as educators open up to the idea that learning art-related subjects makes kids better academically as well as personally.

October 12, 2012

 

Amber Lee-Ruiz is the new Director of Educational Services for LAUSD, which includes being the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator.  She came to Los Al in July with knowledge and experience in LA County's "Arts for All" and a firm commitment to the arts.  She will serve as the liaison for the Los Alamitos Alliance for Arts Education.  We look forward to working together to promote arts education to all of the students in Los Al.

September 19, 2012

Juilliard scholar Edward Bilous eloquently presents the case for a comprehensive, longitudinal arts education in this April 2012 lecture.  He beautifully articulates the unique role that arts play in engaging and nurturing our creative intelligence, providing a meta-learning experience, and reinforce the interconnects of the learning process.  His argument that the role of education has shifted from information transfer to information processing because of technology advances is insightful.  He ends by explaining that, "Imagining is more important than accumulating and creating is more important than consuming."  

You can read the full transcript of his lecture or watch the video.  It runs just over 23 minutes.

http://www.juilliard.edu/journal/2011-2012/1205/articles/schuman-lecture.php

September 18, 2012

 

Newly published research suggests low-income kids are more likely to develop these all-important abilities if they attend a unique preschool program that integrates education and the arts.

The arts-rich curriculum produced more “positive emotions such as interest, happiness and pride, and greater growth in emotion regulation across the school year,” reports West Chester University psychologist Eleanor D. Brown.These results are particularly significant, she adds, given “the critical importance of children’s social-emotional readiness to learn.”

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