Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education District 6

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education District 6

Candidate order: Sandra Siraganian, Lawrence Torres

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena Unified School District will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates 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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I think the arts allow students to demonstrate competencies and skills far beyond our ability to “test.” Education has placed a premium on assessment, and the arts have always eluded our ability to create a score. Consequently, in the hierarchy of subjects, the arts are placed at the bottom of priorities. Educators know that having multiple ways for students to demonstrate abilities can only be beneficial. Students who do better in school generally like school. It is frustrating to me that many of the classes students really enjoy are deemed to be less important than “academic” subjects.

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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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A strong arts program can reinvigorate a school, allowing many more students a pathway to success. By allowing students to take a sequential program, it can deepen and enhance their learning by allowing them more time to pursue their studies. The difficulty, of course, is the budget. Many school and districts have cut funding to so many programs that it will take time to build a program, collect materials and convince families that arts will not be disappearing again. I imagine it will take several years before we begin to see the impact of a revived arts program with the schools. We must be patient and not judge a programs worth too quickly.

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Question 3: Los Angeles USD 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 think a great way to make arts education more visible to parents and the community is to invite them both to become part of the project. I think a community end of year judged art fair for our district would be a great idea. Invite selected folks such as public officials or prominent citizens to become judges. I think it would be great for the children to present their best work and a wonderful way to engage the community. Perhaps the winners could have their works prominently displayed in public buildings.

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Question 4: How can your district make the Los Angeles USD 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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I believe arts education align quite well with the eight priority areas for the Local Control Funding Formula. A vibrant arts education program can bring a school community closer together, fostering school climate, student engagement and achievement. It allows students to show mastery in creative ways, going well beyond the dictates of the curriculum. It is an exciting prospect, one I hope to help advance if I am fortunate to be elected to the school board.

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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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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education District 4

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education District 4

Candidate order: Patrick Cahalan, Sheryl Turner

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena Unified School District will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates 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)

When I was in middle school, my elder sister and I went with our mother to see an art exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. All dressed up for a night in San Francisco, my sister and I were left to explore the exhibit while the adults chatted around part of the show. We wandered the halls for the first time undirected by a docent or tour leader or a parent, and spent our time deciding which pieces we wanted to examine and enjoy. As a parent, I've tried to provide my children with that sort of experience when I've been with them at all sorts of arts events; allowing them to choose their own level of engagement with the experience rather than trying to "make sure they see the Rembrandt", or whatever is the centerpiece of the show.

I grew up in Oklahoma. When I was 12, I was old enough to go to the square dancing events my parents attended. I thought I was grown! I got to stay out late, learn all the dance routines, wear a big skirt and boots. And it was great exercise. It also taught me music, rhythm, mathematics, and my exposure to social interaction was at a completely new level. I learned that community makes great art, that art is fun, educational and generational. I got to teach my brothers and other students at school. Thanks for reminding 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)

Historically (and not just in Pasadena, or California for that matter), when the pressure comes down to cut programs in public education the first things to go are unfortunately also very often the things that make children love school as opposed to tolerate it as a place to spend their day. Drama. Music. Art. Sports. Band. There is a wide body of educational research that supports the usefulness of these programs in educational outcomes. This is due not just to the inspiration of creativity, or the neuroscience involved in developing brains learning how to play music, but also the sense of community that comes when our youth have a real feeling of engagement with part of their school life.

Creativity in curricula keeps youths in schools and lowers the drop out rate. Most of the dropouts enrolled in my Pasadena YouthBuild program are dropouts because they are bored and unchallenged. Schools need to offer more relevant creative challenges for students - like gaming programming, graphics arts, and how to be a DJ . We need to have our core arts curricula and build on it for today's students and tomorrow's jobs. Those are jobs that routinely require a college diploma.

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Question 3: Los Angeles USD 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)

The district has given significant leeway to the individual school sites to take the initative in their arts integration efforts. The Harmony Project at Longfellow, Room 13 at Eliot and San Rafael, PEF's My Masterpieces program, Jefferson's partnership with the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, cooperative efforts with the Armory Center for the Arts and the Huntington Library, Little Kids Rock at Eliot and Washington STEAM, just to name a few. "The Arts Matter to Me" campaign and the work of the Arts Education Office are helping to engage the community. The main strength of these efforts is the dedication of the individuals organizing, running, and promoting the work. The main weakness is a lack of inter-site organization, largely due to a lack of resrouces at the district level.

I attended the PUSD Board meeting December 2014 to see Marshall students get recognized by the Board for their music award. The children raised funds and the teacher contributed from his personal funds to enter the competition. This is a system that is upside down and the plan to restore arts was not implemented that evening. School budgets need to be reoriented to back up the arts initiative and the Board needs to guide the Superintendent to make sure it happens. The PUSD has no plan posted on your link above and the one on the PUSD website is sorely out of date.

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

The district has generally not done a good job of marketing its successes to the community in the last decade. This is due to a number of factors, not all of which are directly attributable to the actions of either the Board or the administration. No one single strategy will overcome the lack of positive local reporting. Board members need to reach out to neighborhood associations, their city councilpersons, and other civic organizations, participate in social media, attend events, and persuasively make the case for all district initiatives.

First the plan needs to be available in more than one language. Almost 70% of PUSD students have Latino surnames. Many parents have language barriers. Secondly, we need an overall school marketing plan, including social media, to inform the community of all academic issues and progress, especially arts and API scores, which will drive more parents to choose public schooling for their children. The public/private partnerships that already exist can be utilized. Implementation of the arts education plan plan should include strategic marketing plans with the arts organizations whose budgets are significantly larger than PUSD.

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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)

The obvious major alignments are in Student Achievement, Student Engagement, School Climate, and Parent Involvement. Arts education promotes better overall educational outcomes, gets the parent community more involved in the district, and improves the school climate by rasing overall school spirit. There is still work to be done on Basic Services (access to arts-appropriate facilities such as auditoriums, something currently underway through Measure TT funds) and Course Access, ensuring availability for every student in the district. Integration with Common Core State Standards will be an ongoing and necessary component in all subjects, and arts education cannot be left out.

The distribution of LCFF funds needs to include arts programs as building blocks for success. The Board needs to make sure the Superintendent listens to parents (in more than one language), responds to their requests for more arts curricula and funding; and factors in the distribution of funds for arts curricula as a critical factor affecting API scores, attendance, dropout and graduation rates, and college preparedness. There needs to be universal access to arts courses for all students, including those with barriers to learning.

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education District 2

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education District 2

Candidate order: Roy Boulghourjian, Evan Dagger, Marcela Rojas

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena Unified School District will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates 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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I attended TCUSD schools which have a performing arts program head-and-shoulders above most districts in the surrounding area. I started playing the cello at age eight, and played until i graduated. Along the way, I also picked up the double-bass. I played in the high school orchestra, musicals, jazz band, as well as their show choir, the Brighter Side Singers. I was active in the drama productions, too. After high school, I was active int eh drama department at Cal State Los Angeles, as well as driven t perform as a stand-up comedian around the greater LA area.

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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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My experiences in public school at TCHS essentially centered around my involvement in their performing arts program. I self-identified as a performer, and it gave me a purpose and circle of friends at school. It got me to school, motivated me excel in academia in order to perform, and it opened up social opportunities all developing children/teens need.

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Question 3: Los Angeles USD 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 feel any effort is a good start. Unfortunately I am not informed of the particulars of performing arts in the Pasadena Unified School District. My experiences are entirely from TCUSD both as a student, and as a science teacher teaching there for the last ten years. My aspiration to the PUSD BOE is motivated partially by my desire to see public education grow to a robust and nurturing place for all students. I will take my experience from TCUSD and find ways to grow them in PUSD.

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Question 4: How can your district make the Los Angeles USD 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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Create a Performing Arts Booster Parent/Community association. Find collaborative venues in the city to showcase PUSD students, such as the Boston Theater, Ice House Comedy Club, and the Pasadena Theater. Participate in the inter-school competitions for orchestra, band, and even ComedySportz improv competitions (which I coach at TCHS, and would love to see Pasadena pursue).

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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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Pasadena has four high schools/secondary schools that could easily be presented as campuses specializing in certain kinds of performing arts; say, music at Pasadena High, Drama at Marshall, Fine Art or Media Arts at Blair, for instance... Given that Los Angeles is a huge hub for entertainment, to not direct students to potential careers in Hollywood seems particularly obtuse. We could easily increase enrollment by re-imaging PUSD with a strong -- even core -- arts curriculum.

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 6

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 6

Candidate order: Steve Madison

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena City Council District 6 will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates in this election.

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

Question 1: What was the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up?

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Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in the development and support of the region's cultural infrastructure?

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Question 3: How would you champion modifications to, or expansion of, the city's current funding stream for local arts and culture?

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Question 4: What three things would you do to deepen the city's investment in its creative economy (cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit)?

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 4

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 4

Candidate order: Gene Masuda

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena City Council District 4 will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates in this election.

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

Question 1: What was the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up?

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Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in the development and support of the region's cultural infrastructure?

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Question 3: How would you champion modifications to, or expansion of, the city's current funding stream for local arts and culture?

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Question 4: What three things would you do to deepen the city's investment in its creative economy (cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit)?

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 2

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 2

Candidate order: Margaret McAustin

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena City Council District 2 will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates in this election.

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

Question 1: What was the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up?

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Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in the development and support of the region's cultural infrastructure?

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Question 3: How would you champion modifications to, or expansion of, the city's current funding stream for local arts and culture?

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Question 4: What three things would you do to deepen the city's investment in its creative economy (cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit)?

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 1

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Council District 1

Candidate order: German Acevedo, Brian Blery, Pixie Boyden, Tyron Hampton, Calvin E. Walls

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena City Council District 1 will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates in this election.

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

Question 1: What was the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up?

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As a boy I had the good fortune to take piano lessons. I loved making music so I continued to play formally until I was a teenager and even performed in local recitals. The greatest impact has been my appreciation for classical music and the artists who created the masterpieces I attempted to play. While never achieving expert status as a pianist, my world is vastly improved due to my connection to music. Each summer I look forward to hearing the symphony play at the Hollywood Bowl and imagine being 10 again, sitting on my piano teacher’s bench playing Mozart.

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Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in the development and support of the region's cultural infrastructure?

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The City Council has a significant role in supporting the cultural fabric of the community. For example, approval of budgets for the Cultural Affairs Division and the Arts/Culture Commission, which implement and guide public policy for the arts. In addition, the City Council has the ability to approve of new cultural events and diversify the artistic palette of the community. Pasadena is home to such unique events as the Doo Dah Parade, Make Music Pasadena, Latino History Parade, and many others as the result of Council approval. Lastly, Councilmembers can show support for these wonderful events by attending or participating.

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Question 3: How would you champion modifications to, or expansion of, the city's current funding stream for local arts and culture?

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One of the most effective ways of advocating for any project or program is to present the positive impacts of its implementation. For example, the Americans for the Arts Economic Impact Study showed that $24.01 was spend in the city per capita during arts and culture events. Pasadena’s ArtNight annually attracts approximately 42,000 visitors which when multiplied by $24.01 results in over $1 million in local economic impact. For decision-makers this type of information greatly assists them to approve of either new programs/activities, or expand existing ones. Imagine what other events here also contribute to our local economy!

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Question 4: What three things would you do to deepen the city's investment in its creative economy (cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit)?

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In a city as resource-rich as ours, one might think that there is no need for further expansion of the arts. Nevertheless, here are a few ideas that could broaden the City’s investment and encourage greater public participation: a. Expand the public arts program from 177 to 190 sites; b. Increase the number of rotating art locations from 11 to 15; c. Raise the amounts for the City’s Annual (Art) Grants Program (which have stayed static for 10 years) by 5%; d. Continue to inspire youth to participate in the arts via the creation of a youth art grants program.

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Primary Mayor Election

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Pasadena City Primary Mayor Election

Candidate order: Jason Hardin, Don Morgan, Jacque Robinson, Allen Shay, Bill Thomson, Terry Tornek

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.

Arts for LA thanks the Pasadena Arts Council for supporting the process as a local partner. 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 Pasadena City Primary Mayor Election will be held on Tuesday, March 10.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates in this election.

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

Question 1: What was the most meaningful arts and cultural experience you had growing up?

I remember being about 7-years-old, playing in the park across the street from my grandmother's house. As my cousins and I spent the day playing, a large group of folks began assembling something in the middle of the field. After a while, we realized they were putting together a stage, so we started to watch them. As it started to get dark, the stage was finished, complete with scenery and lights. All of a sudden, a play just started out of nowhere. I only remember bits and pieces of that play, but it was the first one I have ever seen, and I thought it was the most interesting thing in the world at that time.

The most meaningful arts and cultural experience I have had in life was working with homeless and run-away youth in San Francisco on projects that used art to explain what they were going through at such a young age. I worked for a year with kids to pour their souls into murals and listened to them tell their stories through profound poetry. As someone who was never particularly artistic in a traditional sense, all of a sudden my world was opened by watching the transformational power of these kids finally having an outlet to share their stories. Art changes the lens through which we see and interpret the world. And if done right, hopefully broadens it.

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My parents had a season subscription to the symphony in Brookly & took me as a child. That combined with the fact that my mother played the piano beautifully & my Dad paid his way through college as a musician, meant that music had a key rolw in our home.

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Question 2: What do you believe the role of City Council should be in the development and support of the region's cultural infrastructure?

City Council is responsible for setting the tone that represents the identity of our city and the standards to which we hold ourselves. Culture, creativity, and innovation is a strong part of that identity, which means our local elected officials play a vital role in its development and support. I believe that the mayor has to actively promote and participate in programs and activities geared towards expression and exploration in all areas of art, education, and business. Properly supporting how we express ourselves and communicate, will always lead to the progress of any society.

The mayor has a powerful platform to advocate for arts and culture in Pasadena. I intend to use that platform to champion our city in every aspect, including our tremendous cultural programs. The mayor should help establish important partnerships between arts and cultural organizations, city agencies, funders, and residents. This creates a virtuous circle where new attention brings new support, spawning new revenue and programs and thus even more attention. As noted above, I’ll work connect local non-profit groups to better align existing resources. Finally, I will continue my efforts to strengthen arts programming for students because, as an educator, I know that today’s arts students are tomorrow’s future stars.

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Pasadena's greatest opportunity for economic growth is as a destination city for hospitality & the arts. Our demographics are changing, 6 new hotels are under development & they are a response/driver to a vibrant cultural environment. The Mayor must make certain that the city does everything it can to support the growth in these areas.

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Question 3: How would you champion modifications to, or expansion of, the city's current funding stream for local arts and culture?

To increase resources for local arts and culture, I would begin by tapping into our city's affluent private sector. Historically, the beauty of our city has been built on contributions made by citizens and visitors who wanted nothing more than to leave this city a better place than when they came. It's that kind of love for Pasadena, that will continue to set our city apart from every other city in the world. In addition, I will continue to support more community events that showcase our local talents and artists, giving the, as well as local sponsors, the exposure required to create opportunities in which they can capitalize off their gift, products, and/or services. I also plan to generate resources for local arts and culture, by leveraging Pasadena's enormous brand power and promoting our creative talents, goods, and services to a global market.

As someone who has been a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations for 20 years, I believe the mayor should be a valued asset in directing funding toward the arts. Not only should the city use public funds to support the arts in our city, but private donors should also be flocking to Pasadena to support the wide range of programs we offer, large and small. Our vibrant arts community should be represented as a point of pride for our city and resources should be proportionally dedicated to these programs. Whether connecting arts programs to our schools, or supporting large cultural organizations, the mayor has a huge megaphone to point to the best of what we offer as a city.

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Growth in the Transient Occupancy Tax [TOT] is the most likely source 7 is certainly appropriate.

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Question 4: What three things would you do to deepen the city's investment in its creative economy (cultural tourism, indirect and direct jobs, nonprofit and for profit)?

First, I would be in favor of using city media outlets and communications to better market and promote local cultural and artistic events, programs, organizations, and activities. Next, I would encourage the city to contract local artists of all kinds to help rehabilitate less attractive properties and areas of our city, such as vacant lots, empty storefronts, and poor landscapes. Lastly, I plan to strengthen the city's relationship with organizations such as Innovate Pasadena, to constantly encourage present and future generations to explore their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

Lead an effort to renew a comprehensive and strategic plan for the arts that adequately defines their important role in so many parts of our city, and how they may work together to present Pasadena as a cultural hub. Promote new and existing arts organizations as destinations for visitors who want to enjoy all that Pasadena has to offer. Brand the work of our arts organization as essential to our city and as important for investment by those who wish to improve/enrich/strengthen Pasadena.

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I would rely on our incredibly creative staff & Arts commissioners to lead the way along with Terry Lemoncheck & the non-profit sector.

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Los Angeles Unified School Board District 7

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Los Angeles Unified School Board District 7

Candidate order: Euna Anderson, Lydia Gutierrez, Richard Vladovic

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 Los Angeles Unified School Board District 7 will be held on Tuesday, March 3.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates 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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Having been raised in an artistic family, starting with my mother, 9 siblings and myself being artistically inclined. I lean heavily on the creativity in my teaching style in the classroom. A child who has been introduced to the artistic talents, combined with the other subjects, creates a well-rounded individual.

As a child, I loved to read, from the classics like The Wind in the Willows and Tom Sawyer, to science fiction, to newspapers and magazines. Reading fed my curiosity, shaped my mind, and helped me to understand my world. There is no doubt that it led to my life’s work as an educator and school administrator. Today, as a Board Member, one of my greatest thrills is exposing young kids to the joys that reading can bring.

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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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As an educational instructor, we must nurture the creative side of all our students in order for them to fully develop both sides of their mind. I am a supporter of STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. When children have been given more hands on opportunity, which visual & performing arts offers, they take ownership on where they want to direct their life and that means staying in school to work towards their goal.

Encouraging creativity isn’t a privilege or “free time” activity. It is a vital piece of students’ education and growth as individuals. It’s what allows our students to explore and develop their views of the world. Creativity – whether through a student’s personal expression or through teaching methodologies – is what will keep our students engaged in their education, making them less likely to drop out and more likely to achieve academically, increasing graduation rates and college eligibility. Creativity will also inspire innovative and entrepreneurial qualities in our students, preparing them for the global economy.

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Question 3: Los Angeles USD 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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A pre-kinder to high school approach of assuring that sequential arts education is actively involved in all aspects of our children’s lives is vital in the development of child’s emotional balance and academic success. The down fall is that teachers may believe that preparing for standardized testing is far better use of time then having them learn to be expressive through art. This is far from the truth. If teachers and children are constantly preparing for the test, children develop no real foundation of academics; they become stressed and more likely to do poorly on standardized tests. Arts are what gives more depth of understanding, relieves stress allowing the child to retain and manipulate the information, and more opportunity for a creative approach.

There are very few weaknesses to this plan, besides perhaps some additional costs that will have to be managed as part of the budget. The benefits far outweigh the costs of this initiative, however. Arts education has a deep and formative impact on our children. It will engage them creatively and will also encourage them to use new methods of thought and expression. These shifts in thinking will help them to become well-rounded and more self-aware individuals, who will graduate better prepared for college or a career and better able to contribute to society.

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Question 4: How can your district make the Los Angeles USD 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 LAUSD arts education plan more visible, first update the website. At present, there are two links that are closed. Make available weekly lessons by grade level for teachers to use in the classroom. The best way to educate parents is for their children to actually be engaged in art activity and bring them home. On the website can be additional art activities parents can do at home with their children. Ask community businesses to allow children’s artwork to be showcased in their business, i.e., bank, real estate office, store.

It’s important to keep parents and local leaders informed about the importance of arts education, as well as what the Board is doing to keep the plan moving forward. To that end, I will continue to engage with my district at local meetings, community events, and within the schools. On my website, I also provide information about what is currently happening in our district and individual schools. I also regularly put out a newsletter with new and timely information for parents and community leaders, and I will be sure to include any new developments about the arts education plan.

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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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Art Education is fully aligned in all 8 items because you cannot subtract out visual concepts, motor movement or self-expression from learning.

Arts education can and should align very closely with each of the new priority areas. Within our schools, it is important to keep incorporating the arts into the curriculum of our students, because it’s well-known that engaged and creative students are less likely to drop out and more likely to achieve academically. As Board Members, it’s our job to continue to promote arts education as being a vital part of the overall education of Los Angeles students and to ensure that the arts aren’t being overlooked as we meet the new priority areas.

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Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Los Angeles Unified School Board District 5

Spring 2015 Arts & Culture Candidate Surveys: Los Angeles Unified School Board District 5

Candidate order: Bennett Kayser, Ref Rodriguez, Andrew Thomas

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

Voting for Los Angeles Unified School Board District 5 will be held on Tuesday, March 3.

1 seat is available in this election. Elections are at large; voters may vote for any of the eligible candidates 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)

As a young man, I met the woman who later would become my wife of over 40 years and she was a young aspiring artist. She has taught me so much on how to see life through multiple lenses and points of view. She introduced me to so many different forms of art like theater, painting, sculpture, and music, and such I was able to use these powerful experiences in my classroom. We would often use art as a way to raise our children and connect with community members and its ability to transcend relationships is still present in my life.

The arts have always been important for me. Without theater and music when I was young I'm not sure I would have applied myself in school as much as I did. I know from personal experience the power that the arts have to reduce dropout rates, to keep kids engaged in school, and to empower students to apply themselves in every area of life. I was lucky that I went to a school with programs that allowed me to express myself.

I was very active in music and drama growing up. Probably the most influential experience I had was singing in a children's choir from age 7-12 or so. We toured all over the city and sang for groups large and small. I also had music class in elementary and middle school, but I particularly remember middle school singing, where I have a strong memory or learning, "Abraham, Martin and John." After that, I had important experiences in the Reno Little Theater, where I sang in musicals. In high school, I was active in drama.

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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)

Art is at the core of all instruction and thus creativity is paramount. As a teacher, I would incorporate many different types of projects, medians, and subject matter to teach a lesson so that students would have to critically and creatively think about their question at hand. I truly believe art is what makes instruction unique. The careers our students will enter into in the future will be built around an ability to creatively adapt to varying situations. As a Board Member, I know I must be creative in order to keep progress moving forward so that our employees and students don't see our vision as stagnant or stale.

There's a pernicious paradigm in education that the arts are a "bonus", an "add-on" that we should provide when we can afford to. The reality is that in LAUSD we are radically under-investing in the arts, and it's the area where there is the most to be gained by increasing investment. From personal experience, and 20 years in education I know that robust art programs, supported by adequate funding and high-quality differentiated professional development, increase graduation rates by keeping students more engaged and enabling them to do better in all other disciplines. I'm very proud of the arts programs that we have at all PUC schools, and I know that those programs are part of why 95% of our students go on to college.

Many students can best be reached through the arts. There are creative ways to teach math, for example, through drama. I am a strong believer in arts at the high school level as a way of keeping kids in school and engaged. I don't see any division between art and science and am a proponent of the "Maker" movement, which combines the ethos of "making, not taking," with engineering skills, craft and art. It's an exciting time for makers and we need to share that excitement with our students. The STEAM curriculum exemplifies these principals.

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Question 3: Los Angeles USD 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)

I believe the commitment to having arts teachers in all elementary schools is at the core of what I believe is necessary. Our students must have a holistic education and integrating arts into our curriculum for our youngest learners is not just necessary, but a responsibility I have as a Board Member. A glaring weakness is the amount of money being directed towards the plan. I have fought tirelessly and will continue to direct more dollars towards art in the district. With the Common Core being implemented, the time is now to fully commit to a robust art curriculum across all grades.

I support restoring sequential arts education as a core subject. There has been some progress in many schools in the district, but many lag behind. I believe that there hasn't been sufficient attention paid to allocating funding based on key priorities within the restoration plan. And while I fully support arts integration, I believe that we haven't adequately supported teachers in training them to integrate arts into their curriculum. Arts integration has to be about more than enlivening curriculum, it has to be aimed at cultivating and expanding students' understanding and appreciation of the arts themselves. High quality, differentiated professional development is indispensable, and it isn't there for enough educators.

There are lots of good opportunities for arts integration and I fully support it as an educator, but I don't believe it replaces quality art class in music, drama, and visual arts in particular. I would put more emphasis -- ad feasible -- on hiring more certificated arts teachers. The arts integration professional development initiative is good and could be bolstered using "arts coaches," itinerant arts teachers who help coach other teacher in arts integration. I also support fully adopting the STEAM curriculum where the local school communities find it appealing. I would also emphasize more collaboration with community groups and arts partnerships. There are so many in the county!

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

I believe we must highlight our children's work and the Eastside Arts Festival is a classic example of how we must embrace art in the district. My hope is to expand opportunities like the Eastside Arts Fesitval to all communities within District 5. Parents deserve and need to know more about our amazing arts offerings in the district since we have invested in state of the art facilities. I was proud to complete the Eagle Rock High School Auditorium Renovation so that generations of students could use a cutting edge facility for theater, musics, dance and many other art forms. Furthermore, we learn so much when we bring parents, students, teachers, and administrators together and arts information is no different. Our great communities will drive our investment in art so that we can provide the needed programs and facilities.

First, members of the school board have to be much more active in engaging the community. Real engagement with parents, educators, and community members doesn't happen from the confines of an office downtown. Second, our school campuses are too often walled-off facilities that are not open and welcoming to the communities they are supposed to serve. Students feel alienated and disconnected when the arrive on a campus that feels like it's completely isolated from the surrounding neighborhood. I will make it a priority to make our campuses more open and engaged with the community, by prioritizing parent engagement on campus with relevant services and resources for families and members of the community. Bringing the community into our schools and our schools into their communities will make every aspect of education more visible, and will bring policy decisions closer to the people they will affect.

It needs to share this information directly with families at school sites and there need to be better mechanisms for that. The district communicates very little with families directly.

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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)

As I stated earlier, arts is at the core of instruction. The outcomes with which we will be judged based upon the Local Control Funding Formula are directly tied to how we prepare students for a 21st century marketplace. As a teacher, I know that students are at their best when they are challenged and given the opportunity to think creatively. Art is transferable to all subjects and our ability to use art as a common theme in instruction will be key to our ability to achieve our outcomes. The priorities set forth by the LCFF are all intertwined with our ability to properly educate all students. I know that our English Language Learners, Students with Disabilities, and all students who face challenges will benefit greatly from a diverse arts education.

Arts education plays an indispensable role in increasing student achievement and engagement. We know that students who regularly engage with the arts perform better in all other areas, and that they are less likely to exhibit behavioral issues, or to drop out of school. Given that, it is very clear that the arts aligns well with the LCFF priority areas. In LAUSD it has been the most disadvantaged and underserved students who lack access to the arts, and LCFF has an important role to play in changing that. I will work to ensure that the students in district 5 get the access to the arts that they all deserve.

Arts can align with at least seven (and arguably all eight) of the priority areas. If arts education is viewed as a mode of pedagogy, or method of instruction, it will improve student achievement and, of course other student outcomes. Arts can improve student engagement because the arts activities themselves (e.g. staged performances; ceramics) can be so absorbing in and of themselves. Critical thinking and problem solving are key components of the common core standards and, of course, students can engage critically with works of art and literature and making art is a problem-solving activity that is also emotionally fulfilling, and therefore engaging for kids. Last, arts can increase parent involvement because it offers ways for parents to not only view their kids' artworks and activities, but also participate in and support those activities. All of this will spill over into improved school climate.

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