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CalArts program for junior high, high school students accepting enrollment

Summer students debut silent films on Sunday

Posted: September 7, 2012 6:21 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:21 p.m.

The Community Arts Program is accepting applications for its 22nd year, CalArts officials said this week.

The program is offered free for sixth-grade to high school students at three sites in the Santa Clarita Valley, said Glenna Avila, director of the CalArts partnership.

“It’s very much about developing and supporting the skills students need to create,” Avila said.

The partnership’s courses follow the teaching philosophy and style of CalArts regular classes, said Drew Jorgensen, 29, a CalArts grad who coordinates the music program for the partnership.

“We try to break down that sort of antiquated way of looking at education, where there’s a teacher and a student,” Jorgensen said. Teachers take the approach that, “Just because I may know more about a subject than you doesn’t mean we can’t learn from each other.”

Instead of teaching from a text and giving a final exam, there’s a culminating project, performance or display at the end of each course. The courses are geared toward teaching the skills necessary for each respective display, Avila said.

For a summer course in the partnership, students looked into silent-film production at Hart Park.

The culminating performance is a show of the students’ silent films this weekend at Hart Hall, which is inside the park named after the silent film star. Four short movies will debut at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Parents are encouraged to sign their children up ahead of time by visiting the program’s website listed below, or they can register their children on the first day of classes, the first of which begins Sept. 24. But due to limits on available resources available, there could be a shortage of spaces in the popular music, photography and digital media classes, Avila said.

“We hope we’re providing an access to the arts that may not otherwise be available,” Avila said, adding that there is no artistic experience required for any of the courses except for the music classes.

“We’re looking for students willing to make a commitment and (who) want to be here to develop their knowledge of the arts.”

Information on course enrollment is available at The courses take place at CalArts, College of the Canyons, Arroyo Seco Junior High, Newhall Elementary School and West Creek Academy.




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