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New program exposes K-12 youth to arts

Posted: October 1, 2008 8:29 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons and Santa Clarita school districts launched a new kindergarten through 12th-grade arts education program designed to use the college's cultural and community resources to expose students to the visual and performing arts.

"It's important to develop an enhanced arts education curriculum to introduce the arts to younger audiences so they can realize the powerful effect art can have on their lives, and that's something we are committed to here at the college," said Adam Philipson, PAC managing director.

The college partnered with the Saugus Union School District to host a group of more than 600 elementary school students who will visit the PAC on Friday for a special performance and presentation by The Tweaksters, a comedic acrobatic duo.

Students also will visit the campus art gallery to view "The Sculpture of Brad Howe" exhibit featuring a selection of Howe's world-famous colorful steel sculptures.

"Exposing students to the arts is one of the Saugus Union School District's critical areas of focus," said Michelle Morse, SUSD director of childcare and preschool programs. "This partnership provides a tremendous opportunity for professionals within the arts community to become involved with our teachers and students in a variety of ways."

"There are many statistics that show how students benefit from exposure to and education in the visual and performing arts standards," said Philipson. "Community interest and encouragement are there, and the college is in a position to help bring it all together."

The new program will offer teacher workshops, artist classroom visits, special presentations, mentor programs and various teaching/learning community partnerships to prepare teachers to effectively expose the arts to their students.

Additionally, schools will introduce students to high-caliber live performances at the Performing Arts Center.

Philipson is confident the program will be a success, since the program will augment, not replace, the various arts education programs already established in schools affected by limited resources and state budget constraints.


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