Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District
Arts for All Committee -- Arts Education Advocacy Team
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 -- 6:00 PM
Board Room, SMMUSD District Office
1651 16th St., Santa Monica 90404
Teacher liaisons -- Nancy Jordan (Cabrillo), Anabella Fullerton (Edison), Teri Hakomori (Franklin), Hong Le (Grant), Tamara Mugalian (Muir/SMASH), Charlotte Campbell (Pt. Dume), Mayra Herrera (Will Rogers)
Other attendees -- Danika Burmeister, Allison Diftler, Rachel Faulkner, Nicole Fisher, Janis Gabbert, Marni Gittleman, Linda Greenberg Gross, Zina Josephs, Wendy McGinty, Lori Nafshun, Elda Pineda, Jessica Rishe, D'Lynn Waldron, Tom Whaley
1. Welcome and introductions
2. Calendar review
3. February meeting notes were reviewed.
4. Updates from teacher liaisons --
5. Presentation from SMASH (Santa Monica Alternative School House) focusing on the "SMASHing Arts" program and how they integrate visual arts into their curriculum. The presenters were classroom teacher Tamara Mugalian, Art Program Director Marni Gittleman, and Principal Jessica Rishe.
The hand-out included overall program goals, what the program emphasizes, and its partnership mission.
Introduction: "Art is important. It empowers students to create art pieces/performances to communicate their thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and knowledge. Arts instruction exposes children to techniques, tools, materials, concepts, and historical contexts they can utilize throughout their lives to express themselves and support their education. In addition, research shows that participation in a rich and varied arts program helps children develop stronger connections to learning in all curricular areas."
The Art Program Director spoke about brainstorming leading to partnerships leading to artists-in-residence. The program is holistic, core-related, and student-centered. Planning sessions are held during the summer and beginning of school. Local practicing artists are interviewed. Artists are responsible for following lesson plans, and there are weekly check-in updates sent by the artists to the administration, classroom teachers, and to the Program Director. Outside resources are used and there is access to museums, as well as "sharings" within and outside the community.
The Principal spoke about creating a calendar so that every student has 10 weeks of visual arts and 10 weeks of performance arts, followed by "sharings." Grades K-4 receive 45 minutes per week of instruction, and grades 5-8 receive 1 1/2 hours. The annual cost is $21,000 for the 230 students. Regarding community support, the PTSA prioritizes the "SMASHing Arts Program, and parents help find "sharing" centers.
6th grade boys are currently doing improv exercises with stand-up comics. A writing workshop is focusing on realistic fiction with a touch of humor. Grades K-2 are making shadow puppets, and parents from all grade levels are helping. Teachers have the pedagogical expertise to help the artist, who knows the content.
The Program Director added that a survey is done at the beginning of the year. There are currently 3 arts-sin-residence, who all come to the school on Wednesdays, Marcus Miller from the Lulu Washington Dance Theatre is teaching rhythm and percussion, Marcus Kuiland Nozario, a performance artist, is teaching theatre, and Dominique Moody from The Nomad Project is teaching visual arts.
Tamara noted the importance of reflecting on the program in order to make it flexible, building upon skills, learning vocabulary, and developing an organic program. For example, seeing a performance by the Bob Baker Marionettes leads to making puppets, leads to writing plays, and becomes a year-long process.
6. VAPA Coordinator update -- Tom Whaley reported that the VAPA website includes a link to the district's VAPA curriculum at http://www.smmusd.org/vapa/curriculum/index.html and that the national standards for Arts Education are currently being updated. Tom Whaley also commented on:
- the photo posters in the Board Room,
- PTA Reflections 33rd District PTA winners (five 1st place, including Samohi's Alison Guh in Visual
Arts and Malibu High's Isobel Anthony in Film Production, three 2nd place, and two 3rd place),
- Chandra Narain will be honored at the Stairway of the Stars concerts,
- the California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC),
- models in arts education advocacy -- http://www.tmea.org/resources/advocacy
- Samohi band teacher Mike Corrigan's invitation to adjudicate the Canada National Bands competition,
- Jeffe Huls, Samohi choir teacher, winning the BRAVO Award,
- Angela Woo, JAMS music teacher, being inducted into the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honor,
- Angela also being invited to be the All-State Honor Band conductor in 2013,
- elementary music teachers currently on leave,
- New West Symphony concerts at Barnum Hall, and
7. SM/M Education Foundation update -- Rachel Faulkner reported that the Ed Foundation is piloting a middle school 12:30-5:30 arts and athletics program involving the Bagavagabonds -- http://www.bagavagabonds.com/. They're also participating in the Buy Local event and need volunteers.