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News Release

May 8, 2020

College Receives Arts Integration Grant

The Santa Clarita Community College District has received a $4,750 grant award from the California Arts Council to fund an arts integration program. The program will establish partnerships between five professional artists and five teachers in the Santa Clarita Valley K-12 school districts of Castaic, Newhall, Saugus and Sulphur Springs.

Each of the participating artist/teacher pairs will develop methods that integrate arts into the core subjects of K-12 curriculum, providing teachers district-wide with teaching strategies that make learning more effective and efficient via the arts.

“The activities undertaken with support from the California Arts Council will build upon the existing arts instruction being delivered to K-12 students in the participating districts,” said Kristen Gunn, an arts education technician at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center who will be the program’s director. “By pairing teachers with professional artists to develop focused professional development opportunities to infuse arts across subject areas, these activities will reach far more teachers, and by extension their students, than would otherwise be reached if individual artists conducted trainings. We are excited to highlight the fantastic work of district teachers alongside the Master Teaching Artists.”

Representing the disciplines of music, dance and theatre, the professional artists—or Arts Integration Leaders—will each present a two-hour professional development offering with their teaching partner during the 2020-2021 school year open to all teachers in all four participating school districts.

“The Santa Clarita Community College District has been building an arts education community for decades with K-12 partnerships in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Theresa Zuzevich, director of grants development at the college. “Since 2010, we have further fostered these partnerships through participation in Kennedy Center Partners in Education. However, we know there is always more to be done.”

The program will focus on building a roster of Los Angeles area-based artists from which to draw in order to be more cost effective and leverage the immense talent of greater Los Angeles artists.

If guidelines related to COVID-19 will allow the project to move forward as planned, the project is expected to launch in August with an initial convening of the 10 selected Arts Integration Leaders. Artists and teachers will pair up and plan their development of their professional development offering.

College of the Canyons was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council of more than 1,500 grants awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government throughout the state for their work in support of the agency’s mission to strengthen arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. The investment of nearly $30 million marks a more than $5 million increase over the previous fiscal year, and the largest in California Arts Council history.

Organizations were awarded grants across 15 different program areas addressing access, equity, and inclusion; community vibrancy; and arts learning and engagement; and directly benefiting our state's communities, with youth, veterans, returned citizens, and California's historically marginalized communities key among them. Successful projects aligned closely with the agency's vision of a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Arts Council recognizes that some grantees may need to postpone, modify, or cancel their planned activities supported by CAC funds, due to state and local public health guidelines. The state arts agency is prioritizing flexibility in addressing these changes and supporting appropriate solutions for grantees.

"Creativity sits at the very heart of our identity as Californians and as a people. In this unprecedented moment, the need to understand, endure, and transcend our lived experiences through arts and culture is all the more relevant for each of us,” said Nashormeh Lindo, Chair of the California Arts Council. “The California Arts Council is proud to be able to offer more support through our grant programs than ever before, at a time when our communities’ need is perhaps greater than ever before. These grants will support immediate and lasting community impact by investing in arts businesses and cultural workers across the state.”

The California Arts Council is a state agency with a mission of strengthening arts, culture, and creative expression as the tools to cultivate a better California for all. It supports local arts infrastructure and programming statewide through grants, initiatives, and services. The California Arts Council envisions a California where all people flourish with universal access to and participation in the arts.