The Music Center has announced that Culver City Middle School teacher Kari Fretham is among 10 teachers and five schools it has named as finalists for the Music Center’s 29th Annual BRAVO Awards, honoring educators and schools for their commitment to delivering exemplary arts education in both visual and performing arts. Finalists represent schools in Agoura Hills, Culver City, Glendale, La Crescenta, Lake Balboa, Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pasadena, Paramount, Sherman Oaks and Walnut.
Finalists were chosen from 28 candidates who participated in an extensive review process, which included site visits and feedback by a screening committee. BRAVO Awards nominations are made by principals, faculty committees, superintendents and parents.
Awards are presented in four categories: Generalist Teacher, Arts Specialist Teacher, School Recognition and School Program. Fretham is one of three finalists in the Generalist Teacher category. All candidates will be honored on March 7, 2011 at a celebration event at the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. Recipients in each category will receive a cash award dedicated to supplementing their arts programs. The cash awards are made possible, in part, by generous gifts from Club 100 members.
“I applaud the Music Center’s efforts to celebrate outstanding educators through the Bravo Awards,” said Jon R. Gundry, interim superintendent, Los Angeles County Office of Education. “In addition to honoring these unsung heroes, it inspires us as educators to sustain quality arts programs for our students.”
“The Bravo Award process enables teachers to reflect on the art of teaching while fine tuning their craft. It allows students the chance to articulate the value of their arts education, and share their experiences in the arts that cannot be fostered anywhere else,” explained Typhani Harris, 2009 BRAVO Award winner, Diamond Ranch High School, Pomona. “It builds a community whose passion lies in creating the artists of tomorrow. The Bravo Award is more than an award, it is an experience!”
According to Music Center Vice President of Education Mark Slavkin, the Music Center’s BRAVO Awards demonstrate the true power of what the arts mean not only to students, but to society. “When we visit with schools and teachers as part of the BRAVO Awards process, we see first-hand how their work not only fosters creativity and innovation, but helps prepare our youth to embrace new ways of thinking and contribute their best to our communities,” Slavkin offered.
Established in 1982, the Music Center BRAVO Awards is an integral part of the Music Center’s work in the community to advocate for and deliver quality arts education for all students. The awards program recognizes teachers and schools for innovation and excellence in arts education, honoring educators who use the arts to revitalize teaching, enhance student achievement and foster self-esteem, teamwork and cross-cultural communication and understanding.