Campaigns

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Inglewood Unified School District 1

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Inglewood Unified School District 1

Candidate order: Dionne Young Faulk, Margaret Richards-Bowers

As part of its work to connect voters and candidates, Arts for LA presents these Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys to promote dialogue around issues related to arts education and its benefits.

Survey responses provided by each candidate are for voter information purposes only. Arts for LA does not endorse candidates seeking office. We are committed to fostering respectful, nonpartisan dialogue about issues relating to arts and culture. For more information, please read about our mission and values or our FAQ.

All eligible candidates were contacted to participate in the survey. If you would like to submit new or revise existing responses, please contact Cristina Pacheco at advocate@artsforla.org or 213-225-7580.

The Actors Fund, KCET Artbound, California Alliance for Arts Education, LA2050, LA STAGE Alliance, Latino Arts Network, Otis College of Art and Design, and the Social & Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) served as Regional Partners by promoting Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys throughout Los Angeles County.

Voting for Inglewood Unified School District Board of Education - District 1 will be held on Tuesday, April 7.

1 seat is available in this election.

For more information on where to vote, visit the Los Angeles County Clerk/Registrar-Recorder’s Office website.

Question 1: Tell us about a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music) while growing up? (Approximately 75-100 words)

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Growing up on an island in the Caribbean, I was exposed to annual Sunday School Recitation events which really stimulated my memory. I continued in secondary school singing in every concert and performing in Shakespeare plays. First, I was the mischievous "Puck" in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and was delighted at the opportunity. I was also "Juliet" in Romeo and Juliet. These early experiences gave me the confidence to excel in school and to help me emerge from my intense shyness. In college, here in Los Angeles, I had the audacity, with my British-Caribbean accent, to play Marietta, the sixteen year old Southern girl in Langston Hughes' Tambourines to Glory. That's the kind of confidence that exposure to the Arts instills in young people. On any given moonlit night, I can still hear Marietta singing, "moon outside my window, don't look down on me ….."

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Question 2: What role do you think creativity can play in supporting key priorities of the district, such as reducing the drop out rate, closing the achievement gap, and preparing more students for college eligibility and/or meaningful careers? (Approximately 75-100 words)

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When students find their voice, and explore their creative abilities, they feel a part of something, a sense of belonging, and they begin to see the possibilities. The central role that Arts play in the development of the whole student, and in sparking students' creativity, lends itself to addressing critical issues faced by school districts, such as closing the achievement gap, reducing the drop out rate, and preparing more students for college.

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Question 3: Inglewood Unified School District has embarked on an initiative to restore meaningful sequential arts education into its core curriculum. What do you feel are the strengths and the weaknesses of the plan? (Approximately 75-100 words)

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I have not seen the plan to restore arts education into the core curriculum, so I cannot evaluate its strengths or weaknesses. I do know that my school district is faced with financial challenges and is under State receivership. According to the A-G Course list, there are approved visual and performing arts courses taught in some schools. One of my priorities is to ensure that we secure funding sources for the Arts and to ensure that when cuts are made, the Arts are recognized as a vital part of the curriculum that ensures student success.

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Question 4: How can your district make the Inglewood Unified School District arts education plan, and its progress on the plan, more visible to parents and leaders in your community? (Approximately 75-100 words)

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To make the arts education plan more more visible to parents and community leaders, the school district can emphasize it in the same manner it does STEM. By placing the same value on Arts education, we raise awareness about its importance in student success. Parents and community leaders should be able to go the district's website and view the arts education plan, and the progress on the plan. The school district should invest in annual Art performances / shows by students for the community. These performances should show the progression of the Arts program as students mature. This would take collaboration with stakeholders but it is necessary if we are to advance the important role of Arts in education and student outcomes.

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Question 5: In light of the new funding structure for school districts in the state (i.e. the Local Control Funding Formula), how do you see arts education aligning with the eight new priority areas? (Approximately 75-100)

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I see arts education, once fully incorporated into the core curriculum, well positioned to align with the district's goals and actions in each of the new priority areas: Basic Services, Common Core Standards, Parent Involvement, Student Achievement and Engagement, School Climate, Access to a Broad Curriculum, and other School Outcomes

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