When Aidan Van den Broek, the President of the AVPA Blurred Vision Theater Company, took the podium at the Culver City Unified School District School Board, he was speaking in support of arts in the schools. “There is nothing else that our eduction offers us that so consistently creates joy.”
The presentation by Heather Moses, the district’s arts co-ordinator, of the expanding and succeeding drive to bring arts instruction to every student began with a brass band and ended with a round of applause – and with the board voting to affirm the Declaration of the Rights of All Students to Equity in Arts Learning.
School Board President Summer McBride graciously allowed the item to open the agenda, rather than wait through the rest of the evening business. “I know a number of people here for this item are students, so let’s allow them to have their time so they can go home and study – or get some sleep.”
The AVPA Brass Ensemble serenaded the room before the meeting was called to order, and was enjoyed by all those gathering for the session. “I’d like all of our meetings to start this way,” mused board member Anne Allaire, “we would love more music!”
The cast of the Culver City Middle School production of ‘Cinderella’ came out to sing “Impossible/It’s Possible,” a rousing anthem that did great work as a double entendre for the both the student effort and the administrative support that arts education was centered on.
Moses’ report on the District Strategic Arts Plan covered the Robert Frost Auditorium’s new website, the expansion of the dance program to more students in the guise of a section of physical education, and the ideal of an arts integrated curriculum for the whole district.
Ruth Morris, the Vice Principal of the Adult School, spoke briefly on her enthusiasm for arts integration and the success that it offers, particularly to students who may struggle with core subjects. “When you can use art to convey the concept of a math lesson, and make that concept tangible and concrete to a student who doesn’t get the abstract – that’s exciting, that’s what I love about this.”
Wendy Hamill, Interim Executive Director of the Culver City Education Foundation, spoke to the board about the CCEF’s vision to create an endowment to help support the arts initiative. “We are looking to create an endowment of $10 million, and yes, it’s ambitious, but yes, we are ambitious, and our goal is to have a fund we know that we can rely on.”
The board voted to accept the District Strategic Arts Plan with a solid five ayes.
Consistent joy will continue to be created.