New Arts Plan for the Schools Approved

At the Dec. 12, 2023 School Board meeting, the arts were front and center. AVPA’s Brass Ensemble played before the meeting, getting people in the holiday mood. A slide show showcasing 200+ pictures of students involved in the arts played on the big screen. And several members of the public spoke in support of the arts in CCUSD.

Culver High School junior and AVPA Performance Theatre student Natalie Cayetano said, “In honor of the strategic arts plan, I would like to share what the arts mean to me and how they’ve impacted me. My musical theatre career began in first grade at El Marino, where I took an after-school cornucopia class and performed a song and dance of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins. I will never forget how much fun it was to sing and dance in a full costume with 20 other students.

“Then, in middle school, I found a home in the theatre program there, and now, in high school, there is nowhere I am happier than surrounded by everyone in the Robert Frost Auditorium. This fall, we actually partnered with Center Theatre Group to put on our play, The Laramie Project, and being able to work in the Kirk Douglas Theatre and partner with Center Theatre Group was a dream.

“Nevertheless, anytime I am in a theatre is a dream. I have made my closest friends in theatre and it truly is an amazing outlet to express myself. I don’t know who I’d be without it. Theatre is my life, it is my love, it is my passion, and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had to participate in the arts in this community. We have a monthly meeting where all of AVPA, all five departments, meet up and talk about upcoming events everyone has going on. Sometimes I’ll just look around the room and start to tear up, seeing all these people who are united by the same thing; their immense love and dedication to the arts. I can say without a hint of doubt in my mind that the arts are extraordinarily good, or in other words, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”

Several additional members of the CCUSD arts community spoke, including teachers, funders, and CCUSD District Arts Coordinator Heather Moses, who presented the 2023-2028 Strategic Arts Plan. The presentation included a comparison from previous plans in 2004 and 2019, all of which focus on Equity and Access to Arts Learning.

“The previous plan focused on expanding access and deepening partnerships, while the new one aims to support access through sustainable systems and community engagement on curriculum, professional learning, and showcasing student voice,” said Moses. “We are now emphasizing goals like uplifting student voice, showcasing student learning and engaging peer to peer support, which are critical to this plan.”

CCUSD’s multi award-winning arts education programming has grown to include 24 credentialed arts instructors teaching to VAPA (Visual and Performing Arts) and CTE (Career Technical Education) standards, and numerous guest teaching artists. The Board enthusiastically adopted the plan.

Culver Pride

The Actors' Gang